How To Beat the Heat in Melbourne This Summer

Gelato Messina is known for its inventive ice-cream flavours I Courtesy Gelato Messina
Gelato Messina is known for its inventive ice-cream flavours I Courtesy Gelato Messina
Photo of Monique La Terra
13 November 2019

Summer is on its way, and when it arrives it will do so with a vengeance, meaning another year of seatbelt burns, melting thongs and horrible tan lines. But it doesn’t have to so bad not if you know how to beat the heat. From ice-skating to IMAX, giant slip ‘n’ slides and subzero bars, here are the coolest ideas to keep cool in Melbourne when the mercury rises.

IMAX Melbourne

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People watching a movie
Catch a movie at the immersive IMAX cinema | © Lisa Frieling
Spanning an enormous 32 metres (105 feet) wide and 23 metres (75 feet) high, IMAX Melbourne is currently the largest IMAX screen in the world. Located at Melbourne Museum, the IMAX theatre is temperature-controlled, allowing you to sit back in comfort and watch the latest blockbuster films to cool down.


Bar, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, Australian
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IceBar Melbourne, Federation Square
Courtesy of IceBar Melbourne
On sweltering summer days, it’s tempting to stick your head in the freezer. To avoid the brain freeze, why not visit IceBar instead? Set to a chilly –10C (14F), IceBar is the only one of its kind in Australia. In addition to the cocktails, which are of course served on the ice, visitors can enjoy giant avalanche Jenga and other frozen games. Kids are also welcome, and while there’s no time limit, most people can only withstand 30 minutes before hanging up their Eskimo gear.

National Gallery of Victoria

Art Gallery
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National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
© Peter Scholey / Alamy Stock Photo
Stay cool and keep cultured this summer at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia’s oldest art gallery. Previous exhibitions have included The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture, featuring over 140 garments, accessories and archival material dating from 1947 to 2017. You can also explore the work of revered Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.

Ice Skating

Sports Center
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Maintaining a cool 16C (60F) all year round, the O’Brien Group Arena at the Docklands is a fun place to escape the heat for all ages. At Australia’s largest ice skating rink, you can learn the basics in a free 15-minute session before carving up the ice with your newly instilled confidence. The Arena also hosts themed nights, including Tight Ice Tuesday, RnB Night on Friday, Neon Saturday and Sunday Funday.

Gelato Messina

Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream, $$$
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In the middle of a heatwave, there’s no tastier way to cool off than with an ice cream. One of the best parlours in Melbourne is the award-winning Gelato Messina. Salivate as you sample your way through 40 freshly churned flavours, including five limited addition flavours. Gelato Messina recommends mixing pear and rhubarb with chocolate fondant. Other great finger-licking flavours include mr potato head, hot cross bun and jon snow.

These recommendations were updated on November 13, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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