Rain to bring relief for Canterbury

The tinder-dry Canterbury region is set for a welcome reprieve this week as rain sweeps across the country and temperatures tumble.

Firefighters spent last night dampening down more wildfires outside Christchurch after last week's searing temperatures and high winds saw a series of blazes destroy homes and kill livestock.

This week's forecast says the 30-degree Celsius days are gone, with the mercury falling to a more winter-like 16C in the Garden City tomorrow and rain predicted for the whole week.

It is similarly chilly elsewhere, with Dunedin's high on Friday predicted to reach just 13C.

Meanwhile, there is a severe weather warning in place for the Tararua Ranges, north of Wellington, and heavy rain expected across the lower North Island and top of the South Island today and tomorrow as a front approaches from the Tasman Sea.

Auckland should see rain tomorrow and Friday with the sun expected to return by Saturday.

Hamilton could also expect rain through to Friday.