Mount Taupiri in the distance of an early morning frost in Whitikahu (file photo).
Biting frosts were recorded in Waikato as a cold snap gripped the country on Friday morning.
A ground frost dropped to -6.1C at Hamilton Airport, while the air temperature was -1.7C.
Taupō Airport was sitting at -3.1C at 8 am, and Taumaranui was also -1.7 at 7 am.
Metservice meteorologist Andy Best said the most severe frosts hit the South Island, with St Arnaud in Nelson lakes at -7.7C and Lake Pukaki in the Mackenzie district -7.6C.
* North gets chance to dry out ahead of cold snap; another chilly start for inland southern areas
* Chilliest morning of the year delivers frost for much of the country
* Hardest frost to hit South Canterbury a prelude to slightly milder weather
Road closures and disruption as North Island hit with first cold snap of the winter.
Best said ground temperatures needed to drop below zero to reach a frost, but air temperatures could sit plus or minus freezing for a ground frost to occur.
Sub-zero temperatures were recorded at many parts of the country this morning, including parts of Auckland.
Heavy snow had forced the Desert Road to close but that has now been cleared and reopened, New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said.
Winds in the North Island will ease on Friday, as a narrow belt of finer weather with a ridge of high pressure moves across.
Most of Waikato would see a bright, calm and still afternoon.
The country should expect fewer frosty starts over the weekend, given a new weather system coming in from the West, Best said.
“From late Saturday or Sunday we are looking at rain to develop in the north and spread everywhere.”