The famous Hawke's Bay summer is finally upon us.

It's my family's first taste of what the Bay has to offer in the summer months and although we're only three days into it, we've certainly not been disappointed.

After a few years of hit-and-miss weather in the South Island, followed by a windy spell in Wellington - not to mention the first 22 years of my life in England where the use of the word "summer" is met with an innate snigger - a sustained period of warmth is much appreciated.

Read more: Downtown Festival a hit
Scorching start to summer in Hawke's Bay


As a newbie to these parts my levels of excitement are probably a little higher than those who have been lucky enough to bask in the Bay's sun every year.

The weekend's weather offered perfect conditions for the more than 1500 people that took part in the ninth annual Ironmaori Half event.

The sizzling temperatures and clear skies also provided the perfect day for the Destination Hawke's Bay Downtown Festival and the Christmas Parade in Waipukurau on Saturday.

Local firefighters even turned on the hoses at Russell Park to help punters cool off.

Temperatures hit the mid to high-20s as Hastings was one of the warmest places in the country, reaching 27.7C yesterday afternoon, while a high of 26C is on the cards today.

And the heat is set to continue for the rest of the week, albeit slightly less extreme.

A peek up Te Mata Peak and a stroll along Marine Parade over the weekend showed the Bay at its best.

So here's to the long-awaited summer months, warm weather, cold beers, or wine, if that's your tipple, and plenty of fun.

Enjoy, everyone, but don't forget the sunscreen!