We launched a new website in November and one of the very clever tools anyone can use is ‘The Hawke’s Bay Playlist’.

I have been using this tool to send friends coming to stay tips on what they should do while they are here. It’s super simple and a bit like Pinterest where you drag and drop any bit of content or a local business into your self-created Hawke’s Bay Playlist.

We have a bunch listed on our site under ‘Featured Playlists’ so you can see what Ray McVinnie loves about Hawke’s Bay, there are a couple of surfer chaps taking on Māhia and of course there is a playlist for families.

The next stage will be publishing the 700 or so that have already been created by visitors and locals so everyone can see what others love about the region, all the hidden gems and new hot spots.

So what is on my personal Hawke’s Bay Playlist for Hawke’s Bay this summer?

1. Crazy Good Coffee in Ahuriri Ryan and the team are superb and all my visitors will be taken there at some point to start the day.

2. Waipatiki Beach I love this beach, 20 minutes from Napier. Its big cliffs and low key pace make it a beach time favourite.

3. The Donut Robot in Tennyson Street It’s the old school tuck-shop donut and perfect for children, although if you want something a little more flash and refined head to Bistronomy to try James Beck’s Isaac Hayes chocolate ganache choux pastry salted caramel ‘Salty Balls’!

4. Exploring the CBD of Hastings There are some seriously cool new shops and cafes in the CBD not to mention the very new Ya Bon – you can sit, watch and smell all that incredible bread and goodness.

5. Taking the pooch up through the Redwoods at Te Mata Peak. It never fails to impress.

6. The Black Barn Market Such a treat on the Saturdays of summer and if you miss it you can hit the Farmers’ Market every Sunday at the Showgrounds. Both of these markets show what makes Hawke’s Bay tick.

7. Ocean Beach You drive along that high wobbly gravel road and all of a sudden you see that expanse of beach and the dense blue colour of the ocean – it blows every visitor away.

8. The MTG There may be the odd day of rain over summer so on those days I always take people through the MTG – it is our place telling our story and visitors love it.

9. Shopping Well I always stop at Charleston Chic in Napier to buy sunglasses. You might think they are just for Tremains Art Deco Weekend, but no – a fabulous wardrobe addition year-round! I always visit So Vintage in Te Awanga as well as Paper Works Gallery and have recently discovered Blokkers Nursery on Mill Road in Clive for the very best lilies!

10. Well, I would like to see a rocket go off at Mahia That would be truly exceptional!

So if you are trying to write lists of things to do for people in Hawke’s Bay – jump on to www.hawkesbaynz.com and create your own Hawke’s Bay Playlist.

Annie Dundas is general manager of Hawke’s Bay Tourism.

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