The ocean is putting on a show for beach-goers in Hawke's Bay as swells start to build.

Big waves hit the Napier coast line. Photo / Warren Buckland
Big waves hit the Napier coast line. Photo / Warren Buckland

MetService meteorologist Karl Loots said due to a low pressure system sweeping over New Zealand earlier in the week, southerlies are now lingering over Hawke's Bay.

A fisherman tries his luck in the big swells. Photo / Warren Buckland
A fisherman tries his luck in the big swells. Photo / Warren Buckland

"Those southerlies are causing the big swells that you see."

Loots said they would hit about 2.3m today, with high tide at roughly 3.30pm.

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Huge swells were seen on the turn of tide at Haumoana where the coast has been battling for years against rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

Big swells hit Haumoana coastal houses hard on high tide on Thursday afternoon. Photo / Paul Taylor
Big swells hit Haumoana coastal houses hard on high tide on Thursday afternoon. Photo / Paul Taylor

Loots said they're expected to "quieten down" on Friday but on the weekend are set to get even bigger with swells around 2.5m expected.