Matariki: People gathering outdoors urged to rug up for stargazing

People planning to head outdoors this long weekend are urged to pack and dress for the conditions.

The Mountain Safety Council said Matariki was an opportunity for people to connect and reflect together in the outdoors.

Its chief executive Mike Daisley said June days were shorter and cooler so solid planning and packing made for successful adventures.

"Whether it's a short walk, a day trip or an overnight tramp, the bare essentials regardless of the forecast should be: warm clothes - insulation layers and thermal base layers, a rain jacket, head torch, extra layers and appropriate emergency communications device," Daisley said.

"Temperatures cool down faster with a clear sky, so when stargazing, ensure you have those extra layers, a beanie, and gloves to have an enjoyable time. Don't forget the binoculars and a thermos too."

MetService predicted Friday and Saturday mornings - particularly in central and eastern parts of the country - would be the best opportunities to view the Matariki cluster before fog and cloud got in the way.

Meteorologist Lewis Ferris said the long weekend was more of a mixed bag of weather.

"Friday morning is looking to be the clearest morning of the long weekend, generally unsettled weather approaches from the west later in the day and most places will see rain at some point during the weekend," Ferris said.

"These long nights under high pressure aren't just perfect for freezing conditions but also fog formation, especially in basins. If your place is prone to winter fog, then perhaps you'll need to incorporate a decent high elevation vantage point to see the rising stars.

"Next week is looking like a mixed bag with changeable conditions so keep up with the forecast if you've not had your fill of stargazing."