The hundreds of people crowded on the base track of Mauao to catch a glimpse of the biggest container ship to ever come into Tauranga Harbour were not disappointed.
With cameras at the ready there were gasps of awe as the Aotea Maersk cruised into the harbour.
"In one word, it's massive," Mount local Barry Lydford said as he watched the huge bulk of the ship sail past.
He and his wife lived close by and had come for a stroll to see the ship come in.
Mr Lydford said he thought big ships coming into the harbour were a "brilliant thing for Tauranga".
"Look at what the port does for business in Tauranga, so many are moving here from around New Zealand because the port is nice and handy," he said.
If the harbour needed to be dredged to accommodate these big ships then so be it, he said.
Jill Stein, of Papamoa, was there gathered on Mauao with her grandchildren on school holiday break.
"We couldn't miss it - it's witnessing history," she said.
The ship was amazing in size and moved at a pretty healthy clip, she said.
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