Hinges on freezers and fridges throughout Akaroa were put through the hard yards today as the mercury shot through the roof.

Banks Peninsula reached temperatures upwards of 30 degrees, Akaroa reaching 32 degrees, the second hottest autumn temperature for the town according to Niwa.

Clint from Akaroa Motor Garage said the entire summer had been hot and today was no different, it had been "fantastic".

"I think someone mentioned it had been 36 degrees in Motukarara but yeah, the chillers are certainly looking diminished quite significantly," he said.

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"There have been a few bags of ice out the door so it's been quite a hot day … the town's been buzzing recently.

"It has been a pretty consistently warm summer and it's been a successful time for the town and I think all the cruise ships have helped."

Meanwhile, around eight hours down the road the residents of Lumsden in Southland were treated to the country's coolest temperature - just 12.3 degrees.

The thought of life with temperatures that low might send shivers down the spine of many, however, it's nothing compared to winter temperatures for the region.

A spokeswoman for Lumsden Lotto & Dairy said the day had been a bit cool but another weather system was putting a damper on things, literally.

"It's been raining since morning, so yeah it's a bit cold but we can't say it's very cold today," the woman said.

"It's quite wet today, good raining since morning ... currently, it's 14 degrees."

The lie of the land and a cold front slowly sweeping up the South Island is to blame for the difference in weather.

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"[The cold front] is going through Dunedin at the moment and that will have colder air behind it," MetService meteorologist Melissa Oosterwijk.

"As the sun comes up the day becomes warmer but a cold front went through [Southland] which bought colder weather with it and swept away the heating."

Elsewhere, a northwesterly wind which swept over the Southern Alps and across the Canterbury Plains has caused temperatures in the region to rise.

"They had sunshine earlier for longer and they've had the northwest which helps the temperature go up as well," Oosterwijk said about Banks Peninsula.

"They'll get the cold front tonight and it might even be more noticeable because it has been so warm during the day."

Maximum temperatures are set to be even cooler down south tomorrow with the Christchurch area expected to drop to 18 degrees.

Aucklander's can expect temperatures in the high 20s as low cloud in the morning breaks away for sunny spells by the afternoon.