Sun-worshippers soaked up some golden sunshine in the Auckland region yesterday - including the opening of the Volvo Ocean Race Village and the three-day Splore Festival.

And they are set to enjoy more fine weather at both events today, before wet weather again puts the handbrake on summer.

Thousands of people are attending Splore - held at Tapapakanga Regional Park - which promoters bill as "a three-day entertainment extravaganza and New Zealand's greatest dress up party".

Entertainment is set to wrap up late this afternoon, by which time the weather could start turning.


At the Viaduct Harbour, thousands also made their way through the Volvo Ocean Race Village. Over the next 22 days a host of top Kiwi bands will entertain crowds, with leading boats taking part in the race set to arrive in Auckland by Wednesday.

Yesterday, crowds also flocked to Ellerslie Racecourse for the Urban Polo event.

After the damage caused by Cyclone Gita severe weather warnings are in place for parts of central and southern New Zealand for today and tomorrow including severe gales and heavy rain.

Parts of the North Island will start to feel the brunt of the latest batch of bad weather on Monday.

Today much of the North Island will experience fine weather - with the Hawke's Bay tipped to be the place to be with the temperature expected to reach 30C.

Aucklanders are also in for a mostly fine day with temperatures in the mid-20s, but the MetService has warned of the chance of afternoon showers and light winds.

And in Northland the weather will be consistent across the region, with fine spells and showers expected for Whangarei, Kaitaia, Paihia and Kerikeri with temperatures hovering around 24 degrees.

But tomorrow, summer is expected to be put on hold again.

The wet weather set to hit the South Island will move up to New Plymouth by midday tomorrow which will bring cloudy periods, showers turning to rain by midday and a northwesterly changing to a strong south easterly.

But temperatures in many places will still reach 22C.

MetService meteorologist Andy Best said the bad weather would move up the South Island today.

Westland, Fiordland, Otago, and Canterbury are in for gales and heavy rain which could bring surface flooding, slips and rapidly rising rivers and streams. Strong wind is also predicted for Southland including severe gales that could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures, according to MetService.

From this afternoon through to the evening rain was expected to reach up to 40mm per hour, while wind gusts may reach severe levels of 130kmh in exposed areas. Drivers were urged to be careful.

Best said the strong northwesterly would also bring with it marked changes in temperature for some of those areas including Christchurch, whose temperature will soar to 26 degrees today before dropping back to 19 degrees tomorrow. Dunedin would experience a similar burst of warmth with a high of 25 degrees today, before dropping to a chilly 15 degrees tomorrow.