Thousands of people flocked to Sydney’s Bondi Beach on Sunday as temperatures along the east coast peaked at 28C.
Just three days into spring, Sydney-siders appeared to shrug off the cooler weather and embrace the heat.
Bikini-clad women cooled off in the sea as the wave of warmth hit, while others soaked up the sun on the sand.
A few men even took their dogs out for a surf in Bondi’s gentle waves, with the drenched pooches looking content standing on their boards.
Other times they shared the boards with their owners as they rode the surf in to the beach, blissfully lying on the edge of the board.
All the while, lifeguards kept watch in case any of the hundreds of beachgoers ran into trouble, but there were no incidents recorded.
‘The surf is 2-3 feet with a SE swell so depending on which beach you visit the conditions will vary from near flat at north facing beaches, to a nice, fun wave at south facing beaches,’ Costalwatch advised.
‘The water is still quite cold sitting at around 19-20 degrees. It’s a good day to get dad out on a longboard or on a board with a little extra foam.’
Farther inland authorities cancelled planned controlled burns as the high temperatures and howling winds of up to 45km/h stoked bushfire fears.
The Rural Fire Service put Sunday’s fire danger at very high and was worried a hotter September could bring numerous bushfires.
While Sydney packed the heat on Sunday, the cold weather won’t be dormant for too long, with Sydney temperatures set to drop below 10C on Tuesday.
Maximums will quickly drop off from Monday, down to 22C, before hovering at 19-20C for the rest of the week before falling to 16C on Saturday.
Minimums will stay consistent, gradually declining from 11C to 8C by the weekend.
Rain is forecast for Friday and Saturday, but mostly sunny conditions are expected through the rest of the week until then.
But while the sun was shining in Sydney on Sunday, wild winds battered Victoria where it was much cooler and still feeling very much like winter.
Gusts as high as 115km/h were recorded in some parts of the state.
A severe weather warning for damaging winds remains in place for northeastern Victoria and parts of the coast, where 100km/h gusts have been recorded, the Bureau of Metereology forecasts.
Australia hasn’t had such a dry winter since 2002 and Sydney only had 30 per cent of its average August rainfall during last month.
The State Emergency Service received 46 requests for assistance in 12 hours with most of the calls for help regarding downed trees and branches.
Alpine areas have been warned peak gusts of 100km/h may continue into Monday morning.
The top wind gust recorded on Sunday was 115 km/h at Mount Buller, with Mount Hotham airport recording 107km/h winds.