Parts of inland New Zealand could hit 37C in coming day as a summer heatwave takes hold across the country, forecasters say.

Weatherwatch.co.nz said a heatwave moving across Australia would have an impact on New Zealand by the end of the week.

Northwest winds could push that heat directly to New Zealand, warming many parts of the country to more than 30C.

"This coming Sunday (and into next week for the North Island) expect places like Gisborne, Napier, Hastings, Northland, Waikato and parts of Canterbury, Marlborough and Nelson to all climb into the 30s," said head forecaster Philip Duncan.

"In fact, inland parts of both Gisborne and Hawke's Bay regions have the potential to climb to 33C-37C degrees early next week for a time, provided all the ingredients line up."

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Duncan said there was no end in sight for the warm, dry weather for the North Island, though an easterly breeze around Waitangi Day could cool down the east of the island.

Three year old Alex Grace dashes under the sprinkler at his house in Titirangi on the hottest day of the summer so far in Auckland. 19 January 2020 New Zealand Herald photo; Peter Meecham.
Three year old Alex Grace dashes under the sprinkler at his house in Titirangi on the hottest day of the summer so far in Auckland. 19 January 2020 New Zealand Herald photo; Peter Meecham.

The North Island and the top of the South Island are already very dry because of low amounts of rainfall. Weatherwatch said there was no rain forecast for many places for the next two weeks, and some places were forecast to get just 1-5mm.

According to Niwa, the highest recorded temperature last summer was 38.4C, at Hanmer Forest on January 31.

Meanwhile, heavy rain will continue in the Southern Alps in the South Island, with the West Coast getting up to 300mm of rain in the coming fortnight, Weatherwatch said.

"Again, Southland and Otago continue to get the side effects of this western rain with some rain/showers coming your way."