As the state burns and tougher water restrictions loom, the idea of keeping a healthy, green garden seems impossible, and perhaps even irresponsible.
But Wollongong Botanic Garden curator James Beattie says this is a common misconception.
"Plants evaporate water from their leaves - it's called transpiration - and that has a cooling effect, so in times of incredible heat plants can help to cool the area," he said.
"And if plants die, all the insects and everything that lives off them will have a tougher time too.
This is still a good time to green your local area and help the local flora and fauna in the heat.James Beattie
"It is difficult when there are limited water resources, but it is made much easier if you choose natives and the right plants for the right place in your garden."
This Saturday, the garden's Greenplan Nursery will hold its final plant sale for the year, selling subsidised ground covers, grasses, trees and shrubs that are indigenous to the Wollongong area.
"These plants have adapted to the local climate - admittedly we are at the extreme end of that being in drought - and they will fare better than soft-leaved, lush and tropical things," Mr Beattie said.
As part of the sale the council's horticulturalists will be on site to provide advice on plant selection for certain soil and garden conditions, as well as those highly tolerant to drought.
"They can also talk about how you can use water crystals, organic matter, mulch, compost and strategic watering to help your garden get through the drought," Mr Beattie said.
"For instance, if you water in the middle of the day most of the water will just evaporate. Whereas if you water in the early morning, or the evening, or in the middle of the night before you go to bed, the water can soak into the soil properly and get through to the roots of the plants."
Plant and tree species for sale on Saturday between 7.30am and 2.30pm include Native Holly, Blue Flax lilys, Native Basil and Warrigal Greens. There will be 25 per cent off the usual price of all stock.
Residents should taken along a rates notice, and payment is to be made by card or cheque.