About 230 whales have been stranded on Tasmania's west coast, just days after 14 sperm whales were found beached on an island off the southeastern coast.
The pod, which is stranded on Ocean Beach, appears to be pilot whales, and at least half are presumed to be still alive, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania said Wednesday.
The department said a team from the Marine Conservation Program was assembling whale rescue gear and heading to the area.
A resident told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. the whales were visible near the entrance to Macquarie Harbour and described the stranding as a "massive event."
A local official urged people to stay clear.
Fourteen sperm whales were discovered Monday afternoon on King Island, part of the state of Tasmania in the Bass Strait between Melbourne and Tasmania's northern coast.
The department said it is not unusual for sperm whales to be sighted in Tasmania.
The pilot whale is notorious for stranding in mass numbers for reasons that are not entirely understood.
Two years ago, about 470 long-finned pilot whales were found beached on sandbars off Tasmania's west coast in Australia's largest mass-stranding on record.
After a weeklong effort, 111 of those whales were rescued, but the rest died.