Flood protection works near Thames have held firm despite a massive storm that has seen almost half a metre of rain fall on the area.

State Highway 25 on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula remains closed by flooding between Hikuai and Tairua,

Thames-Coromandel civil defence controller Garry Towler said the rain had been forecast to dissipate early this afternoon but it was "still swirling around" at 4pm.

"It has lasted a lot longer than anticipated and MetService advises that it may stick around until 6pm or 8pm tonight," he said.

Advertisement

There was still "a huge amount of water" on the road between Hikuai and Tairua and the road was likely to stay closed until late this evening.

However, a fear that the spillway on the Kauaeranga River just south of Thames might have to be opened at around the high tide at 3pm did not eventuate.

"The Kauaeranga River spillway held and traffic is flowing freely there," Towler said.

He said 470mm of rain had been recorded already at the Pinnacles, with more rain likely to take the total above half a metre.

"That's massive," he said. "It's a substantial amount of rain, but we are coping okay."

One of two local roads across the peninsula, the 309 Road past the Waiau Falls between Coromandel and Whitianga, is now open.

The other road, between Tapu and Coroglen, is "marginal with a lot of slips on it".

"We recommend that if anyone is going that way, they use four-wheel drive only," Towler said.

Advertisement

Earlier, police asked motorists to avoid the Tairua area.

Parts of Hikuai were under water as floods ravaged the Coromandel Peninsula and boats were being blown to shore in the wild weather.

MetService issued heavy rain warnings for much of the top half of the country; including Northland, the Coromandel Peninsula, Gisborne - north of Tolaga Bay - and the eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty.

People in those areas were warned that heavy rain could lead to streams and rivers rising rapidly.

A boat is grounded as a result of the wild weather. Photo / Penny Yates
A boat is grounded as a result of the wild weather. Photo / Penny Yates
Flooding in Hikuai. Photo / Supplied
Flooding in Hikuai. Photo / Supplied
Flooding in Hikuai. Photo / Supplied
Flooding in Hikuai. Photo / Supplied

"Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous," MetService said.

Stacey Lee Clarke, a Hikuai resident, posted on the Coromandel Peninsula Road Status Facebook group saying "water is coming in fast with high tide not until a bit later".

Another poster, Sandra Morris, described Hikuai as being "underwater" as a result of the heavy rain.

Hikuai flooded as a result of heavy rain. Photo / Stacey Lee Clarke
Hikuai flooded as a result of heavy rain. Photo / Stacey Lee Clarke
Flooding in Hikuai. Photo / Supplied
Flooding in Hikuai. Photo / Supplied

On the Cooks Beach Community Facebook group, Penny Yates posted images of a boat being grounded at the beach.

"Sad to see this on front beach presumably from Flax Mill Bay," she said.

"Looks like the anchor rope is snapped."

Fire crews across the Bay of Plenty were kept busy overnight as wild weather battered the region.

As trees came down and debris was flung across roads, crews were called to about five separate weather-related incidents within 12 hours.

The Coromandel Peninsula was hit the hardest, with roads closed and flooding.

The Kopu area had the largest amount of rainfall in the whole country, with a whopping 204mm within 24 hours.

Police say caution is required on SH1 between Warkworth and Wellsford.

"Heavy rain in the area has caused damage to the road surface, so motorists are asked to slow down and drive to the conditions," they said in a statement.

Anyone holidaying in the Coromandel Peninsula can expect a further 100mm to 130mm of rain to accumulate on what has already fallen - with peak rates of 20mm to 25mm an hour expected early this morning and afternoon.

Debris left pushed against a gate in Coroglen, Coromandel following flash flooding. Photo / Sue Huntleigh-Smith
Debris left pushed against a gate in Coroglen, Coromandel following flash flooding. Photo / Sue Huntleigh-Smith
Flash flooding left this property in Coroglen, Coromandel a bit worse for wear. Photo / Sue Huntleigh-Smith
Flash flooding left this property in Coroglen, Coromandel a bit worse for wear. Photo / Sue Huntleigh-Smith
Hikuai flooded as a result of heavy rain. Photo / Stacey Lee Clarke
Hikuai flooded as a result of heavy rain. Photo / Stacey Lee Clarke
Hikuai is flooded as a result of the heavy downpor. Photo / Stacey Lee
Hikuai is flooded as a result of the heavy downpor. Photo / Stacey Lee

Up to 130mm of rain is forecast over Gisborne, north of Tolaga Bay, and the eastern ranges of the Bay of Plenty. People there are also being urged to keep an eye on updates throughout the day.

Northland - especially in the eastern ranges - was expected to get a further 70mm to 90mm by early this morning.

READ MORE:
Your Queen's Birthday weather: Busy roads and heavy rain
Weather: Winter blast to send temperatures plummeting at Queen's Birthday weekend
Queen's Birthday weather and travel forecast
Weather: Early Queen's Birthday forecast

The Thames-Coromandel District Council is asking people to delay travel as a large tree has fallen on the Manaia Rd highway.

"Contractors are working on this and the road is now open to one lane with stop/go traffic management in place, along with various other sites across the State Highway network," the council said in its 10am update.

Civil Defence Controller Garry Towler said: "There is a lot of water coming down and our streams are rising rapidly."

He said high tide was expected at about 3pm this afternoon and people need to be prepared for considerable delays and be prepared to stay "until the last band of rain clears later this evening".

Tairua and Pauanui Refuse Transfer Stations are closed.

In Auckland, especially north of the city, a heavy rain watch remains in place until later this morning. The same rain watches are in place for Great Barrier Island and the Hunua Ranges, south of the city.

Periods of heavy rain are expected in the City of Sails this morning, with rainfall amounts potentially approaching "warning criteria", MetService said.

Auckland has a temperature high of 19C and overnight low of 14C. By 8am, the temperature was feeling like "three layers of clothing" outside and gusts of up to 41km/h are on the cards too.

Weather authorities also have a strong wind watch in place for Northland, Auckland and Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Gisborne, Bay of Plenty and Rotorua.

Fine in the south

Meanwhile, those in the South Island can expect a generally fine day - save for high cloud and patchy rain expected from this afternoon in Nelson, Marlborough and northern Canterbury.

Christchurch has a high of 15C and overnight low of 6C and those in Dunedin will see beautiful conditions and a high of 16C.

Police are advising motorists to check the NZTA website for up-to-date information on road closures.