Long weekend weather: Clouds expected for much of country hindering chances of spotting Matariki star cluster

It will be a wet long weekend for much of the country with clouds potentially hindering Kiwis' chances of spotting the Matariki star cluster. 

Much of the North Island will be rainy with thunderstorms in some areas on Friday and Saturday

Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula are all in for showers and rain this afternoon and overnight with thunderstorms possible. 

Meanwhile, the Waikato through to Taranaki, including the Bay of Plenty, Taupō and Taumarunui will get clouds and showers in the evening. 

On Saturday rain is expected in the morning with thunderstorms in coastal areas. 

Taihape, Gisborne, Wairarapa and Wellington are also cloudy with patchy rain on Saturday. 

Moving to the South Island, Nelson and Marlborough, except for the Kaikoura Coast, can expect showers and rain overnight on Friday and Saturday before it clears in the afternoon. 

But stargazers in Canterbury and the Kaikoura Coast might be in luck with mainly fine weather expected apart from a few showers at night on Friday and Saturday. 

From Buller to Fiordland a few showers, turning into rain on Friday night are expected. Heavy and thundery rain is also possible south of Hokitika.

Otago and Southland can expect similar, with mainly fine weather on Friday and scattered rain on Saturday. 

Earlier in the week, MetService revealed the best places to stargaze in Aotearoa over the weekend. 

Meteorologist Angus Hines said clouds may spoil the view for some stargazers but some areas could be in luck.

"Central and eastern parts of both Islands ought to get a fairly clear view of the stars before sunrise, but along the West Coast, and for the upper North Island, cloud cover may spoil the view."

Hines said unfortunately many areas will be covered in cloud on Friday, making it hard to catch a glimpse of the constellation. 

"Friday is likely to be your best chance during the long weekend if you haven't already caught a glimpse of them."

He is encouraging anyone who is brave enough to get out of the house in the morning to stargaze to layer up.