Northern Australia is renowned as having the most predictable weather patterns in the country. Put simply, when you’re in the Northern Territory’s Top End or Western Australia’s Kimberley region it’s either going to be warm and wet or warm and dry.
But what does that mean for travellers? To help decide when you want to travel, we’ve jotted down some tips if you’re planning to visit Darwin, Kakadu National Park, Broome or the Bungle Bungles.
Summer is the wet season and normally lasts from November to March. You can expect daytime temperatures of around 34 degrees Celsius. At night it doesn’t often drop below 25 degrees Celsius.
The onset of the Wet means temperatures rise, the probability of monsoonal rain increases and tourists tend to drop off. Locals often love it when the rain arrives, because it washes away the build up of humidity. Heavy downpours are typically frequent, though sometimes brief in the tropical heat and days are more overcast. Some areas are prone to flooding, which is why you’ll find that many tours don’t operate during the wet season.
It’s a quieter time, pace slows and people shelter under open air verandahs or indoors and close to air conditioners. But you might not want to let the wet season deter you entirely from travelling at this time. It’s also when Darwin and Broome are at their most tropical. Rainforests and the bush are alive, waterfalls are more dramatic than ever and the afternoon storms can be spectacular.
April to October is the dry season, when the average temperature is an inviting 25 degrees Celsius and rainfall drops dramatically. The temperature can still heat up, but the big difference is the lower humidity.
During the Dry, the regions come alive with markets, festivals, moonlight cinemas, open-air concerts and more. It’s when visitors flock from the south to enjoy the warm days and balmy nights. With the drier weather and clearer skies, it’s ideal for enjoying your time outdoors.
If you are planning to visit Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks or the Bungle Bungles in WA, early in the dry season is ideal. More parts of the parks are accessible, wildlife viewing is fantastic, swimming holes are open, waterfalls feed full rivers and the land is still lush and green.