Alert level 2 freedoms were delayed for some Northlanders as winds up to 90km/h tore trees down and blocked roads.
A large fallen wattle tree cut off access to Russell for an hour when it fell across Russell Whakapara Rd in the Bay of Islands on Wednesday afternoon.
Members of the community took to the carcass with chainsaws, while others guided traffic and helped clear debris off the road.
Around the same time, Waimate North residents were removing a large tree brought down by strong wind gusts across Te Ahu Ahu Rd that completely cut off the road to traffic.
Further south in Kaipara, police and fire crews were called to State Highway 14 in Tangowahine, around 13km north-east of Dargaville, to clear a tree obstructing the main road shortly before 8pm.
Whangārei Heads resident Shane Peebles captured a video of strong westerly winds hammering trees on the usually idyllic coastline.
MetService meteorologist Ashlee Parkes said a front moving across the region was responsible for the strong westerly winds in exposed places – which peaked in Cape Reinga at 3pm with a 122km/h wind gust.
The maximum wind gust in Kaitaia was 70km/h at 8am; Kaikohe was 90km/h at 8pm; and Whangārei around 80km/h at 10pm.
"It was quite gusty throughout the day for most regions but it sort of died out overnight," Parkes said.
Despite bursts of heavy showers, Parkes said there hadn't been a significant amount of rainfall in the region.
Waimamaku recorded the most rainfall with 16.5mm in the 24-hours up to 9.15am on Thursday. Maungatūroto followed close behind with 15.6mm of rain; ahead of the 15mm received in Opouteke, near Mangakahia.
Oakura and the Hokianga Harbour proved the driest areas in Northland with 1mm of rain in 24-hours up to 10am on Thursday.
"The rainfall wasn't heavy throughout the region. There was a good band that moved through but we didn't see any consistent rain," Parkes said. "The wind was the most significant weather."
Kaikohe residents needed to rug up as the area hit the lowest recorded temperature of 6.8C on Wednesday at 8pm.
"However, the coolest temperatures were later in the morning and in the afternoon when the front brought slightly cooler air with it," Parkes said.
Whangārei airport recorded a chilly 9.3C at 7am; Dargaville was 9.4C at 11am; and Kaitaia was slightly warmer with 10.4C at 10am.
While Thursday provided a reprieve with calmer weather moving across the region, strong south easterly winds were expected to buffet the region overnight on Friday.
"An active front is moving over the lower south island later [on Thursday]. It will have moved north by Friday so we can expect isolated heavy falls and strong south-easterlies overnight," Parkes said.