As Ranfurly recorded its hottest ever December temperature on Tuesday, MetService has warned that smoke from Australia's bush fires is coming our way.

The mercury soared to 31.7C in the Central Otago town, the hottest recorded since 1897.
And the fine weather is expected to welcome the new year across the country, albeit with hazier skies than normal.

And the warm temperatures will continue this week, as a warm front moves up the South Island until Thursday, when southerlies would likely result in a slight drop in temperatures.

MetService meteorologist Kyle Lee said satellite footage showed some "pretty hefty smoke" coming our way.

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"You're likely to see a bit more haziness, a bit more hazy than the usual clear blue skies."

The smoke has dragged across the Tasman and has already hit the South Island, making our sunsets there slightly redder, Lee said.

It will move up the North Island in a few days but linger over the country until the weekend, when a front will sweep it away.

The visiting smoke won't affect temperatures, but the northwest winds also visiting from across the Tasman may make overnight temperatures warmer.

On a Wednesday dawning to fine weather, the hot spots are expected to be in the South Island.

Blenheim will be the hottest spot to nurse a hangover in the new year, reaching a scorching high of 34C, with Christchurch close behind at 33C.

Morning cloud will clear to a high of 24C in Auckland, with a high of 20C expected in Wellington.