An Australian family in New Zealand for a holiday are astounded at the "generosity" of Wellingtonians following the earthquake.

Sandra Wardrop and her family from New South Wales were in Wellington celebrating her son William's 12th birthday.

The Wardrop family were evacuated from the Park Hotel on The Terrace and were waiting to be able to go back and get their luggage and car before continuing on their trip to Taranaki.

They were still in the Beehive foyer at 11.30am, part of the dwindling crowd of displaced people.


Sandra said a woman had come to the foyer to offer her house for people to stay in, and they were considering taking her up on the offer.

She called the offer "exceptionally generous".

The woman and her daughter had been thinking about how frightened they were by the earthquake, then began considering others who were stuck in evacuation centres with nowhere else to go.

"That's why they jumped in their car and came down here."

It was "an amazing act of kindness and generosity".

"It's just extraordinary," Sandra said.

The Wardrop family also met Prime Minister John Key when he came in to speak to people in the foyer.

"Meeting the prime minister was unexpected, like the earthquake."

William Wardrop was a little disappointed the earthquake had gotten in the way of his birthday breakfast at McDonald's , Sandra said.

"He's sort of excited that he's got a story to tell about his birthday. It's not every day you get to experience an earthquake."