Weathering an Australian summer

It can get really hot downunder in the summer time. And I mean really, boiling hot. None of this above-30 business – the mercury hit the 45 degree mark twice over the last two weeks and it was still 30 degrees at midnight!

Usually Australians love the heat. The beaches are packed, beers are skulled and snags are sizzled. But the summer heat can also be brutal. Heat stroke, sunburn and exhaustion can get very serious, so be summer safe, and follow these few tips for weathering an Australian summer.

46 degree temps
Temps on 18 Jan 2013

1. Stay out of the heat

The smartest solution when the heat hits, is to stay out of it. Seek shelter in an air conditioned venue, or simply stay indoors, out of the rising waves of heat coming off the pavement. I tend to hide indoors during the most intense hours of a hot day, when the temps are highest and the UV levels hit maximum – then crawl out of my hiding hole as it cools down outside.

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2. Jump into the water

Australians love the water, especially in the summer, and for good reason! Even if you’re not by the beach, there’ll be a community pool somewhere nearby, so jump in and cool off. At a pinch, dousing yourself with cold water in the bath tub or simply spraying yourself down in the shower can provide relief.

Bondi Beach (Pic from

3. Close the windows and draw the blinds

When it’s hot and humid outside, the last thing you want to do is throw the windows open wide. Always shut all windows and draw the curtains tight to keep as much of the heat out as possible. Yes, the air may be a little stuffy inside (switch on the fans!), but it’ll be a lot cooler than if you opened up your house to the sweltering heat outside.

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4. Hydrate

Drink up – popsicles, fruit juices, plain old water – you’ll need to keep replenishing your H2O on a hot summer’s day. Plus, nothing tastes better than an icy cold drink when it’s 35 degrees outside! Stay away from the cocktails though – heat and alcohol don’t mix well.

Weather temps
30 degrees at midnight!

5. Protect from the sun

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There is a hole in the ozone layer over Australia. Never underestimate the Australian weather – the sun can cause your skin to burn in just over 20 minutes. Always apply sunblock – lots of it, and reapply every 3 hours, or after swimming and toweling off. Follow the 5S rules – slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade and slide on some sunnies.

This post brought to you by A-Word-A-Week Challenge from A Word in Your Ear. Every week, Skinnywench will dip into her old Oxford English dictionary, and pick a random word to blog about – either a picture or a story that best captures the meaning of that word. This week’s word: “Weather.”

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  1. It’s very true what you say. Remember when swimming outdoors that you still need sunblock and it probably wont last as long, so keep re-applying. Doesnt have to be that hot to get burnt in Australia too, I’ve gone red from low 20s! Especially around November time when you think you’ll be fine! Hats are a must. Water water water! Great blog!

    1. Slip, slap and slop! Yeah sunblock needs to be reapplied every 3 hours in Australia if you’re going to be in the water. It’s a lesson I learned quickly, and early, on!

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