Kiwi star-gazers are waking up and starting to turn their eyes to the skies to get a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse at a "blood moon" and they are being treated to mostly fine skies.

While Auckland and the country's west coast has been hit by showers early this morning, mainly fine weather is tipped for much of the North Island but high clouds could stop those wanting to see the "blood moon".

The Super City is expected to hit a top of 16C as showers clear in the afternoon to evening.

Fine spells are also expected in Northland and Coromandel with Whangārei tipped for a high of 17C before showers hit around midday with a chance of becoming heavy and thundery.


Hamilton is expecting a high of 15C with showers throughout the afternoon, while fine clear skies are tipped along the east coast from Tauranga, with a high of 15C, to Napier, expecting a high of 18C.

Wellington is also expected to be fine, despite strong northwesterlies, as it hits a high of 13C.

In the South Island, Greymouth and Reefton on the West Coast are expecting heavy rain and tops of 12C and 13C.

Invercargill in the far south is also expecting rain that could turn heavy and a top of 12C, while morning showers are also tipped for Queenstown with an expected high of 10C.

Elsewhere, Dunedin with an expected high of 13C and Christchurch and Blenheim with highs of 15C can all expect mostly fine days.

For those lucky to be free from cloud, Dr Duncan Steel, of Otago's Centre for Space Science Technology, said the best way to view this morning's blood moon was to get a high vantage point.

"You need to be in a location with a view to where the moon will set in the west-south-west and also to where the sun will rise in the east-north-east," he said.

"The higher you are, the better, because the sun will be barely clearing the horizon as the moon sets in the opposite direction."


Weather permitting, the viewing of the rare event is better the farther south you are because it will last longer, with Otago and Southland favoured.

The total eclipse begins at 7.30am New Zealand time when the sun rises with the moon set to turn a blood colour shortly after 8am.

In Auckland, the eclipse would still be partial as the moon disappeared below the horizon.

For those in areas from Whanganui to Wellington, there was just a slim chance of glimpsing the totally-eclipsed moon as the sun peeked above the horizon.

The opportunity was longer in the southernmost parts of the country.

In Invercargill, there was five minutes between sunrise at 8.12am and moonset shortly after, with the moon entirely within Earth's shadow.

In Dunedin, the interval was reduced to four minutes; in Christchurch, three minutes.