Best Ways To Cool Down In The Red Centre

When preparing to escape to the Red Centre it’s important to take into consideration the climate when planning activities. Alice Springs’ weather typically consists of two seasons - the wet (summer) and the dry (winter). Because of this climate, the dry months consist of sunny days and cooler nights and the wet months bringing hotter weather and more likelihood of rain/flash flooding. Typical dry weather temperatures average 32 degrees and low humidity, typical wet weather temperatures averaging 39 degrees and humidity as high as 98 per cent. 

However, regardless of when you plan your visit to the heart of Australia, we have a range of spectacular outdoor attractions, galleries, pools, pubs and swimming holes to tempt you. Here are our best suggestions to stay cool when the weather is heating up.


1. Visit some air-conditioned galleries and museums

The Red Centre's galleries are plentiful with Aboriginal art, aviation and stories of war survival highlighting the history of the Red Centre. Art galleries are secretly an amazing way to learn about the rich history and culture of Central Australia and to escape the heat during the hottest part of the day in their air conditioned spaces.

Our team of Red Centre experts highly recommend adding Yuba Napa Art Gallery, RFDS Tourist Facility and Gallery of Central Australia to your to do list. 

Araluen Arts Centre Collage

Araluen Art Centre

2. Go for a dip in a natural waterhole

One of the best things about the waterholes in the Red Centre are there is absolutely NO crocodiles to worry about and therefore they all stay open year-round. There are some waterholes that are permanent, meaning regardless of rainfall you can guarantee there is water perfect for taking a swim in, and others that are semi-permanent, meaning it is best to swim in them after rainfall when they are most fresh and full. Because of where these waterholes are located they are protected and shaded by our stunning ranges and are usually pretty cold (regardless of the outside temperature).

Ellery Creek swimmers

Ellery Creek Big Hole

Ormiston Gorge

Ormiston Gorge

John Hayes Rockhole Renae Saxby

John Hayes Rockhole, Trephina Gorge

3. Have an icy cold drink at a pub

After taking a refreshing dip in one of the red centre’s natural waterholes, finish the day off with an icy cold beer at one of the local pubs and mingle with the locals in a relaxed, air-conditioned venue. Territorians are famously known for their love of the Australian outback, a good old fashioned yarn and an ice cold beer and no matter the time of the day - it’s always 12 o’clock in the Red Centre. So, pop into your pluggers, and head on in and grab an icy cold drink at one of the most popular pubs in Central Australia. 

Alice Brewery 2

Alice Springs Brewing Co

4. Take advantage of our pools

If you are seeking some place a little less nature driven, stopping past one of our swimming pools is an ideal way to beat the heat. It is easy to add the pool to your "staying cool" list, with most accommodation providers having one available for guests. For those visiting Alice Springs, the Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre is only a 10 minute walk from the heart of the city and boasts both outdoor and indoor pools, two water slides and a splash pad for toddlers. 

King Canyon pool

Discovery Kings Canyon

5. Outdoor activities, early/late. Indoor activities, afternoon.

Living up to its “sunburnt country” nickname, the Red Centre scorching outdoor heat should be avoided where possible, especially in the hottest part of the day. When planning your Alice Springs itinerary it’s advisable to plan all your outdoor activities early on in the morning such as hiking, day trips and swimming and staying out of the heat and cooling down indoors during the afternoon when you can soak up air conditioning and hydrated by sipping on an icy cold beer at a local pub. Some activities are best experienced at night, when the temperature starts to drop including watching a stunning sunset, enjoying a unique dining experience, or doing an astronomy tour.

Earth Sanctuary group

Earth Sanctuary Alice Springs


Sign up to receive the latest news, deals and travel information about the Northern Territory.

Choose to book with the Red Centre’s local experts

Need a hand choosing or booking your red centre adventure?