Where's New Zealand? Country disappears under giant cloud layer

New Zealand disappeared from satellite view as cloud cover rolled across the entire country on Thursday.

"Plenty of high cloud across the country this morning leading to some spectacular sunrise pictures. It's a fine looking morning out in the Chatham Islands," MetService wrote on Twitter.

The cloud has led to some stunning sunrise shots as earlybird Kiwis grabbed their cameras.

But there's bad news for the South Island, as the weather prepares to unleash heavy rain and gale-force gusts.

"Rain about Fiordland from afternoon with a chance of heavy falls, possible thunderstorms from later in the evening / overnight," Weather Watch said in a tweet.

"Northwesterlies about inland parts of the South Island may gust to gale-force later in the evening or overnight."

Newshub.