A woman living on the farm at the centre of Monday's earthquake was knocked off her feet as she went to see her children during the shaking.
The 7.8 magnitude quake was 15km deep and was centred north-east of the North Canterbury town of Culverden, with the epicentre located on Ben and Renee Dampier-Crossley's sheep and beef farm.
Mr Dampier-Crossley said the epicentre was in their back paddock.
"On the way to the kids, Renee was knocked off her feet by the force of it, and she ended up crawling down the hallway."
It was remarkable they had such little damage to their property, he said.
"Whether it's what they say about being in the eye of the storm, and we have missed it here, but everything south of us is pretty good too."
Ms Dampier-Crossley said if they hadn't been in a new house, they could be much worse off.
"House is still standing and looks like it's in one piece and we've only lost stuff in the house and stuff's not really important right now."
She said a lot of old homesteads in the area had been demolished, which was heartbreaking.