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Otematata scored the hottest temperature in the region, hitting 30degC at 5pm, according to Niwa, while Cromwell reached 27.9degC, its second warmest October day on record, and Ranfurly reached 25.1degC, its second hottest October day since records there began in 1896.
At Alexandra, where the Metservice said it reached a high of 26degC, at 4pm, residents were prompted to change into summerwear and head to the parks and rivers. Boaties headed for the water, and shops and cafes reported high sales of ice creams and cold drinks.
"There’s been lots of milkshakes and lots of ice creams and I’m expecting the same tomorrow," Kiwi Milk Bar and Cafe owner Lee McIntosh said.
The high temperatures of other towns in the region were Wanaka (25degC at 4pm), Queenstown (24degC, 4pm), Balclutha (23degC, 4pm), Dunedin (20degC, 2pm) and Oamaru (16degC, 2pm).
At Queenstown, people were out sunbathing in Queenstown Bay and swimming in a warm Lake Wakatipu, with a good crowd jumping off the pontoon. Paddleboarders were also out in force as the day warmed up.
At Wanaka, those lucky enough not to be at work stayed cool by eating under the umbrellas of the outdoor cafes and restaurants, sitting under the lakeside trees or even jumping into the nearby lake.
MetService meteorologist Sarah Sparks said the warm weather was because of generally settled conditions and clear skies. The actual temperatures of the day were very close to what MetService had predicted, she said.
The temperatures were slightly higher than what would usually be recorded at this time of year and were expected to continue today, Ms Sparks said.
A front passing over Otago tomorrow would then bring showers and cooler weather in the morning, but it would clear in the afternoon and Sunday weather was also expected to be fine.