New Zealand weather: Queen's Birthday Weekend to be ruined by heavy rain across all three days

Most Kiwis' first long weekend out of lockdown will be a wash-out, with "slow-moving rain bands" expected to drench the country across all three days.

The North Island will bear the brunt of any bad weather, with the heaviest downpours reserved for the likes of Auckland, Northland and Waikato, while the lower South Island is likely to escape unscathed.

Weather Watch says the rainfall could indicate a pattern of wetter conditions heading into June and July, which will also be welcome for Auckland in its efforts to curb its water shortage crisis.

But for Kiwis wanting to travel around the country on Queen's Birthday weekend, it's certainly put a dampener on things.

"We have a set-up where a sub-tropical northeast flow could produce slow-moving rain bands over all three days of the long weekend in some northern parts of New Zealand," says Weather Watch head forecaster Philip Duncan.

"The general rule is the upper North Island has the highest risk of cloud, showers and areas of rain set-in, while the lower North Island and much of the South Island leans completely dry or at least drier".

NIWA Weather says there's a possibility of thunderstorms over the long weekend.

The rain is mixed news for New Zealand, as the weather may halt Kiwis' plans to get out of town for Queen's Birthday weekend - hampering the tourism industry's big bounce-back - while farmers will be rejoicing at the sight of rain falling on bone-dry land.

Heavy rain is expected in Northland, northern Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty and East Cape to Gisborne, Weather Watch says, where latest data suggests as much as 100mm is possible in the ranges.

South Island will remain mostly dry, although a few showers may fall in Nelson and Marlborough regions and could go as far south as Kaikoura. Queenstown, Christchurch, Wanaka, Hokitika, Dunedin and Alexandra will be the sunniest places in the country over the weekend.

While the downpours over the weekend will bring some much-needed relief to drought-stricken regions, Weather Watch says they're unlikely to make a major dent.