Mystery surrounds the cause of a loud noise in central Whanganui, reported by people across the city.

Many people took to social media to say they had heard "an explosion" about 11pm on Saturday, with the majority saying they were in the central area and it sounded close to them. However, others in Gonville and Whanganui East also reported hearing the noise while Aramoho residents said there were a lot of fireworks going off in their suburb on Saturday night.

"I'm in Central and there was a big loud noise it sounded like an explosion," Jayden Duxfield messaged the Chronicle.

A number of people described the noise as sounding like a bomb.

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However, Whanganui police and Fire and Emergency New Zealand could shed no light on the cause of the noise.