A Wairarapa highway to a long weekend tourist hotspot is closed and motorists are being warned to watch for flooding on stretches of highway north of Wellington this morning.

The New Zealand Transport Agency says there is flooding over a 15km stretch of State Highway 1 between Waikanae and Otaki. At least one road in Lower Hutt was left impassable by deep floodwater overnight but with the water receding it has since reopened.

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A bridge on SH53 linking Martinborough to Featherston has also been flooded and is impassable after heavy rain lashed the lower North Island yesterday.

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Last night councils across the Wellington region closed a number of streets because of rising floodwaters.

The Hutt City Council closed Harcourt Werry Drive from Kennedy Good Bridge to Conolly St and asked people to stay off roads and avoid the rising Hutt River.

Block Rd in Lower Hutt was closed because of flooding but reopened just before 9am.

The NZTA said the Waihenga Bridge on SH53 was now under water, closing the road between Martinborough and Featherston. Detours were in place.

The unexpected road closure comes on the eve of the Martinborough Fair and long weekend holiday traffic.

The MetService said 88mm of rain was recorded at Kaitoke in the Akatarawa Valley yesterday as Lower Hutt bore the brunt of yesterday's deluge.