Summer rain brings 'liquid gold' to Canterbury farmers

While some parts of New Zealand are hot and tinder dry, others have had lots of rain and are wondering when summer will actually arrive.

Canterbury's already almost reached its usual amount of rainfall for the whole of January.

And while holidaymakers are feeling ripped off, farmers who are into their third year of drought have their fingers crossed it's not just a splash in the pan.

Dan Maxwell is praising the wet start to the year. This week's thunder storms bringing "liquid gold" to his hardened land.

"It's a nice surprise. I certainly didn't expect it, not this much. To have thunder and lightning the other night and woke up to 20 millilitres [of rain] it was more than welcome."

North-Canterbury is still in the midst of one of the worst droughts the region has faced.

Back-to-back dry spells have forced farmers to sell off stock and buy in supplementary feed.

But with 35 millimetres and nearly two thirds of the monthly average of rain already falling in the region in just 8 days, it's giving the thirsty land a much needed boost.

"After that rain hopefully this will freshen up again and we can grow it again,"Mr Maxwell says.

But while it's good news for farmers it's bad for holiday makers.

Spending summer rugged up, surrounded by puddles and empty swimming pools:

"It's been really cold and wet and chilly," Rachel Clark says.

"We wanted to escape the cold winter  in Germany and Russia and then we wanted to come here and it was raining all the time and not the best summer to be in," tourist Britta Mertines says.

And Metservice meteorologist Ciaran Doolan says summer isn't likely to kick in any time soon:

"It's going to be another week of unsettled weather, we just really haven't had a high pressure system over the country."

Leaving farmers counting their lucky stars, enjoying every drop while it lasts.