Summer is serving up the best weather of the season for Waitangi weekend.

Most of the country will get hot, dry, settled weather with only patches of the South Island seeing rain.

The North Island will have blistering hot weather, Weather Watch weather analyst Philip Duncan said, while Dunedin, the West Coast and Queenstown will get hit by a cold front and showers on Monday.

"The North Island is going to be hot and dry for the most part and the South Island will be hot and dry to begin with," Duncan said.

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"It'll be one of the best weekends we've seen this summer and maybe the best we'll get."

This is a 180° turn from yesterday's dismal weather where 15km of State Highway 1 was flooded and multiple roads closed near Wellington. MetService said 88mm of rain was recorded at Kaitoke in the Akatarawa Valley on Thursday as Lower Hutt bore the brunt of the deluge.

In Auckland a warm weekend will crack 26C on Monday and temperatures in the high 20s are also expected through the long weekend for Hamilton and Tauranga.

The east coast will get some of the hottest weather, Duncan said. Gisborne is expecting to hit 34°C on Waitangi Day and Napier is having a steaming weekend with highs of 36°C yesterday, 30°C today, 28°C tomorrow and 35°C on Monday.

Waitangi itself will have good weather along with the rest of Northland.

The West Coast will have showers and rain over most of the weekend with very heavy rain expected to hit on Monday morning.

Duncan said he felt sorry for the region as it had had an awful summer.

"They've had half a year's worth of rain already this year. Some people have recorded 730mm of rain already. It's an indicator they've had a terrible summer."

Free Waitangi Day community events, many with live music, are planned around the country, including in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Tauranga, Taupo and Hastings.

Fat Freddy's Drop is playing in Queenstown on Sunday, Guns N' Roses are performing at Vector Arena tonight, the Nines are kicking off on Saturday and Sunday and the Coromandel Mussel Festival is being held on Sunday.

Main centre forecasts

Waitangi
Saturday - Morning cloud, then fine, with light winds and sea breezes, and a high of 29C
Sunday - Mainly fine, with light winds and a high of 28C.
Monday - Mainly fine, with light winds and a high of 30C.

Whangarei
Saturday - Morning cloud, then fine. Light winds, sea breezes and a high of 28C.
Sunday - Mainly fine. Light winds and a high of 27C.
Monday - Mainly fine. Light winds and a high of 29C.

Auckland
Saturday - Fine, some morning​/​evening cloud. Southwest breeze and a high of 24C.
Sunday - Mainly fine. Southwest breeze and a high of 25C.
Monday - Mainly fine. Light winds and a high of 26C.

Hamilton
Saturday - Fine, some morning and evening cloud. Southwest breezes and a high of 25C.
Sunday - Fine, some morning cloud. Light winds and a high of 28C.
Monday - Mainly fine. Late cloud. Westerly breezes and a high of 27C.

Tauranga
Saturday - A sunny day. Westerly breezes and a high of 28C.
Sunday - Fine with light winds and a high of 27C.
Monday - Mainly fine, morning and evening cloud. Northwest breezes and a high of 28C.

Wellington
Saturday - Long sunny spells. Fresh northwesterlies easing by evening and a high of 21C.
Sunday - Cloudy periods. Northerlies gradually strengthening and a high of 20C.
Monday - Mostly cloudy, drizzle developing. Strong northerly and a high of 20C.

Christchurch
Saturday - Fine, with high cloud gradually clearing. Northwesterly develops and a high of 29C.
Sunday - Fine, hot. Northerlies and a high of 30C.
Monday - Hot, high cloud. Showers later with southerly change and a high of 31C.

Dunedin
Saturday - High cloud gradually clearing, then fine. Westerly turns southeasterly and a high of 22C.
Sunday - Mainly fine, variable high cloud. Northerlies and a high of 27C.
Monday - A period of rain, then a few showers. Southwest change and a high of 24C.

Queenstown
Saturday - High cloud gradually clearing, then fine. Southwesterlies and a high of 21C.
Sunday - Mainly fine, some high cloud. Westerlies picking up and a high of 24C.
Monday - Rain for a time. Fresh gusty westerly easing and a high of 24C.