Coronavirus: New Zealand's most populated city a ghost town on day one of lockdown

The hustle and bustle of New Zealand's most populated city has been replaced with deserted streets, free-flowing traffic and relative silence - a far cry from the usual gridlock of cars and coffee-carrying commuters.

Thursday marks the country's first full day in lockdown, with level four of the four-stage COVID-19 alert system setting in at 11:59pm on Wednesday. 

For four weeks, New Zealanders will have to adapt to a new normal - a normal where the home is the workplace, the bar, the cafe, the gym. The home is where New Zealanders must stay.

Auckland was deserted at dawn.
Auckland was deserted at dawn. Photo credit: Newshub
On Thursday morning, the usually bumper-to-bumper Ponsonby Road was deserted.
On Thursday morning, the usually bumper-to-bumper Ponsonby Road was deserted. Photo credit: Newshub
Traffic cameras show deserted roads in Auckland.
Traffic cameras show deserted roads in Auckland. Photo credit: NZTA

"This is already the weirdest feeling I have ever had. Hearing absolutely nothing in Auckland City, just off K‘Road, no drunks, no music from nightclubs, no traffic...and this is the first half hour of lockdown," one Aucklander tweeted.

"It’s Day 1 of lockdown and Auckland is eerily quiet... I’ll be able to hear a dry cough a [kilometre] away," another joked.

Aucklanders have taken to social media to share their new reality, many in awe at the city's dramatic transformation.

Auckland's Nelson St Cycleway was deserted at dawn.
Auckland's Nelson St Cycleway was deserted at dawn. Photo credit: Newshub
Auckland's motorways were free-flowing after lockdown.
Auckland's motorways were free-flowing after lockdown. Photo credit: Newshub
Dominion Rd was empty at 9am.
Dominion Rd was empty at 9am. Photo credit: Newshub
After 11:59pm, Ponsonby Road was empty.
After 11:59pm, Ponsonby Road was empty. Photo credit: Newshub

Christchurch

Photos taken at roughly 2pm in Christchurch on Thursday show a deserted Morehouse Avenue, almost completely devoid of vehicles. The gates to Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens are closed.

Coronavirus: New Zealand's most populated city a ghost town on day one of lockdown
Photo credit: Newshub
Coronavirus: New Zealand's most populated city a ghost town on day one of lockdown
Photo credit: Newshub

Queenstown

Queenstown's typically thriving centre is virtually empty as of Thursday morning.

Coronavirus: New Zealand's most populated city a ghost town on day one of lockdown
Photo credit: Newshub

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