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People playing in the water fountain at a a water park
Photograph: Creative Commons

Six ways to beat the heat in Sydney

Can’t think of anything worse than a sweltering hot day? We have just the thing.

By Rebecca Zhuang and Maxim Boon
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When the temperature peaks, sweat's dripping down your back, and you're on to your umpteenth T-shirt change of the day, it's time to cool off, preferably as quickly as poss. Here are a few suggestions on where to go when it's just too hot in Sydney.

If you're a sun-seeker who can handle the heat, you better head to one of Sydney's amazing beaches

Where to go when the mercury soars

Movie goers in a cinema watching a movie
Movie goers in a cinema watching a movie
Photograph: Anna Kucera

1. Have a movie marathon

Take a seat in a climate-controlled auditorium, with a box of popcorn in hand and we guarantee you’ll forget about even the most extreme heatwaves outside. The cinema is the perfect place to escape a sweltering day, and Sydney has heaps to choose from. Perhaps you'll have a day of blockbusters at one of the major multiplexes, such as the Event Cinemas on George Street or the Hoyts in the Entertainment Quarter. Or why not enjoy some arthouse chic at Golden AgeHayden Orpheum Picture Palace or the Ritz Cinema in Randwick.

Bondi icebergs pool At Bondi Icebergs Dining
Bondi icebergs pool At Bondi Icebergs Dining
Photograph: Anna Kucera

2. Take a dip in an outdoor pool

The Harbour City has an almost symbiotic connection to water, so it's little wonder Sydney is swimming in pools (pun intended). There are several excellent outdoor pools to sample – North Sydney OlympicAndrew Boy Charlton and MacCallum Pool in Cremorne for example – so you can savour the sun while remaining chill. You can also switch things up with the salty alternative by visiting one of Sydney's ocean pools.

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State Library exterior
State Library exterior
Photograph: Daniel Boud

3. Burrow your head in a book at the State Library

Need to escape an overcrowded, stifling George Street? Take a stroll to the State Library where you can find a quiet corner to nestle into. Brush up on some general knowledge, get lost in a fantasy novel or check out what exhibitions or events are on. Whatever you decide to do, it’s guaranteed to be quiet, peaceful and airconditioned.

People skating on the ice at the LCC Ice Rink.
People skating on the ice at the LCC Ice Rink.
Photograph: Supplied

4. Go ice skating

Ice skating is usually a wintertime sport but for those in the know, it’s a great way to escape the heat in mid-summer too. Macquarie Ice Rink (found within Macquarie Shopping Centre) is closest to the city, but there are also excellent rinks in  Canterbury and Liverpool too, if you're willing to crank up the AC and take a drive. Then simply strap on your skates and try a double axel or two (or just just hug the ice for quick cool fix).

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People on waterslide at Raging Waters Waterpark
People on waterslide at Raging Waters Waterpark
Photograph: Supplied

5. Head to a water park

Struggling for ideas to entertain your kids in the warmer weather? Take them to Raging Waters (formally Wet 'n' Wild) for a day of thrills and spills (but don't forget to slip, slop, slap). Don't want to fork out for the tickets? No problem! Just take the sprogs to Taylor Square and give them a spin through its spurting water feature (but actually, please don't).

Outside at Museum of Contemporary Art
Outside at Museum of Contemporary Art
Photograph: Creative Commons

6. Go to an art gallery or museum

Being filled with precious artefacts and priceless masterpieces, Sydney's galleries and museums have to maintain a carefully controlled temp. The fringe benefit of this is that they're an excellent place to escape the sun, and better yet, most of the top institutions are free to enter. Check out our listings of Sydney's best exhibitions so you can find just the right culture fix to combine with your cool off.

Ice, ice, baby

Woman holding gelato at RivaReno
Woman holding gelato at RivaReno
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best gelato in Sydney

Restaurants Ice cream and gelato

Ice cream: there are a thousand places to get it – from the gummy, overly saccharine stuff, to smooth, silky excellence. Rest assured, though, that these are all in the latter category.

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