They said a damaging tsunami was possible.
The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center is reviewing data to determine the threat of a tsunami in California and the rest of the West Coast after a magnitude 8.1 quake struck northeast of New Zealand.
Shortly after Auckland Transport's announcement, Civil Defence downgraded the tsunami warnings for all areas affected nationwide.
Fiona Rudsdale, who runs the Whangarei Central Holiday Park on New Zealand's North Island, slept though the initial quake but was woken by tsunami warning sirens.
The U.S. Geological Survey has just reported a third strong natural disaster in New Zealand, in less than 8 hours.
But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand was among those given an early morning wake-up.
Emergency Management Minister Kiri Allan told reporters that people had followed the advisory.
Multiple Twitter user said they felt the tremors in Auckland, to the north-west of the quake, while archaeologist Brigid Gallagher said she didn't feel anything on her "sand dune" at Waihi Beach, closer to the epicentre.
People who felt a long or strong quake were advised to move to the nearest high ground or as far inland as possible.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said Vanuatu and New Caledonia were likely to experience the largest waves, measuring up to three metres.
Chilean authorities ordered people off beaches due to the potential for a tsunami along the nation's long coastline. An EMA will be issued to areas under land and marine tsunami threat.
Six hours drive up the coast, Keith Wooderson said he sought refuge in the hills outside town. "Geometric spreading means you need to move a lot of water to still see a measurable tsunami on the other side of the ocean". Smaller waves were measured elsewhere in the South Pacific. There were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties, and the warning was lifted just before the largest quake hit.
Jennifer Eccles, an natural disaster expert at the University of Auckland, said the quake was at the top end of the scale for those involving only the Earth's ocean crust.
The first struck off the northern tip of New Zealand and measured as a magnitude 7.3 according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at a depth of roughly 90 kilometers (58 mi).