A nip in the air could welcome holidaymakers back to the daily grind this week after settled weather over the long weekend.
Forecasters say a cold front will bring slightly colder temperatures, rain and wind to the South Island today before making a beeline up the country, reaching the North Island by Thursday.
Showers and possible thunderstorms are expected over inland parts of the North Island and snow is on the cards for the high country in Canterbury and Otago.
But the weather should clear again in time for the weekend, MetService meteorologist Stephen Glassey said.
"It's a bit of a cold snap ... It will bring rain to most of the country but it moves away to the east on Friday," Mr Glassey said.
"Things will clear up for most places next weekend but it will still be quite cold during Saturday, and start to improve after that."
Heavy rain could plague Fiordland and Westland until the early hours of today, and a spurt of heavy rain was also possible around Auckland, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty on Thursday.
WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan said the biggest drop in temperatures would be felt in the South Island.
A high-pressure system hovering around the North Island would stop the front progressing too far, he said.
"It basically falls apart as it moves towards the North Island ... When that cold front comes through, a lot of [South Island] places will drop several degrees, if not 10 degrees.
"The temperatures in the North Island will drop, but not much."
Mr Duncan said the settled weather experienced by many at Labour Weekend was a hint of warmer weather to come next month.
"It was one of the warmer, more settled Labour Weekends we've seen in a few years - several years maybe."
Yesterday, the settled weather beckoned boaties out on to the water, with a number running into hot water over mechanical issues.
Coastguard volunteers in the northern regions - from Raglan and Thames up to the top of the North Island - attended about 20 call-outs over the weekend, largely from vessels suffering mechanical issues during their first outings since before winter.
Spokeswoman Georgie Smith said the incidents were a "timely reminder" for boaties to refuel, get their engines serviced and ensure they had safety gear ready for the summer season.
The weekend was also a quiet start to the surf life saving patrol season, with no incidents recorded in the northern region.NZME