Despite the grey clouds and breezy weather, plenty of locals were enjoying the big waves at Mount Maunganui Main Beach today .
Surfer Katrina Hall said she had been out on the water "pretty much all morning".
"It was pretty good," she said.
"The swell was really nice out there."
She had planned on going out for a little bit in the afternoon but was wary of being out at high tide.
"It gets kind of bad at high tide, the surf."
Kneeboarder Craig Hooper said the water was "nice and warm".
"It's lovely ... but the waves weren't quite as big as I'd hoped," he said.
Raymond Perez, who is visiting from Chile, said he was impressed with the way everyone looked out for each other in the water.
It was "a bit" dangerous, he said.
He wasn't concerned, however, having experience in the water.
"The lifeguards take care of you ... the people who are surfing, they take care of you as well," he said.
The problem with swimming in the water with such big waves was that the waves didn't bring people straight back to shore, Perez said.
Rather, they swept them in a circular motion and along parallel to the beach, so swimmers became disoriented.
"It moves you side-to-side," he said.
Surf Life Saving patrol captain at Mount Maunganui Main Beach Jo Parry said they had "remained vigilant" throughout the day. They had patrolled the beach, talking to people who were in the water and warning them about the dangers, she said.
"We've been doing our best to keep swimmers out of the Main Beach," Parry said.
Their flags were in Shark Alley, on the other side of Leisure Island from where they normally were, she said.
"The swells have just been too strong ... there's too much water moving around," she said.
"The safest place has been on the other side of Leisure Island, in Shark Alley."
The swells would be a similar size today , she said, but they were anticipated to "settle down" throughout the week.
The Surf Life Saving team will remain on the lookout, though.
"We're being very vigilant," said Parry.
Meanwhile, MetService meteorologist Angus Hines said the average wave height was around 1.5m, with the largest wave being 2.4m high.
This is expected to continue overnight and into today, he said.