Extreme temperatures scorch Australia

On a fifth straight day of extreme temperatures there are very few ways to get out of the heat, and  Australia's heatwave is unrelenting.

Temperatures of 45degC are forecast in western Sydney, where only the water gives welcome relief.

For inland communities, there's no escape

In towns like Condobolin in New South Wales, the streets this week were completely empty as the temperature reached 46degC.

Others in the state soared even higher, hitting 40degC at midnight in White Cliffs, and daytime temperatures of 48degC.

Meteorologist Jane Bolding says it hasn't been this hot for 80 years.

"The last we can see of comparable intensity for the temperature and the length of how hot it is, is back in 1939."

Twenty-seven heat records were set on Thursday across Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.

The heat brings a host of dangers both on the scorching land, and in the sea.

Already this week has seen several near drownings, one on Sydney's Bondi beach.

Others are suffering from heat exhaustion.

A 10-year-old boy in Western Sydney was taken to hospital, dehydrated and vomiting in the scorching heat.

New South Wales paramedic Tatalia Noor says that people are trying their best to stay safe.

"They had hats on, they tried to stay in the shade but unfortunately it wasn't enough today so best to stay inside."

 A cold change tomorrow will provide some respite, but forecasters warn it's only temporary and temperatures could climb even higher next week.