A 4.8 magnitude quake has jolted people awake in the middle of the country tonight.

The quake hit at 11.28pm in the Cook Strait, 30km west of Wellington, at a depth of 36km, according to GeoNet.

While GeoNet initially reported the quake had caused "light shaking" that was upgraded to moderate after thousands of people on both sides of the Cook Strait reported having felt the quake.

Many reported it as much stronger.

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One Twitter user said they had been thrown out of bed by the quake, while others said it got their hearts racing.