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What to do in Sydney during a heatwave

Here’s how to stay cool when temperatures get hot.

There’s nothing like Sydney in summertime. But warm weather is one thing … a heatwave is quite another.

The Bureau of Meterology defines a heatwave as 3 or more days in a row when both daytime and night-time temperatures are unusually high.

High temperatures can become dangerous (think heat stroke and dehydration) for people of all ages. They should be taken seriously.

They're of particular risk to older people, babies, children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with medical conditions and people who are unwell.

Here’s how to stay cool when temperatures spike for days on end.

Find some air-conditioning

Shopping centres

Shopping centres can be a cooler place to hang out when it's hot outside.

Westfield Sydney is the biggest shopping venue in the city centre, with 250 stores over multiple levels. That’ll keep you busy for a while.

Within a stone’s throw, you’ll find the Queen Victoria Building, the Strand Arcade, World Square and plenty of boutique retail spots.

Pitt Street Mall in Sydney


The City’s libraries are air-conditioned and offer much more than books. Branches are now open to study, work, access free computers or browse and borrow from the collection. Find out about available library services and opening hours to plan your visit.

Green Square Library.

Galleries and museums

There’s so much incredible art and culture happening every day in Sydney.

Our top recommendations: Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of NSW, Powerhouse Museum, Australian Museum, White Rabbit Gallery.

Museum of Contemporary Art.


Want to catch the blockbusters? Head to Event Cinemas on George Street. Film buffs have plenty of options for something a little more offbeat – try Dendy in Newtown, the Palace Verona or Chauvel in Paddington, United Cinemas Opera Quays or Golden Age Cinema in Surry Hills.

Cool off in the water - but stay safe

Head for the water, but don’t forget to slip, slop, slap. Find shade, take a hat and other clothing to cover up, sunscreen, sunglasses and plenty of water.

If you're heading to the beach, make sure you swim within the red and yellow flags and and stick to patrolled beaches.

Surf Lifesaving NSW has made 3,000 rescues this summer and there have been a number of tragic drownings.

Find out more on the BeachSafe website. The site includes current information and conditions for every beach in Australia.


You could take a refreshing dip in one of the City’s 6 swimming pools.

Whether you’re looking for a place to practise your laps indoors or outdoors, each pool is perfect for all levels with plenty of shade.

Not a good swimmer? Not a problem! Each of the City’s pools offer classes for all ages and abilities where you can develop your water survival skills. Learn a skill for life this summer.

Prince Alfred Park Pool.

Water playgrounds

Splish splash! Take advantage of interactive water features in local playgrounds. You can find them at the following parks:

Stay hydrated

Take a waterbottle with you wherever you go.

Did you know there’s a map to help you find the closest water bubbler in the city?

Have a plan

If all else fails, stay indoors out of the heat. And be sure to take care of yourself, your pets, your family and friends. Wildlife also needs help.

Find out more about how to stay safe in a heatwave.

- Related content: Helping city wildlife survive extreme heat.