13 hot summer tips to keep the Coolest Little Capital cool

25 January 2018

We all know Wellington is renowned for its great weather, but this summer has been something else. It’s hot – so Wellington City Council’s experts have compiled the following tips to help locals beat the heat:

Balmy summer evening on Mt Vic

Enjoying a balmy summer evening on Mt Vic.

1. Swim in Cook Strait — it’s balmy, not barmy! You don’t have to go all Meda McKenzie, there are regular ferries after all, but the normally chilly strait is warmer than normal and it’s beckoning. Island Bay, Princess Bay and Lyall Bay are the go-to beaches this summer – even for whiny blokes who worry about shrinkage issues.

2. Shout your co-workers ice cream sandwiches  — we’ve just gone past that point where it’s OK to forget about that tedious New Year’s resolution to lay off the treats, so a box of vanilla ice cream and crispy pink wafers will gain you friends and lower your body temperature.

3. Embrace 'cool-desking' — hot-desking is so last winter. Find the chilliest place in your building and set yourself up. Foyers, basements, the CEO’s office... commit to your new location and, if challenged, explain that you’re demonstrating a new flexible workplace mindset. 

4. Use your imagination — a Harvard study showed that Tibetan monks can significantly raise the temperature of their fingers, toes and other extremities through meditation alone. Do the opposite! Try visualising yourself lying in a cold bath in the snow, while icy winds whip through your hair. 

5. Rediscover the unheated Khandallah Pool — why not go for a walk up Mt Kaukau (count those 500 steps!) to break a sweat, then cool off in the pool. Afterward, have a latte and scone at the café next door. 

6. Get in the harbour at lunchtime — there can’t be too many capital cities that boast a harbour you can swim in without contracting some disgusting lurgy. No togs? No problem! Make a splash by jumping in in your work gear and carry that cool harbour water with you well into the afternoon. 

7. Stick a bowl of ice in front of the fan — it circulates colder air, lowering the temperature instantly and decreasing a complaint every five minutes. Men – a bowl of ice down the front of your trousers will lessen the impact of those long hot afternoons and be a conversation starter.

8. Coffee over ice — if you’re a caffeine bore, switch out a hot cup of joe for a cold one over ice. Lots of Wellington cafes have jumped on this craze.

9. Cold sheets — put your pillow cases in the freezer 30 minutes before you go to bed. If there’s enough room, shove the whole pillow in. Seriously. When your head is cool, it tricks the rest of your body into feeling cool, too.

10. Hang around the city’s coolest spots — for example, Unity Books – it’s a cool, chilled out, venue in more ways than one. 

11. Free the feet — bring the outdoors into the office, the beach to the boardroom, the breeze to the big toe. Jandals have never been more du jour. So slip into comfort before the weather flip-flops back. Bureaucrats – this doesn’t give you license to break out the walkshorts, socks and sandals, though. There is a limit. 

12. Chill out under the trees — Otari-Wilton’s Bush, the Botanic Garden and Truby King Park in Melrose all have loads of lovely foliage that’ll shade you from the sun.

13. And, this may be a real stretch, but banish your black Wellington wardrobe — take advantage of the great deals on offer across Wellington’s many designer stores and clothing shops and nab yourself a colourful bargain. Or, dig out that linen jacket that’s been hiding in the back of your wardrobe. After all, a Miami climate calls for Miami pastels! Tubbs and Crockett are back! This applies to Hutt Valley bogans and Beastwars fans too.