New Zealand's worst drought in decades has officially expanded to the South Island.
The usually rain-soaked north-west of the South Island was included in the drought listing today.
Last week the government declared the entire North Island drought stricken.
The area's 380 dairy farmers have dried off their milking herds up to two months early.
Farmer Katie Milne says the loss of income combined with soaring feed costs could set some farmers back $180,000.
The government says the drought is likely to cost the economy close to $1.6 billion.
© ABC 2013
16:39 EST The mercury soared in the nation's southwest today with Perth recording its hottest September day on record, however heavy rain and cooler temperatures will arrive on Sunday.