There was more traffic on the streets than over that past month, but as level 3 restrictions unfolded this morning, there was no mad rush in Whangārei to experience the new level of (slightly) more freedom.
Surfers were among the first to take advantage with surf beaches across Northland sparking interest for board riders.
At Sandy Bay Tutukaka surfer Simon Egginton and his dog Mukie were amongst the first to catch a wave this morning at level 3 of lockdown.
About 50 surfers were in small conditions at the beach, with everyone coming out of the water having a smile on their face after a month of no surfing.
At 7am Bank St was still empty, but within an hour there were a few cars on the streets.
At 8am there were only a handful of cars queuing up at the McDonalds drive through on Bank St, Whangārei, and many cafes were open to serve coffee and snacks - via contactless payment.
The Baker's Crust in Whangārei is open with owner Davis Hall who designed a "Pie Hole" - a hole in the Port Rd store so customers can be served while maintaining social distancing.
Meanwhile, in Kerikeri, there was a steady hum of traffic through the town centre as building sites and some businesses re-opened.
The busiest places this morning were the McDonald's drive-through — where customers were already waiting when it opened at 5.15am — and car parts store Repco, where home mechanics were lined up for parts they needed to finish automotive repair jobs.
Kerikeri Lunchbox was open though customers weren't allowed inside the cafe while Warehouse Stationery, like Repco, had set up a stand outside for collecting online orders.
Churchills butchery also re-opened with a strict one-in, one-out policy and queue markers 2m apart on the pavement.
Caffeine addicts looking for a coffee hit in the town centre were disappointed though staff at Barrow Boys Coffee Company were getting their new systems ready for a re-opening on Wednesday with phone app orders and contactless payment.
Under level 3 people can now go for a swim, surf or go hunting, they can go for takeaways - providing it can be done contactless - and businesses can start to reopen with safe practice measures.
Schools are open, though people are urged to keep their kids home to learn if possible.
People can also make their bubbles larger to include more people, as long as those people stay in that bubble for the remainder of level 3.
Up to 10 people can attend funerals or weddings, in contactless a way and workers who cannot work from home can now go into the workplace, but again, social distancing remains.