More variable spring weather is due throughout the first week of the school holidays, with a strong wind watch in place for the Hawkes Bay and coastal Clutha-Southland areas.

In the wake of a wild night, a settled southwest flow lying over the country is being welcomed by many after wind gusts reached speeds of up to 135km/h in the upper North Island.

The flow will ease winds and showers, with eastern parts of the country experiencing up to 20C weather, but more unsettled weather is expected to hit the country later this week.

"Looking ahead, the first half of this week remains drier and warmer than of late, giving many sodden areas across the country a chance to dry out - welcome news for farmers and growers across most of the country," commented MetService meteorologist April Clark.

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A cold front is forecast to move up north up central New Zealand throughout Wednesday and Thursday, with temperatures set to drop by up to 10C as the southerly change moves through.

"Although this front is expected to bring rain ahead of it in the west and behind it in the east, the rain is expected to be short-lived so shouldn't put too much of a damper on outdoor activities for school kids at a loose end," said Clark.

A low from the west is expected to hit on Friday, which is likely to affect the country this weekend.