It has been a wild weekend of weather for the country with 300mm of rain falling in Fiordland, winds of 135km/h in Wellington and scorching sun in parts of the North Island.

The torrential rain brought down a slip in Deep Cove in Fiordland last night, trapping hundreds of people who had to be airlifted out.

A group of trampers who attempted to cross a swollen Makarora River near Haast Pass in Otago also had to be rescued by helicopter.

Metservice lead forecast Michael Martens said the front that drenched the West Coast of the South Island yesterday is moving to Wellington this morning.


"It is currently sitting above north Westland and north of Christchurch, bringing heavy rain around there," Martens said.

"It will move north from there to Wellington, Manawatu and the Kapiti Coast later this morning, bringing possibly heavy falls at times, but nothing like on the West Coast."

Severe weather warnings will expire for the South Island this morning, while a heavy rain warning begins in the Tararua Range from 9am to 3pm today with 50 to 70mm of rain expected.

The front will slow over the central North Island and won't reach Auckland, the Coromandel and Northland, which should all experience a relatively fine Monday.

Yesterday 300mm of rain fell in Milford Sound, with the majority of that falling over a six-hour period from late morning to early afternoon.

"Over three consecutive hours 40mm fell, which is the monthly average for Wellington," Martens said.

About 70 to 100mm fell in most places through the West Coast and Southern Alps as northwesterlies gusted over 100km/h in places.

Hastings topped the country's temperature charts yesterday reaching 32C, with Napier close behind on 31, while much of the rest of the upper North Island experienced a fine weekend too.

The strongest winds were recorded in Wellington with the Kelburn station reaching 135km/h.

A low will develop from tomorrow and Wednesday in the Tasman sea and a front will move south again, likely bringing rain again to the West Coast in the South Island.

The North Island will be relatively unscathed, with isolated showers from a northeast flow, and as rain clears from mid-week warm air will push through bringing fine weather to the lower regions.

Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-20s in most of the North Island over Thursday and Friday.

Christchurch will experience some colder weather with temperatures in the teens through to Wednesday, as a southerly change comes through today.

"But it should bounce back on Thursday as that warm air spreads over the country."

Today's weather
• Whangarei

Fine with light winds. 26C high, 16C overnight.

• Auckland

Partly cloudy, becoming overcast evening. Northwest breezes. 24C high, 18C overnight.

• Hamilton

Cloud increasing, evening rain. Northwest breezes. 23C high, 16C overnight.

• Tauranga

Mainly fine, but cloud and light rain at night. Light winds. 26C high, 17C overnight.

• New Plymouth

Becoming overcast with showers morning, turning to rain for a time afternoon. Northwesterlies changing fresh southeast. 22C high, 15C overnight.

• Napier

Fine with gusty northwesterlies, then rain from mid afternoon with a southerly. 27C high, 15C overnight.

• Wellington

Rain, heavy for a time as gale northwest changes strong southerly in the morning, then easing to showers afternoon, clearing evening. 20C high, 13C overnight.

• Nelson

Period of morning rain, then showers, clearing in the afternoon. Southwesterlies dying out in the afternoon. 21C high, 11C overnight.

• Christchurch

Rain, easing to a few showers morning, then clearing afternoon. Strong southwesterlies, easing from afternoon. 19C high, 10C overnight.

• Dunedin

Showers easing morning, clearing afternoon. Fresh southwesterlies dying out evening. 15C high, 10C overnight.