The ultimate guide on what to do in Adelaide when it’s just too damn hot

Adelaide, you are so hot. Luckily we have a list of the hottest things to do when the temperature reaches ridiculous heights…

If you’ve been putting off your split system repairs for too long, and have found yourself melting in the summer heat, we’ve put together a list of places to visit to cool off while you wait on that vital repair job.

Hit Bunnings for a new paddling pool

A proud Australian tradition at any time of year, who doesn’t love a trip to Bunnings? Pick up a snag on the way in then head on down to the outdoor section to snag (lol, get it!?) a bargain paddling pool. Too big for a kids pool? Just fill it with ice and keep your tins in there.


What better way to chill all the way down than by surrounding yourself with ice? Get your skates on and take a spin on the ice – day or night – while listening to some great tunes. Test your balance on the small or big ice!

SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre

Avoid sunburn and cool off at this North Adelaide community centre. There’s waterslides, super slides(!) and an inflatable challenge – this indoor pool is the ultimate escape from the heat!

Alternatively, find your nearest public-chlorinated-body-of-water with our guide to Adelaide’s swimming pools.

Head Underground

As anyone from Coober Pedy will tell you, when it’s hot on the surface, it’s cool underground. Lucky for you we’ve done the research and dug up (get it) a list of the underground bars around Adelaide to stay cool through this summer (and through any air-conditioning-free, power outages we may also encounter!). Find the guide here.

Explore South Australia’s Myriad Beaches

Henley Square/Henley Beach

Is it too obvious to suggest hitting the beach? C’mon…South Australia has countless amazing beaches, but an obvious – and close-to-the-city choice – is Henley Beach. If it’s busy when you arrive (a high possibility for this popular stretch of sand) grab a bite a pre-swim drink or snack at some of our favourite Henley venues, like Stella, 303 By The Sea, and Acacia, but go steady. 

Port Willunga Beach

Sure it’s not as close as Henley or Brighton, but Port Willunga is certainly a day trip worth taking! Admire the jetty ruins on the shore, check out the caves, snorkel out and see the shipwreck or eat at the restaurant who took the shipwreck’s name – The Star Of Greece. If you feel like some adrenaline, take a jump off of one of Gull’s Rock’s three levels (just make sure to find a local who knows what they’re doing). Summer days can be crowded, but evenings are rarely too busy and, bonus, they’re cooler too.

Maslin Beach

Dreamy Maslins, as it’s known to locals, is flanked by cliff-lined Maslin town in the north and Blanche Point to the south. Unspoilt nature reserves, white sand and safe swimming are the draw-cards for SA’s first nude beach, which is excellent spot for a dip at all hours of the day. Early, enjoy a morning walk and bracing swim; or hit the dunes in the evening for unparalleled sunset views and cool oceans winds, followed by a picnic dinner.

The Beachouse

This very 80’s, UFO-looking building, with curly blue slides reaching out towards the beach, has been a fixture of the much-loved seaside suburb Glenelg for longer than most Adelaide residents can remember. It’s perfectly daggy – not to mention air-conditioned inside – with enough carnival-style rides and games to keep everyone entertained for at least a couple of hours. Let the kids run ragged spending all your parking coins on the claw machines, before they hit the pool to chill out.

The Moseley Beach Club

Sand-adjacent and taking cues from far away, exclusive beach clubs, the Moseley is a hit for its high-end vibes, live acoustic on music weeknights and weekend DJs. The club is free to enter, but if you’re feeling flush, you can splash out on one of 10 premium day beds or 40 sun lounges, each with service directly to your area – luxe.

Adelaide’s Rooftop Bars

It might seem counterintuitive to head to the top of a building, like, towards the sun, but most of the places on our Rooftop Bar Guide are clever enough to have some shade under which you can shelter… and by shelter we mean indulge in some deliciously icy cocktails and a cheese platter.

Head to a Westfield Shopping Centre – Marion, Tee Tree Plaza, Westlakes

Air conditioned, shady, with cool drinks aplenty, indoor shopping centres are the ultimate hideout when the sun’s at its most fierce. All that, plus get your Christmas shopping done at the same time. Hunt down your nearest Westfield this weekend and take advantage of the air conditioning that won’t hike up your electricity bill. See more info about extended Christmas shopping hours for 2020 here.

Art Gallery of South Australia

Since 2018, curator Rhana Devonport has been at the helm of Art Gallery of South Australia, casting her deft hand over the exhibitions in this fabulous sandstone building to create an experience that is equal parts thought provoking and engaging.

Head to Holey Moley

Pumping since 2017, the novelty of Holey Moley still hasn’t worn off. Put on your finest golf-attire (or don’t) and rally the caddies for an 18 hole tee-off. If the pressure of winning is getting to you, their heavily embellished fanciful cocktails should cool you off.

Hit The Flicks

Whatever the weather, it’s somehow always freezing at the movies. We probably wouldn’t go so far as to suggest bringing a jacket, but the combination of tall ceilings, tall icy cokes and punishing air-con should definitely take the edge off. Plus, popcorn’s good in any weather.

In the evenings, why not hit an Outdoor Cinema. Bring you friends and blankets and settle in for a night underneath the stars as the evening breeze finally arrives. Go ahead and peruse the Moonlight Cinema program. It’s a doozy.

Temptation Sailing

Channel your inner salty sea dog, while you dolphin spot, sip bubs, and enjoy some harbour views. These guys have a swim with dolphins license, which the kids will love. And wine, which you will love. Cool off and swim with dolphins, what a time.

Shark Cage Diving

For the adrenaline junkies, this is the extreme way to cool off. Sure it’s a bit of a planner, but if you’re happy to cruise down to Port Lincoln, the sharks await. All we have to say is thank goodness for that cage. If you’re feeling frisky, there’s also the opportunity to swim with another ferocious sea dweller – the sea lion.

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