Mother Nature has a great Christmas gift for most holidaymakers in New Zealand, with most regions likely to receive sunshine.

Cantabrians have clearly been good this year, with temperatures forecast to reach near 30C in the region.

Southlanders seem to have been the naughtiest this year with a high of only about 18C expected - not that that's particularly cold for them, said a MetService spokesman.

"Te Anau, the maximum there is 18 degrees, Gore 18 degrees as well - which makes sense because a front will move through them during the morning," he said.

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"It's got relatively cool air behind it - it's a cold front, but it's not catastrophic, it's pretty good for down there."

Swimmers and beach soak in the sunshine at Mission Bay. Photo / Nick Reed
Swimmers and beach soak in the sunshine at Mission Bay. Photo / Nick Reed

He said a trough could bring rain to parts of the western North Island, although most parts of the island should be fine.

"Auckland should be pretty good for most of the day, with long fine spells and a few showers at night.

"Wellington should miss most of the wet weather with a few showers and some clouds," he said.

Southland, West Coast, and Otago will likely see rain early on as the front moves up the country with rain developing late for Canterbury and Marlborough.

Yesterday, hundreds of people avoided the Christmas rush at supermarkets and malls to bask in the sun at Mission Bay.

Trevor Whitmore was one such beach-goer who got out of the house with the family to enjoy the sun after a cold winter.

"The sun was out - beautiful day to take the kids down to enjoy the beach.

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"They're loving it, you can see them throwing the frisbee around, so yeah, nah, they're going to enjoy a great Christmas Eve down here at Mission Bay," Whitmore said.

Nathaniel and Annaliese Whitmore play frisbee at Mission Bay Beach on Christmas Eve. Photo / Nick Reed
Nathaniel and Annaliese Whitmore play frisbee at Mission Bay Beach on Christmas Eve. Photo / Nick Reed

Whangarei: 25C with sunny spells and a chance of morning showers.

Auckland: 25C with long sunny spells, cloud increasing with a few showers at night.

Hamilton: 25C with long sunny spells and cloud increasing in the evening.

Tauranga: 23C, often cloudy with one or two showers and fine afternoon spells.

Whakatane Often cloudy with one or two showers, but some afternoon fine spell. Northerlies.

Rotorua 21C with cloudy periods, odd showers and northeasterly breezes.

Taupo 23C with morning cloud breaking. Chance of a shower from afternoon, then cloud returning evening. Northeasterlies.

Napier: 26C with some morning cloud then mostly sunny.

Gisborne 25C with some morning cloud, then mostly sunny. Northwest.

Whitianga 23C with sunny spells, chances of showers and light northeasterlies.

Palmerston North Sunny spells. Chance of a shower from afternoon. Northwesterlies.

New Plymouth 22C with cloudy periods and one or two showers, more frequent from evening. Northerlies.

Masterton 27C with sunny spells and jingle bells. Gusty northwest.

Whanganui 27C with sunny spells. Northwesterlies.

Wellington: 21C and often cloudy, some showers from afternoon to evening and strong northerly.

Nelson 23C with cloudy periods and a few showers, becoming fine in the afternoon. Rain overnight. Northerlies.

Christchurch: 30C with increasing cloud, occasional rain developing late.

Dunedin: 23C with increasing cloud, occasional rain from afternoon easing late.

Queenstown: 21C with occasional rain from late morning, clearing by evening.

Source: MetService