Former Tauranga College student Chennoah Walford was working from her 13th floor apartment in the Melbourne CBD when the earthquake hit.
"It was a long rolling kind of experience, a smooth movement," she told the Bay of Plenty Times.
A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck 10km deep near Mansfield, Victoria - about 180km northeast of Melbourne at 9.15am today, Geoscience Australia reported.
The shaking lasted about 20 seconds and was felt as far away as Sydney, Canberra and Tasmania, with reports of property damage in Victoria.
Walford said her apartment "seemed to take it well".
She told the Bay of Plenty Times she had not yet gone outside, deciding it was best not to be out on the street.
"The only damage I've seen has been mainly to brick buildings."
Walford has previously lived in Wellington and said she was not upset by the quake but others in Melbourne did not have the same experience.
"We'll fill up some water bottles and keep going."
Did you feel the 5.8 (downgraded from 6.0) magnitude #earthquake? Video taken in Green St, Windsor shows some significant damage caused.— VICSES News (@vicsesnews) September 22, 2021
Call 132500 if you need help from the SES or 000 if life-threatening.
Know what to do if aftershocks occur. https://t.co/jI6V1pqdhd pic.twitter.com/2vitOZbBVs
Melbourne retiree Rita Crispin was sitting at the table eating breakfast with her husband Alan when the quake started.
The former Bay of Plenty resident, who was listening to the radio at the time, found reassurance from the talk show host discussing the tremors as they happened.
"We are retired so we have breakfast quite late I suppose - at about quarter past nine - and the table started to shake, we could feel the tremors," she said.
"My husband said 'what's that?' and then of course it got worse. It was really shaking.
"Both my husband and I grabbed the edge of the table together.
"It suddenly went bang, it was going hard."
Crispin, who left Rotorua in 1972 after several years working as a nurse receptionist, said she started to feel "dizzy and a bit sick" as the shaking continued.
"The house was swaying, and it went on for quite a while and gradually got less and less," she said.
"You didn't want to move, because you didn't know if it was going to go again."
She didn't find it "frightening" having experienced earthquakes in Rotorua, but Crispin said it was "quite a shock" for many in Melbourne.
"It was quite a big one for Australia."
"The first thing I did after was I went and got dressed. I thought, if that happens again, I am not being caught out in my pyjamas. I'm not running out onto the street like that."
She hadn't seen any damage in her home suburb Brighton, which was about 15km out of the city.