My mum phones me from Sydney the other day. “It’s sooooo hot,’’ she moans.

Now with air-conditioning. Image: Rebel Films

“The air is so humid, I can’t even go outside!

“I’ve shut up the whole house and closed all the blinds to keep it cool.

“I couldn’t use the oven, it made the house too hot.

“And I had to have a cold shower last night.

“It was so hot I couldn’t even sleep!

“Oh the humidity!’‘

Often when my mum says this, it’s in conditions that would be considered jumper weather for a Territorian.

But as temps in the southern states soared beyond 40 degrees recently, for a change she actually had legitimate grounds for her climatic grumble.

Welcome to our world, suckers. Now it’s not just Darwin that’s bringing sweaty back back.

Still, come on, it’s been about 10 days. We northerners endure weather that feels like a microwaved blanket has punched us in the face almost every day of the year.

You can’t use the oven? I live in an oven! You had a cold shower? Our pipes are so sun-exposed, I can’t have a cool one even if I try!

We Top Enders are well-versed in weather-related survival tactics, like how to eat a Paddle Pop in under 15 seconds, and how to build a respectable wardrobe out of only sleeveless garments.

As a result, I think Territorians should offer the southern states some counselling to get them through these warm weeks. The other day I heard a woman in Adelaide had to drink an iced coffee. Clearly they are suffering.

It’s only fair we share some of our secrets on how to conciliate the clammy climate with those sweltering civilians over our borders.

So, here are my Top 20 Heat-Defeating Tips From Territorians On How Soft Cock Southerners Can Survive and Thrive In Extreme Temperatures. These are also a handy reminder for northerners suffering through one of our steamiest and long-lasting not-so-wet wet seasons. (Note: some are sensible suggestions and actual methods used by tropics-dwellers; most are not).

1. If you don’t already have one, get a job in large office block that comes with icy air-con they pay you to sit in.

2. Try to spend most of your day in the shower.

3. Make friends with people who have a pool and use what little energy you have inventing excuses to pop around to their place.

4. Turn the air-con in your car on prematurely, say, 20 minutes before you have to go anywhere. If your car doesn’t have air-con, remove the windscreen. Or just park it in the western suburbs until someone smashes it in for you.

5. Instead of rushing through the supermarket, take your time examining the nutritional information in the dairy section. It’s time to find out what the heck `“permeate-free’’ means.

6. If you can put up with the disapproving stares and possible loitering charges, relocate any planned social events to the walk-in beer fridge at the bottlo.

7. Head to the cinema. Although they make you want to self-harm, The Hobbit and Les Miserable are currently screening. This double feature equals about 10 hours of good quality air-con.

8. Seek out other public places with air-conditioning that you can hang out. For example, shopping centres, hospitals, or the morgue.

9. Remove all your clothes. In the Territory it doesn’t even need to be particularly hot for people to embrace this idea. If attending a formal occasion, a mankini may be required - make sure to select your ‘going out’ one.

10. Hot air rises, so if you are a tall person, try walking crouched down or rolling to get from one place to another, or even around your home. Every NT apartment without exception has a white-tiled floor which can be quite nice to lie on earlier in the day.

11. Examine all fabrics you plan on wearing before you go out - velvet, satin, velour and leather are out. Throw out all shoes that aren’t thongs.

12. Change your food intake to suit the climate. Exist on a diet of only Zooper Doopers and Frosty Fruits eaten at break-neck speed.

13. Plan all outdoor activities before the sun comes up. Or just cancel them altogether.

14. Carry a spray bottle containing cool water around at all times. Squirt it on your face and place your face directly in front of a fan. If you don’t have a spray bottle, crying in front of a fan will also work.

15. Also have a `sweat towel’ on hand at all times to place on your car seat or lounge so you don’t leave permanent stains. If possible, pick up a designated ‘sweat chair’ from the op shop.

16. For boys, try freezing your underpants before you put them on. I’m told this cools down an area that generates a lot of heat.

17. Rent DVDs of movies set in cold places, like Cold Mountain or The Ice Storm. Or watch a few episodes of Cold Case.

18. Look to the animal kingdom for advice. Dogs dig themselves holes to lie in to keep cool, and kangaroos lick their forearms. Get out the shovel and start layering your limbs with saliva.

19. Get an umbrella hat. These are viewed by some as purely novelty attire for drunk cricket fans, but they are recognised by smart Territorians as an excellent source of transportable shade that doesn’t require you to lift your arms.

20. When all else fails and you simply cannot escape the swelter down south, do what we do when we get sick of our environment (or need modern medical care): get on a plane. Hey, you guys could come to Darwin!

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST

Most commented


Show oldest | newest first

    • PJ says:

      05:42am | 13/01/13

      Move to the UK? Its snowing.

      Its had 13 years of a Socialist Left Labour Government, so it should a utopia, paradise for some here.

      What’s that! Poor quality of life? Well learn the moral of the story Aussie.

    • Tedd says:

      05:09am | 14/01/13

      Tony Blair’s Labour govt? socialist left?  Tony was a mealy-mouthed autocrat who, like other mealy-mouthed autocrats, got suckered a decade ago into following Bush into a distracting war in Iraq.

      Now, back to the topic .... without non-sequiturs, pls.

    • Bluey Jones says:

      05:56am | 14/01/13

      Mate, you really need to get that whine gland checked.

      We’re pretty used to whining Poms in this country but yours is so over-active it’s impairing your brain function.

      It’s 2013 and the Poms have had a Conservative governement since 2010. You musta missed that.

      Just totter on down to the retirement village sick bay and book yourself in, there’s a good chap. They can whip it out in a jiff.

    • DJ says:

      08:06am | 14/01/13

      nice thread jack PJ

    • Colin says:

      11:27am | 14/01/13

      @ Bluey Jones

      Well, at least the UK has more than a modicum of Culture, unlike this sorry excuse for a country and the Great Unwashed Majority of rednecks that inhabit it…

    • S.L says:

      04:59am | 14/01/13

      In 1993 we suffered an extended heatwave in the Sydney region for about a month from just after the new year. In mid february I had to go to the UK where they were freezing at the time. When I returned 2 weeks later the heatwave had broken and even though Europe at the time was suffering from the cold to me it was heaven!
      So guys if you can afford it the “old dart” is a great option…......

    • Gregg says:

      05:39am | 14/01/13

      I left Melbourne for Europe in mid February 1994 on a day they had a 14C top temp and it was down to about 10C for departure so great for acclimatisation, a couple of snowfall periods in and around Zurich over the next couple of weeks and in between some beautiful clear sunny days of about just 0C but with no wind it was OK for shorts and Tshirt.
      Mind you, some of the locals still had their woolen overcoats and neck scarfs in place and I did get some odd looks, they probably thinking I was a local druggie, Zurich having a good dose of them about them.

      You should have put your trip off for a year!

    • Geronimo says:

      05:52am | 14/01/13

      You are obviously referring to Darwin and its oppressive Singapore like 100% humidity, 1000ks South in Tennant Creek’s zero humidity, 40c is not generally considered uncomfortable. Been there, done that for several years.

    • BJ says:

      07:58am | 14/01/13

      In Alice Springs, it needs to be at least 40c before some of the locals remove their beanies. They wear thongs in mid winter too.

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      09:12am | 14/01/13

      I was sent to work in Mt Isa some years ago. It was mid-Summer. I was warned by fellow-Southerners how hot it would be up there; ” Today it’s 43 in the SHADE, mate!!!” Got up there & yes, it was 43-plus BUT the Humidity Level was Zero. It was Wonderful, Yes, we wore hats. Yes, we went to the Pub for lunch BUT the local manager stopped us from having beers because of the dry weather. He explained that with no humidity even one beer could make us very drunk, very quickly &, great big, solid rugby playing man that he was, he ordered the sort of alcohol-free drinks for us all which down south would have raised eyebrows & have his sexuality questioned!
      I loved the place & the heat was wonderful - except when it bloody well rained & then it became a bit sticky!!
      What are people whingeing about anyway?
      Poor pathetic ,namby-pamby cry-babies!
      It IS Summer, children, get used to it.
      Get off your truck-sized backsides before the heat gets up, Close all the windows, curtain & doors & your house will stay cool. Close the doors into rooms you are not using & keep’em closed all day! You don’t even need air-con on all day, if at all! A few fans on low will circulate the air and make it seem cool
      Just thank whatever teapot etc. you worship that our Politicians can’t control the weather!
      Just think of the bloody awful mess they would make of it if they could

    • Colin says:

      11:30am | 14/01/13

      @ BJ

      “In Alice Springs, it needs to be at least 40c before some of the locals remove their beanies. They wear thongs in mid winter too.”

      That’s simply because they are bogans.

    • wakeuppls says:

      06:37am | 14/01/13

      Coober Pedy is hotter than Darwin. They built houses underground ffs. So I don’t know what makes you so tough living in Darwin. At least you have an ocean to swim in.

    • marley says:

      07:39am | 14/01/13

      It’s the old saw - it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity that gets you.

      And what with the jellyfish and the crocs, swimming in the ocean up there isn’t all that attractive in the wet.

    • Al says:

      07:45am | 14/01/13

      wakeuppls - I know that if I visted Darwin there is no way you would get me to go swimming in the Ocean up there, considering that crocodiles will venture out into the near coastal areas (not just the marsh and swamp areas).
      It would realy be a little silly.
      I also like to point out there is a huge difference between oppressive heat (generaly high temprature and high humidity) as opposed to arid heat (sure its hot, but almost nil humidity makes it quite bareable).
      I know where I grew up days above 40 degrees C in summer were the norm, and not realy oppresive at all. (and also in an arid area so little humidity).

    • Gregg says:

      07:49am | 14/01/13

      Oh yeah, full of crocs and stingers not to mention sharks that manage to evade the crocs!

      Darwin does have some good bars though, al fresco drinking or leaning on the open window sill drinking and admiring the passing scenery.

    • Ben says:

      07:49am | 14/01/13

      You don’t swim in the Ocean around Darwin. It’s far too shallow and suffers from Crocs and Box jellyfish for the majority of the year.

      Darwin’s heat is all about the heat and humidity together.

      Shopping centres with aircon are the best in Darwin, followed up by beer gardens and cold drinks.

    • DJ says:

      07:54am | 14/01/13

      you can’t smin in the ocean in Darwin - deadly stingers in summer when it is hottest and Crocs all year round.

      Darwin has humidity that Coober Peedy doesn’t have the humidity, you can’t escape the heat in Darwin even in the shade!

    • Peter says:

      09:02am | 14/01/13

      Been to Darwin a few times for work - a week was the longest time there.
      Frankly it’s a hot and sweaty sh*&hole;. No reason to live there unless you’re profiting from ripping things out of the ocean or the ground or selling sly grog to the locals.
      In fact I am trying to think of somewhere nice in Australia that isn’t a sh&*hole or crowded to the buggery or ridiculously expensive.
      Note to self - speak to boss about transfer to somewhere pleasant like Hawaii. Now that’s a nice place, not too hot, not too cold, you can swim in the ocean and people there understand about cusomter service. And the scenery ... second to none. And real estate is cheaper than here too.

    • Achmed says:

      09:13am | 14/01/13

      Even without the crocs and jellyfish the water temperature is that of a warm bath, not refreshing at all.  The temp of the water is 28c plus and this time of year 30c plus

    • Alicia says:

      10:59am | 14/01/13

      I’ll take your Coober Pedy heat over Darwin and it’s humidity any day. This wet season has been pretty poor, hoping for some rain soon but the minute that stops it’s just sticky and horrible.

      But the dry season is ... beautiful!

      I am forever thankful that I work in an office building in Darwin. My corner of the office just happens to be antartica.

    • Saint says:

      07:47am | 14/01/13

      Buy an air conditioner?

    • Toady says:

      09:13am | 14/01/13

      And murder millions of unborn babies for centuries to come?  Mankind is doomed, thanks to eco-terrorists and deniers like you.

    • Don says:

      10:17am | 14/01/13

      Actually the secret is to make sure your bedroom is air conditioned at least. As long as you can get a good nights sleep, everything else is sweet.. Lived in Darwin and Cairns for over 12 years combined with no worries following this rule.

    • TimB says:

      11:41am | 14/01/13

      This just in, air conditioning apparently murders babies. Who knew?

      IMO Toady, it’s people like you who insist on taking us back to the stone age who are doing more to doom mankind than anyone else.

    • subotic kills children says:

      12:13pm | 14/01/13

      Yep. Going out right now to buy several air-conditioners to ensure I keep the pre-adult population of planet Earth at an all-time low.

      China, India, are you listening to me?

    • ChrisE says:

      03:11pm | 14/01/13

      So Mr/s Moderator, I didn’t see the part in your “community agreement” where criticising the Greens brings censorship.

      Why is that?

    • Ally says:

      07:53am | 14/01/13

      Ah yes, the climate version of “you call that a knife? THIS is a knife”.

      Like many others have said on every other piece in the last week that calls out people in the south east states for complaining about hot weather, if you’re used to a certain temperature range an extreme in either direction is going to be a shock. For instance, I dare say someone from Darwin would be bitching something chronic about dealing with days in Hobart of six or seven degrees with a cold blast of southerly wind.

    • fay says:

      08:11am | 14/01/13

      If you don’t like where you live ...move.

    • Colin says:

      12:44pm | 14/01/13

      @ fay

      Oh, if only…

    • sunny says:

      08:34am | 14/01/13

      Last Tuesday it was so hot I saw a Mexican with heatstroke!

    • nihonin says:

      09:29am | 14/01/13

      Hope he cleaned his mess up, sunny.  wink

    • sunny says:

      10:51am | 14/01/13

      all he could do was say “aye chihuahua” over and over again smile

    • nihonin says:

      11:20am | 14/01/13

      Me thinks more than a sponge and a handywipe were required.  wink

    • gobsmack says:

      08:49am | 14/01/13

      “We northerners endure weather that feels like a microwaved blanket has punched us in the face almost every day of the year.”


      The 5 or 6 months of the Dry Season in Darwin is the best weather imaginable.  Sunny weather, nice sea breezes and never getting over the low 30s.  Then there can be anything up to 2 months of monsoonal weather when it rains non-stop.  Not comfortable but not hot either.

      The worst weather is during the build up (October to December) when temperatures in the high 30s is accompanied by high humidity.  That type of heat is much harder to endure than “dry heat” in the 40s.

    • gobsmack says:

      08:49am | 14/01/13

      “We northerners endure weather that feels like a microwaved blanket has punched us in the face almost every day of the year.”


      The 5 or 6 months of the Dry Season in Darwin is the best weather imaginable.  Sunny weather, nice sea breezes and never getting over the low 30s.  Then there can be anything up to 2 months of monsoonal weather when it rains non-stop.  Not comfortable but not hot either.

      The worst weather is during the build up (October to December) when temperatures in the high 30s is accompanied by high humidity.  That type of heat is much harder to endure than “dry heat” in the 40s.

    • Michael says:

      03:44pm | 14/01/13

      Shhh, it’s always unbearable, no fridges, dirt roads, crocodiles everywhere. It’s horrid, no one wants to go to place like that. You have to fly south to get a filling done, no work anywhere it’s disgusting, stay where you are it’s heaps better down south. Can’t catch a fish for all the crocodiles and mosquitoes so big they can carry away children or leave them drained dry in the yard.

    • Gregg says:

      08:54am | 14/01/13

      Seems as though the C word used by the Author in the article and not in the heading is also not allowed in a Softish way in a response.
      Is it seen to be sexist or what?

    • Robinoz says:

      09:18am | 14/01/13

      As a Central Australian, I could never understand how anyone would bother to live at Darwin. Even the so-called “dry” season in winter is unpleasantly humid to a dry-weather person like me. At least we have real seasons at Alice Springs, hot and dry most of the summer and bloody cold in the winter, a chance to get a jacket on and sleep with a doona.

      For the short time I lived there I lived in an airconditioned house, drove to work in an airconditioned car and stepped into a free airconditioned office. It’s also common to see people sitting at public tables in shopping centres, the library and anywhere else with decent airconditioning, especially now that the price of power has increased 30%.

    • Gregg says:

      10:42am | 14/01/13

      The EJ would have to be half a century old and springs seeming to still bear up under a reasonable load too.
      Could be worth a mint if restored and that’d be cool.

    • sunny says:

      11:17am | 14/01/13

      “9. .. If attending a formal occasion .. make sure to select your ‘going out’ one”

      the same applies with your umbrella hat in 19.

    • Meph says:

      11:33am | 14/01/13

      I had a fantastic idea the other day to cure both the temperature problems in southern Aus during the summer, as well as creating a whole new economy of beachfront realestate!

      Simply dig a huge hole in the middle of Australia! Cut a few canals to the coast in a few directions, and Bob’s your uncle/father/grandad/etc. A nice big heatsink of an inland sea, new freight options for the enterprising types to exploit, and the rock instantly becomes beachfront property. It might even help to take the edge off rising sea levels for all the climate whingers.

    • Last Man Standing says:

      12:24pm | 14/01/13

      Considering inland Australia was once salt lakes its not a bad idea.  The land is close to sea level.  Fill it, precipitation occurs, the rain begins, we regain our inland forests wiped out by climate.

    • sunny says:

      02:16pm | 14/01/13

      I can see the headline now “Tourist Taken By 4m Tiger Shark Off Alice Springs”

    • Meph says:

      02:52pm | 14/01/13

      Well Alice does have one sailing club and two surf shops!

      and sunny, nah, no sharks, crocodiles ate all the sharks!

    • nihonin says:

      03:42pm | 14/01/13

      sunny, that’s interesting, I didn’t know Balmain and Cronulla had joined forces and based the club in the middle of Australia.  wink

    • Carramaena says:

      12:31pm | 14/01/13

      I have lived in Darwin, and found the heat to be something to enjoy, it felt like my childhood summers. While swimming at the beach is out there are Howard Springs, Berry Springs, Litchfield Park, many local pools and in fact most houses in Darwin have a pool. The Fanny bay markets have the most relaxed atmosphere of any market I have ever been to, a night to try something new, a croc burger perhaps?

      The thing that I had trouble with was the build up to the wet, I was getting migraines daily and it literally felt like the clouds were pressing my skull around my brain.

      I had never suffered hay fever in my life before moving to Darwin, but found that after living in such a humid environment which obviously reduces any airborne particles, on the drive down the centre to Adelaide, when we hit about Tennant Creek I started sneezing and have suffered hay fever ever since. 

      I have to admit that once I returned to my home state of Victoria I did enjoy that winter, it had seemed odd not having that down time to hibernate in.

    • Cameron says:

      12:33pm | 14/01/13

      As a Sydneysider, people questioned my sanity when I decided to spend Christmas in Darwin (my first time to the Territory).
      We quickly adjusted, putting on our shorts, thongs and t-shirts. Even walking around the casino in thongs - had to remind myself that I wasnt breaking the rules not wearing covered shoes.
      The only thing I didnt like was the heat took out all my energy, and always seemed to crave a nap in our air conditioned bedroom. How do Territorians get anything done?? wink
      Loved NT!

    • John Kearney says:

      01:16pm | 14/01/13

      I dont know how long you been living in the Territory Kylie Stenenson but I remember when Aircon never even existed and you made do with just the humble fan, thats if anybody had power which was a luxury. Homes with no walls, long drops, showers under the ouside homemade elevated water tank, holden, Ford and Valiant cars cause 4x4`s never existed and a newspaper to read once every 3months if you were lucky enough to remember it when you get the much needed supplies.
      These days people whine that the aircon dont work cause we have regular blackouts when we get the odd storm or 3.
      I say go back to building houses of yesteryear which suited the Territory enviroment far better, cost far less, easier to maintain as most were elevated to catch the breeze and all open and you wern`t worried about the bugs ... buy a mozzie net for your bed cause thats how we did it.
      If that dont suit you then maybe you wousers can leave and give the Territory back to the Real Locals so we can fish when ever we want, drink when ever or where ever we want, leave our keys in the car for days, socialise with your neighbours, dont work on mondays or fridays,  not worry about what to wear or even the cost of living and be happy.  Thats how I remember the Territory.

    • Meph says:

      01:42pm | 14/01/13


      A lovely lady by the name of Tracy put paid to that idea of housing in the Territory. These days too many people are too paranoid to let common sense rule, an unfortunate side effect of progress.

    • Michael says:

      03:37pm | 14/01/13

      Lol, John you must have worked for the government back then raspberry Telecom or Defence? Telegraph yeah that old wire thingy not the news.

    • Lill says:

      01:37pm | 14/01/13

      Hahaha! Love it. So many of these are actually true not just jest. We have the same rules in NQ


Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more



Read all about it

Sign up to the free newsletter