Defence Force explosive training was behind a series of booms
that echoed around Auckland, the Defence Force says.
About 4pm yesterday, residents from Piha in the west to
Whangaparaoa in the north-east reported being mystified
hearing and feeling large thumps, bangs or shocks.
Today a Defence Force spokeswoman said its Kaipara Bomb Range
was likely to be the source of explosions that were heard.
The range was a gazetted high explosive range, where
supervised explosive training was carried out regularly, she
"Number 5 Squadron was on the range yesterday afternoon
conducting trials for the P3K Orion.
"Normally the sound is confined to a 10-15km radius. However,
it appears a prevailing westerly wind coupled with low cloud
cover have amplified the sound from the explosions," the
The trials would be completed by next Wednesday, with four
further test days programmed for today, Monday, Tuesday and
Wednesday next week.
Several residents sent emails to APNZ today saying four or
five bangs, sounding like thunder or an earthquake, started
about 4pm and continued every quarter of an hour until after
A Fire Service spokesman yesterday said there had been no
reports of damage anywhere.
"There's just been mass confusion as to what it was."
GeoNet had also confirmed to the fire service there was no
earthquake, he said.
A spokeswoman for the northern communications centre said it
had received a handful of calls, "but nobody knows what it
is", she said.
WeatherWatch analyst Philip Duncan was supporting the theory
of a meteor strike, saying on Twitter the bang came from the
"I felt/heard 2 of the explosions over Auckland earlier --
I'm also going with a poss meteor coming in," he said.
Emails from readers
* "Heard and felt these in Torbay. Felt the vibration go
through my body not just rattling through the house (I'm in
an old timber villa nestled into a hill). To me they seemed
almost like sonic booms. Something to do with air pressure,
rather than something ground-based. Gave me a hell of a
fright!" -- Marie Knowles.
* "I live ... on the ridgeline between Albany and
Coatesville. I heard four or five bangs/thumps around 4pm
yesterday. It felt like something had fallen against the
house. As we have scaffolding up at the moment I had to check
around the house each time. It sounded like a scaffold board
had fallen over or a door had shut (but I was the only one
home). The noises were about 15 minutes apart and curious
enough to get me up from my computer to tour the property
each time. It was very difficult to pinpoint if the noise was
coming from inside the house or outside the house. I started
to think I had a poltergeist!" -- Heather Carlson.
* "We live in Arkles Bay my House is on Poles, it felt like a
Earth Quake as it was Thumping sound like a Sonic Boom it
rattled my whole Home. I kept going outside as I thought
someone had hit one of those Green Electrical Boxes.
Fascinating that no one knows what it was and yet it was felt
so widely around Auckland??? Mother Nature?"
* "My neighbour and I at Greenhithe presumed it was from
Whenuapai. One of them was big enough to rattle the joinery
in my house." -- Lou.
* "It's thunder. Caused by lightning above the clouds. Don't
be afraid chicken littles. The sky is not going to fall on
your heads ... Well not yesterday any way." -- Peter Griffin
* "I live in Ardmore and about 10 days ago I, my wife and
neighbours heard an extremely large bang which set off our
three dogs. The power didnt go out, I drove around the rural
roads looking for an accident, but nothing. I like the meteor
theory as the noise was quite obviously in the sky and echoed
like thunder would. We are still mystified." -- Jeremy.
- Rebecca Quilliam of APNZ