The vibrant KwaZulu-Natal North Coast is about to heat up this winter as it plays host to The Ballito Pro, presented by Billabong, for the ninth consecutive year. Bringing with it international surfing stars, South African musical legends and action-packed entertainment from 27 June to 9 July, visitors are in for a treat this year.

“The return of the Ballito Pro Presented by Billabong to KwaDukuza is a true testament to the region’s incredible surf conditions and warm coastal atmosphere,” said event organiser, Collette Bundy. “We want to make sure that every visitor to this year’s event finds something that appeals to them which is why we’ve organised an incredible two-week programme suited to all ages and tastes.”

What started as a surfing contest on the South African East Coast 49 years ago has evolved into one of the country’s most spectacular holiday festivals while keeping at heart the element which prompted the event – a love of the ocean. The longest-running professional surfing event will continue at Willard Beach, Ballito with a host of exciting events taking place around this central action.

South Africa’s hottest musical acts will be performing their greatest hits at this year’s Cadburys Five Star Ballito Pro Music Concerts Powered by 5FM taking place at the Salt Rock beach stage from Thursday 6 to Friday 7 July. Audiences can expect the likes of December Streets, Matthew Mole, Okmalumkoolkat, Kwesta, Snapbvck, Kyle Cassim, Desmond & the Tutus, PH and DJ Lloyd.

The musical entertainment continues at the official After Dark Parties taking place at Ballito’s biggest nightlife venue, Crush Nightclub, with the two dance floors hosting some of the country’s hottest DJs – among them Chunda Munki, Bomsquad and Vimo – along with incredible drinks specials from 30 June to 9 July. Partygoers will also get a taste of upcoming talent at the Battle of the DJs with the contest reaching its crescendo on Saturday, 8 July at the finals.

Returning this year after impressing audiences at the 2016 edition are world-ranked extreme motorcyclists, Bruce and Brent le Riche, sponsored by Monster Energy Drink. This dynamic duo will perform an unbelievable array of death-defying stunts at the Willard Beach Extreme Sports zone from Thursday, 6 to Sunday, 9 July. Visitors will also get the chance to check out some of the greatest skateboards at the Monster Skate Jam with young skaters given the chance to try out the ramps after the shows.

Foodies are in for a tasty delight at the Night of Food & Wine event also taking place at the main festival area at Willard Beach from Tuesday 4 July from 5pm to 10.30pm and Wednesday 5 July from 5.30pm to 10.30pm. The public is given a delectable platform to showcase their hidden culinary skills in the Freak Shake and Shisa Nyama Cooking Competitions while professionals in the industry will also be given the opportunity to prove their worth at the Celebrity Cook-off. While things get heated in the kitchen contests, the audience can enjoy the fashion shows, wine tastings, craft beer and cocktails on offer.

Daily live entertainment will be available at the Retail Delight which will feature an abundance of quality arts and crafts, various exhibitions and retail stalls. Visitors can also grab a bite to eat at the food court, offering meals to suit every taste, while the cider garden will provide refreshing drinks throughout the festival. And, for those looking to get some exercise, there will be non-stop Beach Action at the Coca Cola Football Arena with daily beach soccer entertainment. And the children will be well catered for at Willard Beach’s Kids’ Corner with ongoing face painting, water balls, sandcastle-building contests and other fun activities.

Committed to the rehabilitation of the ocean, festival organisers have brought back the hugely successful Save the Waves Campaign, sponsored by Dolphin Coast Waste Management. The hazards of plastic waste, the importance of recycling as well as the ocean’s lifegiving elements will be highlighted through this educational campaign with visitors encouraged to use the recycling stations across the festival venue.

Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the holiday action taking place from 27 June to 9 July at venues around KwaDukuza.