The last weekend of holidays for most is shaping up as a mixed bag of fine spells and patchy showers as a front moves across the country.

Mainly sunny conditions are forecast for the top half of the country over the next few days, with some cloudy periods and rain.

However those in the South Island should pack gummies and a raincoat as possible thunderstorms, showers and colder temperatures are expected over the weekend.

"The South Island is not looking great and the North is pretty changeable," said MetService meteorologist Kyle Lee.

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Auckland had a scorcher of a day today with a high of 21C, not far behind the Bay of Islands where people enjoyed the country's hottest recorded temperature of 24C.

Warm temperatures will continue in Tauranga and Napier tomorrow, with a high of 26C expected in the latter.

Fine weather will continue in the North Island tomorrow morning before cloudy periods and evening drizzle set in on the west coast and high-lying areas of the Manawatu-Whanganui region.

Beachgoers beware as there is also a possibility of evening showers in the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel.

Conditions in the South Island will change for the worse tomorrow as a cold front, bringing a southwesterly flow and rain, moves northeast over the island.

The front brings with it a risk of thunderstorms for Canterbury right down to Oamaru tomorrow afternoon and evening, especially near the coast.

Storms could be accompanied by heavy rain, hail and strong gusts of about 100km/h.

The quick-moving and weakening front will sweep the North Island on Saturday, bringing showers for some.

"Wellington will wake to showers on Saturday morning but the North Island should escape with not too bad weather for the second half of Sunday," said Lee.

Weekend forecast:

Whangarei

Friday:

High 23C, low 12C

Saturday:

High 24C, low 13C

Sunday:

High 23C, low 14C

Auckland
Friday: High 20C, low 14C
Saturday: High 21C, low 15C
Sunday: High 21C, low 15C

Tauranga
Friday: High 22C, low 12C
Saturday: High 24C, low 13C
Sunday: High 23C, low 13C

Taupo
Friday: High 18C, low 10C
Saturday: High 20C, low 10C
Sunday: High 19C, low 11C

Palmerston North
Friday: High 17C, low 12C
Saturday: High 19C, low 12C
Sunday: High 19C, low 12C

Wellington
Friday: High 18C, low 11C
Saturday: High 18C, low 11C
Sunday: High 19C, low 12C

Christchurch
Friday: High 24C, low 9C
Saturday: High 17C, low 10C
Sunday: High 19C, low 10C

Dunedin
Friday: High 17C, low 10C
Saturday: High 14C, low 10C
Sunday: High 18C, low 11C