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How to escape the heat in Melbourne

For those days when it’s just too hot, here are Melbourne’s most refreshing heat escapes

Photograph: Creative Commons

Sure, Melbourne's weather is typically unreliable, but when it's hot, it's hot. Don't hold out for the cool change or spend the day under the air conditioning unit – get out and explore the city's cooler spots.

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


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.

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Sit in a dark room for an hour or so

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?

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By: Rebecca Russo

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.

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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.

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Cool off at Ice Bar

Don’t forget a jacket when you make your way to Fitzroy'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.

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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. 

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By: Time Out editors

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.

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By: Meg Crawford

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.

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By: Rose Johnstone

Scoop up a frozen dessert

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.

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By: Kelly Eng

Or go for a dip

The best places to swim in Melbourne

Don't restrict yourself to the local pool on days this hot: dunk yourself in one of Melbourne's beautiful rivers, lakes, pools and beaches.

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By: Time Out editors