Stow that book and get out for some sun - it's going to be a beauty of a weekend even if a bit nippy in the mornings.

"Taupo north, from [today] onwards is really beautiful," said MetService meteorologist Ravi Kendula.

"There may be a couple of showers on the east coast of Northland north of Whangarei; otherwise, just fine."

A ridge of high pressure is delivering the sunshine to the upper half of the North Island, along with frosts for inland areas.


Aucklanders will be glad of some sun after rain and showers to mid-week. The city is set for daytime highs of 16C, with overnight lows of 6C predicted for last night and 8C tonight.

Light winds and a big blue sky are expected at Mt Ruapehu for the weekend, where skiers and boarders have been in action this week with an early start at Whakapapa's Rockgarden, thanks to repeated pre-season dumps of snow - on top of machine-made snow - that have lasted into winter. The Happy Valley learners' area opened more than a week ago.

The Remarkables skifield near Queenstown opened early this week too, but is in for gales and snowfall today.

Rotorua, Taupo and Taumarunui are among areas expected to see a touch of frost this morning and tomorrow morning. Hamiltonians too might notice a morning freeze at ground level today but tomorrow's sunrise temperature may hover a touch higher.

In contrast to the Tolaga Bay floods at the start of the week, the east coast of the North Island from Gisborne to Wairarapa is expected to have a fine weekend, after the predicted clearing of remaining showers north of Wairoa last night.

South of the central North Island high country, however, the sunny end to the working week turns generally to areas of cloud and isolated showers.

And the South Island is in for a mix of cloudy areas and showers today, with rain tomorrow in Westland and Canterbury.