Weather: New Zealand enjoys sweltering hot start to 2022 with ice cream and manu bombs

Weather forecasters are warning people in parts of the country to be sun smart and stay hydrated as many places face a warmer than usual week ahead.

Many parts of Aotearoa reached high temperatures in the late 20s and early 30s on Monday.

There was a lot of sun, sea, surf, books and ice cream eating around the country as summer lived up to its reputation.

Of course, there were also countless compulsory manu bombs into water up and down the nation.

"The hottest places at the moment are in Marlborough, North Canterbury and inland areas of the North Island like Waikato, Waitomo, Taumarunui, Bay of Plenty," Gerard Barrow of MetService told Newshub.

Hamilton was sizzling at around 30C and will remain that hot for a few days yet.

Hamilton local Damien Keeney was one of many cooling down in the Waikato River.

"On a crispy day like this, Hamiltonians typically get out of Hamilton and go to a place like Raglan or the Mount and go to the beach. But today, we're using Hamilton's beach," he told Newshub.

The heat is lovely for some Kiwis, but not so much for others, like another Waikato local who told Newshub: "I'm a really a snow person so this is killing me! We've got a plan to go home and put our feet in buckets of water."

Others complained about how hard it is to sleep at night in this heat. 

In Taranaki, many people snapped a strange looking sun amidst some very high cloud.

"That high cloud contains ice crystals which the sun shone through, creating those colours," Barrow explained.

But it's not all sunshine and ice creams. Climate scientists predict New Zealand will continue to warm by up to 1C in the next 20 years and potentially up to 3C by the end of the year 2090.

"Some places in New Zealand, I think they've been 4 - 5C warmer than you'd expect at this time of year," said Barrow.

Hopefully the threat of climate change doesn't pour too much cold water on those enjoying these long, hot summer days.