Last night's full moon caught out one stargazer, who called the fire service to report a fire only to realise it was the orb of night.
Fire and Emergency NZ confirmed they received a call regarding a possible fire in West Auckland, but were stood down once the person called back and advised it was the moon rising - not a fire.
A spokesperson said it was not something they had ever heard of before.
Other Aucklanders posted spectacular pictures of a bright full moon on social media.
Eden Terrace resident Steve Stone snapped a photo of the burning red moon as it made a brief appearance between the clouds while rising early last night.
"It was only out for about a minute. I'd never seen it like that before," he said.
Auckland astronomer Grant Christie said the moon often appears more red as it rises because you're looking through four to five times more atmosphere than when it is high in the sky.
"The blue light gets scattered by the Earth's atmosphere. When the blue light's not around you get that nice red tinge," he said.
Christie said there was a glow around the moon just before it started to peak above the horizon, which could explain how it could be mistaken for a fire.
In the 1930s, the fire service received multiple calls from people saying there was a fire in the Hunua Ranges and firefighters searched the area only to discover it was an aurora, a rare sight in New Zealand, he said.
Christie said the moon also appeared brighter when its oval-shaped orbit brought it closer to the Earth.
He said the full moon appeared 10 per cent bigger at its closest point, which caused it to be about 30 per cent brighter.
Andrew Buckingham of Astronz agreed last night's moon was bright but said it was nothing out of the ordinary for a full moon.
"There was a lot of cloud so there was a lot of reflection. It looked quite eerie."
Buckingham said with people on holiday they were probably out later and taking more notice of the night sky, which could be why many people noted how bright it appeared last night.
He said the pollution and dust particles in the air were also behind the bright red sunsets during the past week.
News of the Ahipara fire could also have contributed to the fire service call out, with people more aware of the possibility of wild fires during summer, he said.