The 3.9 magnitude quake struck Sunday at 4:05 p.m. local time about 9 miles northeast of the city, according to the GeoNet agency.
Readers who emailed the New Zealand Herald described it as being like a large truck going past, a gust of wind or a truck colliding with the house.
A foreshock of magnitude 3.3 close to the same epicenter was barely felt about five minutes earlier.
GeoNet duty officer Nico Fournier said the tremor did not indicate an increase in volcanic activity beneath New Zealand’s largest city, which is riddled with ancient volcanoes.
"Because we have volcanoes in Auckland and then we had this earthquake it doesn't mean the two are related. There is no indication of that," Fournier told reporters.
Auckland’s civil defense agency said small earthquakes are not unusual for the city.
A similar swarm occurred over an evening in February 2007.