A 5.2-magnitude earthquake has shaken parts of the North Island this afternoon, GeoNet reports.
The quake was recorded as moderate at 4.47pm.
It was recorded at a depth of 23km - about 45km southwest of Taumarunui.
The magnitude 5.2 quake was felt by more than 10,000 people.
A person at Whakapapa skifield said an alarm was activated and people were "rushing down from the mountain".
New Plymouth couple Steph Burgess and Marty Foard were having a drink at Tussock Cafe and Restaurant, across the road from The Chateau, where they're staying, when they felt "a short ,sharp jolt".
"The sirens went off saying 'this is an emergency evacuation, get to higher ground'."
Locals told them the last time it happened was about four years ago.
Sensors on the mountain had since recorded mud and debris that was ready to come down, sending skiers fleeing back down the hill.
"Apparently on the mountain they've detected sensors and there's mud and debris ready to come down. People are getting off that mountain more than 50km/h, they are firing down."
She'd been told debris and mud on the mountain had been vulnerable due to all the rain in the area recently.
All evacuees were currently standing around in an area near The Chateau.
Local residents had been helpful explaining the situation to tourists, and also helping keep them calm.
By about 5.10pm, Burgess said they had been given the all clear and were allowed back inside.
Penny Peart, who is in Tamahere Hamilton, said she was rocked "left to right" three times as she leaned against the kitchen bench.
In central Wellington lights flickered in the NZME office and the quake felt "long and rolling".
Christine Charteris said she felt a "very sharp and significant jolt". It was loud and there was a small amount of swaying in rural Oakura, Taranaki.
Ian Ashmore said he was waiting at Picton for the Interislander when the car started to wobble. It went for "a good 20 seconds with a gentle swaying".
Some Aucklanders also reported feeling the quake. One was in Coatesville.
Cathryn Tiley felt it in Karaka Lakes, which is just off the Southern Motorway near Papakura. "It was very quick, my book shelf rattled, and it felt like someone had slammed a door really hard".
She said she hasn't had a lot of experience with earthquakes but knew straight away what it was.