With Victoria back in lockdown, No2 seed Nadal played out a straight sets victory in front of an empty Rod Laver Arena, emerging as a 7-5 6-2 7-5 winner.
Nadal won the opening six points of the match, but Norrie was not intimidated in his first meeting with the Spaniard and claimed the first break of the match to lead 3-2.
He was immediately broken to love though and folded at 5-6 to drop serve again and hand Nadal the first set in 48 minutes.
Thereafter it was a routine day at the office for Nadal, who dominated without ever needing to find top gear, showing no sign of the lower back injury that dogged him in the warmup.
The 34-year-old Nadal, bidding to claim a record 21st Grand Slam title, will face Italian Fabio Fognini next.
Additional reporting by Reuters.