There's a fine start to the long weekend for most of the country - but it won't last.

Major centres will have a rain-free Good Friday, with many enjoying another day of warm clear weather.

The bad news is that the large high pressure system that's brought dry days for most of the week is on the way out - being replaced by a rain-carrying front.

MetService meteorologist Kyle Lee said the active front is set to move slowly northeast across the South Island over the weekend before hitting the North Island late on Sunday.

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"The whole of the North Island is going to get wet basically on Sunday and Monday," Lee said.

Taranaki and the eastern Bay of Plenty face the risk of heavy rain.

The good news is that as the front moves north, better weather will follow in its wake.

By Tuesday - yes, when many people will be back at work - things could be settled again.

Tomorrow's forecast

Whangarei:

Partly cloudy, chance shower. Southeasterlies. High 20C, Low 14C.

Auckland:
Fine. Easterly breezes. 20C, 10C.

Tauranga:
Fine. Light winds. 19C, 10C.

Hamilton:
Morning cloud then fine. 20C, 5C.

New Plymouth:
Fine. 18C, 8C.

Napier:
Mostly fine, cloudy periods. 19C, 9C.

Wellington:
Fine with developing northerlies. 16C, 12C.

Nelson:
Fine with light winds. 18C, 8C.

Christchurch:
Morning cloud clearing for fine afternoon. 17C, 6C.

Dunedin:
Morning cloud clearing. 18C, 10C.