Residents of Lake Ōhau village have been briefly let back through fire cordons to see what remains of their homes, much of which now consists of destroyed houses, burnt-out cars, and charred land.
The blaze broke out early Sunday morning following high winds the previous evening. Residents were woken by loud sirens to see the village already ablaze.
They grabbed what they could and fled - some tooting their car horns as they drove to make sure everyone was awake.
The fire was contained by midday today, and residents, many visibly tired and sleep-deprived, were allowed to board three busses and were escorted on a tour of what remains of Lake Ōhau village.
Media were taken on a tour later that afternoon.
Inside the village, 46 homes had been destroyed – what remained of many properties was just a concrete foundation covered in a tangled mess of corrugated iron. Some still had charred chimneys standing.
Burnt out cars sat in some driveways – one resident said they looked like a "molotov cocktail had been thrown" at them.
Several homes under construction were also badly damaged.
However, despite the widespread destruction, some homes were spared.
Fire and Emergency Incident Controller, Graeme Still, said that was due to many different factors, including how embers flew through the air, the construction of the homes, and the fuel around them.
Embers could fly "hundreds of meters", he said.
Outside the town, thousands of hectares of farmland and conservation had been scorched, with fire crews still attacking hotspots. Smoke could still be seen rising from the hills behind the village.
Lake Ōhau village homeowner, Janet Brown, said her house was flattened by the blaze.
"It looks like a nuclear bomb gone off, it just flattened everything," she said.
"Apparently the chimney is still standing. We will rebuild one day, we just don't know when."
Dwayne Rennie owned a bed and breakfast in the village and fled with guests after the alarms sounded. The second story of his house had collapsed onto the first.
After touring the village, he said the area was "completely unrecognisable."
Civil Defence minister, Peeni Henare, and Conservation minister, Eugenie Sage, also visited the area today.
Henare announced the government was putting $100,000 into the mayoral relief fund as an "initial contribution."
"It's clear to me there is no rhyme or reason when it comes to fire, one house is affected while the neighbour isn't," he said.
"As you drive through you can feel a sense of loss."