As temperatures edge closer towards Whanganui's hottest day on record, working conditions become what some have described as unbearable.

Whanganui reached a high of 29C yesterday, just 2.3C away from the town's steamiest day on record, said MetService.

While holidaymakers have described the sun as the gift that keeps on giving, people working among the rays of heat think otherwise.

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Scorching temperatures have Kiwis splashing out on fans, ice cream and sunblock

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Yesterday the Chronicle went on the hunt to find the hottest job in town and here are the jobs that took the cake.

The boys from asphalt contractors Tartek had it tough, jumping from one job to the next shovelling and laying 160C tar mix in scorching heat.

Tartek owner Tristan Teki said his team would definitely be in the running for the hottest job in town because all the work was done by hand and was extremely physical.

"They will be doing 100 tonne jobs shovelling, screeding and working close to the paver which has burners on the back heating the back up to 500 degrees, steel glowing red."

John Albert said the key was water and plenty of it.

"She's been pretty hot and it just keeps getting hotter, pretty terrible really. At the moment we've just been doing 10-minute patch-up jobs but the big jobs we'll be doing next week are 100-tonne jobs and we are working about four hours at a time."

Dan Jackson from Rivercity Scrap Metals said it was near enough to 30C in his workshop at 7.30pm on Monday night.

"The steel in the yard absorbs the heat and radiates it back. I have to wear full overalls for safety and I've been soaking them with a horse off and on during the day to cool off."

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Mr Jackson said he had been drinking water flat out and sweating it straight out again.

"Sometimes we spray water on the ground near we're working to cool everything down and you can see it steaming off the steel."

And let's not forget the roofers. The lads from Broad Roofing have had to wind up early the past few days because the heat has been that unbearable.

A MetService spokesman said the humidity was a contributing factor to the heat people have been feeling this summer.

Whanganui's hottest day on record, since 1978, was 31.3C that struck on January 18, 2011.

Whanganui has reached 30C only 10 times since 1978, and only three times in January.