Worldwide icon-chevron-right South Pacific icon-chevron-right Australia icon-chevron-right Melbourne icon-chevron-right How to escape the heat in Melbourne

How to escape the heat in Melbourne

For those days when it’s just too hot, here's where to cool down around Melbourne

Melbourne in summer
Photograph: Creative Commons

Sure, Melbourne's weather is typically unreliable, but when it's hot, it's hot. When the sun is really putting the "burn" in Burn City, try these tried and true ways to keep your cool and still have a great time.

For more cool ways to beat the heat, go for a swim at one of these pools, beaches and rivers. If you're too hot to move, why not go for a massage or see a film?

Beat the heat this summer

O'Brien Group Arena ice skating
Sport and fitness

Go ice skating


Strap on your skates any day of the week and head to the O’Brien Group Arena in the Docklands. Slide your way across the ice to some refreshing beats, or prepare your best skating moves in time for Friday night’s RnB party.

Lido Cinemas
Photograph: Supplied

Sit in a dark room for few hours

Catch a flick at one of Melbourne's best cinemas and take total advantage of their cool, air-conditioned rooms. Plus, who could pass up a choc top on a scorcher like this?

Ice Bar

Cool off at Ice Bar


Don’t forget a jacket when you make your way to Fed Square's Ice Bar. The venue remains at Arctic temperatures, which means that glass made of ice won't melt in your hand as you drink a refreshing cocktail.

NGV International 2015 Federation Court courtesy National Gallery of Victoria photographer credit Charlotte Ambrose
Photographer: Charlotte Ambrose

Head to an art exhibition


This grand modernist building on St Kilda Road lays claim to Australia's oldest and most popular art museum, the NGV. That title has been won thanks to the gallery's top-notch and diverse permanent collection, their fantastic visiting collections and an ongoing series of additional events aimed at locals and tourists alike. All visitors to the NGV must pass the water wall upon entry, and yes, it is hard to resist touching it on a super hot day.

Bells Beach near Torquay on the Victorian Surf Coast
Visions of Victoria
Travel, Short getaways

Take a drive

Your house might not have air conditioning but your car probably does. Fill up your tank and go for a four-wheeled adventure in air conditioned comfort. Wherever you're headed make sure to take plenty of water and keep an eye on fire warnings in the area. 

La Trobe Reading Room in State Library of Victoria
Photograph: Mark Chew
Attractions, Libraries

Catch up on some reading

Whether you got a new book for Christmas or are looking for something different to read, heading to your local library will keep you out of the heat. You could even bring your laptop and catch up on some work, listen to music or (if you’re heading to the State Library) take a tour.

IMAX Melbourne

See a doco at IMAX


There’s nothing quite like an air-conditioned cinema in the middle of summer. IMAX Melbourne not only keeps their cinemas cool and dark, but they also have a knack for picking films that transport you to a completely different time and space.

People on waterslides at Funfields
Kids, Play spaces

Ride the waterslides at Funfields


Calling all kids, parents, and kids-at-heart: did you know that there is a huge theme park less than an hour's drive north from Melbourne? Well, you do now. Funfields, located in Whittlesea, opened in 1985 and has since become one of Melbourne's best-loved attractions. Your entry ticket gets you access to 22 rides, plus a water play area for kids and barbecue area.

Woodbury Escape Rooms
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Escape the heat with an escape room

For an hour or so you can pretend you’re somewhere else entirely at one of Melbourne’s escape rooms. Plus you’ll to solve puzzles. Unfortunately even if you fail to escape in time you’ll have to leave the room.

Show more

Scoop up a frozen dessert

A malted milk soft serve covered in sprinkles
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Restaurants, Ice cream and gelato

Melbourne's best ice cream and gelato

Nothing beats a scoop (or three) of ice cream or gelato for dessert, but not all frozen desserts are created equal. We've licked and scooped our way across the city in search of Melbourne's best cone artists.

Or go for a dip