The water spout seen off the coast of Whakatāne this morning.

The water spout seen off the coast of Whakatāne
A large waterspout has been caught on camera off the coast of Whakatane.

The phenomenon was spotted by Kylie Kinghazel who was dropping her children to school.

She posted the incredible footage to Facebook where it has been viewed more than 3000 times.

Off in the distance, the large spout can be seen between Whaakari/ White Island and Moutohora/Whale Island.

"Wow! A water tornado!" one of Kinghazel's children can be heard saying in the background of the video.

The waterspout eventually grows smaller and fades from view.

Waterspouts are columns of cloud-filled wind which rotate over bodies of water, according to National Geographic.

They are formed by condensation in clouds and come in two major varieties.

The first is a tornadic waterspout, which begins as true tornadoes over the ocean and then moves to land. These are much more powerful and destructive than a fair-weather waterspout.

Fairweather water spouts originate from clouds and are associated with much calmer weather - however, if they touch land then they become tornadic waterspouts.

(View footage here)