Temperatures are reaching 30s in some parts of the country today, so don't forget to cover up with plenty of sunblock.

Much of the North Island and the upper South Island are in for a beachy day, with mostly fine weather and warm to hot temperatures.

Sunscreen is a must in Napier and Blenheim with a scorcher of 32C while the mercury should sit around 25C in Auckland and the high 20s in Whangarei and Tauranga.

Metservice said the high temperatures in Napier-Hastings today were being driven by hot winds from the west.

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"They are set to get some gusty winds from the west. It helps keep it warm and makes it a bit blustery," said forecaster Tui McInnes.

"Depending on how much you like the wind, it could be a bit of a turnoff. The place I would like to be is Northland."

McInnes said it was pretty clear in Northland and the winds were lighter.

Whangarei's forecast is for a fine day, 28C, and a southwest breeze.

Tauranga too is on track for 28C, with fine weather and a westerly wind.

Blenheim is expected to be the hottest spot in the South Island, with a forecast for fine weather, 32C and gusty northwesterlies.

The highest temperature recorded so far this summer was 33.8C at Wakanui, southwest of Christchurch, yesterday, said Niwa, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

Fronts are sweeping up the South Island today but are expected to lose their puff over central New Zealand.

Heavy rain warnings have been issued for Fiordland and parts of the West Coast and a gales are expected - or have arrived - in parts of the South Island and lower North Island.

McInnes said 164.2mm of rain had fallen at Milford Sound in the 18 hours to this morning. And at Mt Cook airport, a wind gust of 109km/h was recorded.