Physical aspects of sites of herd strandings by whales in New Zealand are compared with random sites at which strandings have not occurred. Both slope and indentation were significantly less for stranding than for random sites. The coastal configuration of multiple herd-stranding sites in New Zealand was compared with sites elsewhere in the world. Multiple herd-stranding sites all had similar coastal topography; specifically, gently sloping sandy beaches with an adjacent protruding section of coastline. There appeared to be a relation between local currents and herd stranding in Hawke Bay and Golden Bay (New Zealand). Wind-derived onshore currents are most common during the time of year when strandings occur in Golden Bay, New Zealand, and in Cap Vert, Senegal.