Rotorua residents emerged from their homes and workplaces yesterday morning to look up, hoping for a sight of an eclipse of the sun.
The eclipse, caused by the moon passing directly between the earth and the sun, reached its maximum point about 10.21am at North Cape, with about 91 per cent of the sun obscured.
Further south, 87 per cent of the sun was obscured about 10.27am in Auckland, while 76 per cent was obscured about 10.34am for sky-gazers in Wellington.
Rotorua residents left their workplaces in the central business district to take a look at the eclipse, while others stayed indoors watching from doors and windows.
Rotorua's Jemma Pirrie checked out the solar eclipse using the pin hole method.
Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand spokesperson Haritina Mogosanu said New Zealanders would not have experienced the pitch blackness that those in Australia did but said it did get "darker and colder" during the few minutes the moon covered the sun.
The Solar Saros 133, a series of eclipses which occur about every 18 years, was scheduled to begin in New Zealand at the North Cape at 9.12am with the moon first creeping over the sun's disc before being viewed from around the country. It ended just before lunchtime.
Ms Mogosanu said it was a rare opportunity.
"It's not something we should take for granted. It's something fantastic that we can see a total solar eclipse."
Shortly after the eclipse could be seen in Rotorua a question on The Daily Post Facebook page asked readers their views on the event. Comments included: "Yup I just saw it before. It was amazing :)", "it was scary, was watching it with my neighbour", "errie feeling. amazing tho", "It was amazing!" and "Yeup .... Some kind of wonderful".