Best Time Of Year To Visit Darwin, Northern Territory

Darwin is most popular during the dry season, typically from May to October, but that’s not to say it’s not a destination to visit year-round.

Located in the remote Top End of the Northern Territory, in the far north of Australia, Darwin’s tropical climate means it experiences two distinct seasons: dry and wet.

Dry Season (May to October)

As I just mentioned, the dry season is the most popular time to visit Darwin. The weather in the region is consistently warm (and pleasant by Darwin standards), with lower humidity and temperatures ranging from 21°C to 32°C (70°F to 90°F), a stark contrast to the winter in the southern parts of Australia at this same time of year.

This consistent warm weather makes it a great time for outdoor activities, particularly exploring the national parks the Northern Territory is famous for – Kakadu and Litchfield.

The dry season is also when the bars and restaurants come alive. The influx of tourists creates an amazing atmosphere every night of the week in the city. It’s also when the markets run, particularly the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Market.

Darwin knows it’s a good time of year to be in the Top End and actively encourages interstate visitors with a number of festivals and sporting events in the city, particularly in June and July.

However, the dry season is also when bushfires are most frequent. While the smoke haze contributes to the city’s stunning sunsets, it can also be an issue for those with breathing difficulties.

Wet Season (November to April)

By contrast, the wet season is characterised by high humidity and heavy rainfall. That’s not to say that it rains all the time; the city (and region) experiences monsoonal storms, which deliver a lot of heavy rain in relatively short periods of time, similar to what you might have experienced in South East Asia at this same time of year.

Darwin’s temperatures during the wet season are a little warmer, typically between 25°C and 33°C (77°F and 91°F). But the humidity makes the biggest difference, comfort wise.

However, the somewhat unpredictable nature of the weather and the fact that many sections of the national parks can be closed due to flooding mean less tourists flock to the city this time of year.

As such, the bars and restaurants are a little quieter, but you will also find much better deals on flights and accommodation in the city.

If you love watching storms roll in, the wet season is a great time to visit Darwin. It’s also when the waterfalls in the national parks are at full flow. However, given that the trails could be washed out and the swimming holes are closed due to crocodiles migrating through the flood waters, if you want to visit the National Parks at this time of year, it’s best to do a helicopter tour or scenic flight, particularly in the morning when the weather is most predictable.

Did You Know

Fun Fact: While we consider Darwin and the Northern Territory to have two seasons, in line with other tropical locations across South East Asia, the local Larrakia people (the Indigenous traditional custodians of Darwin) believe the region has seven season:

  • Balnba (rainy season)
  • Dalay (monsoon season)
  • Mayilema (speargrass, Magpie Goose egg and knock ‘em down season)
  • Damibila (Barramundi and bush fruit time)
  • Dinidjanggama (heavy dew time)
  • Gurrulwa (big wind time)
  • Dalirrgang (build-up)

Need More Darwin Travel Tips?

Need more help planning your trip to Darwin? Make sure you read my ultimate guide, covering everything else you need to know.

Also, make sure you check out the travel tools I use most to help you save money when booking your next trip.

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About the author

Rhys Vandersyde

Traveller, Photographer, Content Creator - I've spent the last 20 years actively seeking out new destinations and new adventures. Find out more about me here: vandersyde.com.au

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