Summer in Hawke’s Bay is always an exciting time. Big name concerts, the annual Art Deco Festival, international sports events and the beauty of the ever popular beaches, rivers, vineyards and cycle ways. Yep, Hawke’s Bay is a ‘must’ on the summer visit list.

Outdoor concerts at winery venues such as Mission Estate, Church Road and Black Barn have been part of the fabric of a Hawke’s Bay summer for many years and 2016 is no exception. Headliners such as Simply Red and Ben Harper will light up the stage at Mission Estate this summer. Australasian rock legends The Angels, Dragon and Mi-sex will play Black Barn. As will kiwi divas Sharon O’Neill, Annie Crummer, Margaret Urlich, Debbie Harwood and Shona Laing.

Then there’s the brilliant FREE concerts sponsored by Creative Hastings over summer. Jazz On The Village Green in Havelock North features a series of fabulous jazz acts helping you chill on Saturday afternoons through February. The beautiful surroundings of Cornwall Park in Hastings is venue to the annual Summer In The Park series. A sequence of lazy Sunday afternoon concerts featuring performers ranging from the groove-funk sounds of the Tropical Downbeat Orchestra to the rockin’ drive of Devils Elbow. All these events are family friendly and designed to help you chill on a summers’ day.

Hawke’s Bay is also always an extremely popular destination for all manner of family and group gatherings. People from around the world and all over New Zealand will be spending time in ‘the Bay’ to celebrate with family and friends, get out into the stunning countryside and maybe check out a few wineries.

Here are a few tips to help you make the best of your visit;

  1. Remember to carry a water bottle with you. Hawke’s Bay has a dry climate and our daily temperature highs can be regularly into the 30’s celcius through summer. You can easily become dehydrated if you’re not careful. Try to carry a water bottle with you wherever you go.
  2. Protect yourself from the harsh Hawke’s Bay sun. The danger of sun burn is as high in Hawke’s Bay as anywhere in the world thanks to ozone depletion. A good wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen are ‘must haves’ in this neck of the woods. Even on a cloudy day, the ultra-violet level is high. So make sure you’re using a good quality product which is at least SPF30 in strength. Check out Skinnies sun gels, created right here in Hawke’s Bay, for protection that really knows local conditions.
  3. Take a guided tour of local wineries. Whatever your reason for visiting Hawke’s Bay, you can’t leave before you’ve checked out a few of the dozens of local wineries dotted around New Zealand’s oldest wine making region. Forget the hassles of driving yourself around. Make the most of local knowledge by booking a wine tour with the experts at Bay Tours and discover why their tours are rated so highly.

Happy summering ’til next time.