It could be the last weekend of summer sunshine for the lower South Island -- with an early autumn fast approaching -- but it's looking mostly clear for the test cricket in Christchurch, as well as the rest of the country, over the next few days.

WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan said Auckland will be 95 per cent dry on Saturday and Sunday, with only a low risk of an isolated shower tomorrow.

And those in the Super City should sleep a little easier too, with humidity levels forecast to drop -- if not tonight, then tomorrow.

He said the same applies for Northland, Bay of Plenty and Waikato -- a mostly dry weekend and not as humid and hot as it has been over the past week.

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Wellington will be dry and mostly settled and Christchurch may get some drizzle on Saturday morning, otherwise the second test between New Zealand and Australia at Hagley Oval starting tomorrow will be unaffected.

Queenstown and Dunedin will see a couple of isolated regional showers this weekend, but will mostly have settled and summer-like weather, Duncan said.

The showers wouldn't necessarily hit the towns or cities, but rather the hills in the area.

He said it would be possibly the last weekend of summer-like weather for the likes of Queenstown and Otago.

"Those southern areas should be making the most of it because, whether they like it or not, they're the first ones in the country to get autumn and autumn usually kicks off quite early for the South Island in March."

Meanwhile, he said anywhere inland will benefit from a big high in the Tasman and a south-westerly wind flow over the entire country.

"The showers this weekend are what I call gutless little coastal showers, they're the small ones that don't get over the hills. So they just come in and they bring a little light shower to you, the sort of shower that you can hang your washing out in and it still dries."

Marlborough, Nelson, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne will see dry, sunny and warm weather these next few days.

This comes as parts of the Bay of Plenty are recovering from severe flooding this morning, with water up to the windows and cars dragged away.

Ange Page from Galatea near Whakatane looked out of her window in the early hours to see her house surrounded by water, with "lots of water rushing towards the house".

"It pretty much came quite rapidly. Lots of logs."

A teacher at Galatea School, Miss Page said water started to come into the house and was quickly up to the windowsills.

She said the water was rushing past and vehicles were being pushed around the property, along with shipping containers.

"It was pretty scary, just the volume and how fast it was moving. We were surrounded by water and logs."

Residents of the town compared the flooding to the infamous Boxing Day tsunami, and described the area as looking like a disaster zone.

Two people had to be rescued from a house on Troutbeck Rd in the township early this morning after flood waters trapped the pair with water sitting halfway up the windows.

In 24 hours, the Western Bay of Plenty received 70-100mm of rain, Rotorua lakes received 90-100mm, Whakatane River 50mm, upper Rangitaiki/Galatea 100-130mm, Opotiki rivers 70-100mm and East Cape 260mm.


State Highway 2 at the Waimana Gorge - Taneatua to Opotiki - was closed this afternoon after the Waimana River flooded.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said the road is expected to remain closed overnight.There is a alternative route available via Wainui Rd to Ohope and Whakatane.

NZTA said local roads may also be affected by flooding and is urging drivers to use caution and avoid non-essential travel.

Nelson and Taupo also saw rough weather this week, Duncan said, but were actually the two places to be this weekend, with "beautiful" weather ahead.

And while Fiji and Tonga are on Cyclone Winston watch, it looks like New Zealand will not be affected until at least late next week.

Duncan said the tropical cyclone -- which has been swinging from left and right and keeping weather forecasters guessing -- will at this stage affect Suva and south eastern Fiji and to some degree Tonga.

It would not be a direct hit for the Pacific nations, but a much closer one than at the start of the week.

Duncan said New Zealand could see the affects of Cyclone Winston on Wednesday or Thursday next week, but that this would not be confirmed until Sunday.

Air New Zealand has said flights to and from Nadi, Fiji, this weekend may be affected by Cyclone Winston, which has increased in strength to a Category 4 cyclone.

The airline is recommending customers booked on flights to Fiji this weekend to reconsider their plans.

It said it is offering flexibility for customers that bought their tickets yesterday or anytime before that for travel to and from Fiji until February 23.

A spokeswoman for the airline said Air New Zealand will be continuing to monitor the situation and a further update would be available after 8pm tonight.