Hopes for a Saturday sleep-in were dashed for much of the country this morning by a 5.8 earthquake that was felt as far north as Kerikeri and as far south as Southland.
The quake was 175 kilometres deep and centred 20km southeast of Tokoroa. It was followed by a swarm of tremors in the central North Island.
Within seconds, social media sites were awash with comments.
It was described as "a long noisy quake which left lights swinging". Others described it as fading away and then coming back.
ONE News deputy political editor Jessica Mutch tweeted: "Fairly decent quake felt in Wellington this morning."
Readers on ONE News Facebook page have said they felt it as far away as Christchurch and Greymouth.
Tracey White in Taupo said the quake "went for ages here, rather scary I must say".
Ariel Pakau, who lives in Murupara close to the epicentre, said she felt it "made me dive out of bed".
There have also been reports that the quake was felt in Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.
GeoNet seismologist Anna Kaiser says within minutes nearly 10,000 people had registered the quake on its website.
"These sorts of earthquakes occur because the Pacific plate is actually subducting below the Australian plate," she said.
This morning's tremors follow a violent 7.3 magnitude quake in Japan yesterday, which GeoNet says was on the same plate.
GeoNet says the Christchurch earthquake and social media have increased interest in earthquakes, but they cannot be predicted.
"We can't tell what happens in the future. There is a low chance of another big quake but there is a chance everyday of such a quake. We can't tell you when it will happen."
This greater awareness of earthquakes has made people more aware of being prepared in an emergency, both in the home and in the workplace.
In September the first national earthquake drill was held, and Civil Defence urges homeowners to make sure they are prepared with water, food and first aid.