Kiwis have lapped up their first Saturday of freedom after nearly two months of being confined to their own neighbourhoods.
Scores of people hit the streets, beaches, visited local malls, cafes, playgrounds, boaties got back on the water and many even spent their Saturday getting a haircut.
The carpark of Westfield Albany, run by Scentre Group, was teeming with vehicles this afternoon as shoppers returned.
The mall was pleased to have customers back in stores as they reopened during level 2, a spokesperson for Scentre Group said.
"The economy is still charting the road back and our business and retail has a key role to play in this but it will take time," they said.
"In the meantime, we will continue to follow government health advice and measures in our centres as we have done right through the pandemic."
Elsewhere, Sylvia Park, another hugely popular Auckland mall, had been encouraged by the number of shoppers who had returned when it reopened its doors on Thursday morning, hours after the introduction of alert level 2.
Plenty of those shopping were families who had headed out and about, Kiwi Property general manager of asset management Linda Trainer said.
"People have been doing a good job social distancing and are responding positively to the new safety measures we've put in place," Trainer said.
"It's been a tough period for many of our retailers during the lockdowns at alert levels 3 and 4, so it's fantastic to see them open and trading again."
There were no new cases of Covid-19 today, the Ministry of Health reported. The total number of confirmed and probable cases remained at 1498.
A total of 1428 had recovered, a whopping 95 per cent overall, and there had been an increase of seven recovered cases since yesterday.
Police were pleased with the initial move to level 2, reporting a quiet first day of Covid-19 related breaches of only three which all resulted in warnings.
Only a handful of visits were required to remind people and businesses of the requirements under the new alert level.
Officers would continue to apply an educational-led approach to enforcement of level 2 restrictions, police said in a statement last night.
Elsewhere, plenty of Kiwis were taking advantage the opportunity to head out on the water, Coastguard spokeswoman Julia James said.
"As of midday today there have been nearly 500 trip reports logged with Coastguard radio," she said.
"Coastguard volunteers are sharing the excitement of all boaties this week with the return to level 2 and all restrictions on water-based activity lifted.
"We saw a large reduction in the number of boats out on the water at level 4 and level 3. Most people - despite the fantastic weather - stayed home, which our volunteers were extremely grateful for."
A strong high-pressure system would dominate the weather over New Zealand for the next seven to 10 days, Niwa reported.
While occasional showers could occur in the far north and south of the country, many areas would be mostly if not completely dry.
Temperatures overnight on Tuesday were expected to drop, inviting the first decent frost of the season to set over the North Island.
However, for the most part, temperatures were looking pretty normal for this time of year, MetService meteorologist Andrew James said.
Working in downtown Auckland, Maloney's Cut and Shave barber Sue Phelan said she was booked out until next Sunday.
After 15 years with the company, the lockdown period was her longest break away from work and she was keen to get stuck in.
"We've seen some interesting looks coming in, some home jobs, some little touch-ups, all kinds of things. It's been an interesting time," she said.
"We've got loads of regular customers and you have a bit of a relationship with them and you do miss them. It's great to catch up and see what they've been doing."
Last night, around 80 punters enjoyed a quiet evening at HeadQuarters after owner Leo Molloy pushed ahead with his controversial plans for a level 2 dinner party.
Invited guests were seated in bubbles of between two and nine people.
Guests arriving at the Auckland waterfront bar were checked off the guest list before they were temperature tested by staff and allowed inside.
Brian Tamaki and wife Hanna were among those at the event after 100 of Molloy's friends were invited - the event was well run, Tamaki told the Herald.
"It's all done orderly and well," Tamaki said when leaving the dinner party. "They're keeping to the protocol so it's fantastic."
Elsewhere, before boaties headed out on the water they were encouraged to check their equipment thoroughly.
After seven weeks of sitting in driveways or in marinas, engines should be checked, old fuel replaced and batteries checked to make sure they were charged.
Safety was still top of mind for Coastguard and it should be the same for all boaties out on the water, James said.
"A lifejacket never ruined a day on the water so please take them and wear them," James said.
"Please also take two forms of communication so Coastguard can have your back if you get into trouble out there.
"If things go wrong out there, whether it be a flat battery or something more serious, please call Coastguard on your VHF or by calling *500 on your mobile and we'll make sure you get home safely."
Most Kiwis could expect conditions tomorrow to be similar to today due to "ridgey conditions" over the country, James said.
"Most will be having a pretty generally fine day. There was quite a lot of areas of morning cloud but that has all burned off by now for most."
Those in eastern areas of northern Canterbury, the Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay and Gisborne could expect cloudy conditions with a shower or two to remain.
Monday's conditions would again be similar to today and tomorrow's weather.