Darwin in the Top End of the Northern Territory has two distinct seasons, the 'wet' and the 'dry'. The wet season runs from November until April, and is characterised by high humidity, monsoonal rains and storms. Temperatures typically range from a minimum of 25°C to a maximum of 33°C. The 'dry' season, from May until October, is characterised by warm, dry sunny days and cool nights. Temperatures typically range from 21°C to 32°C, and humidity levels are much lower. Here you will find information on temperature, rainfall and seasonal activities to help you plan your holiday in Darwin.
Weather in the Northern Territory is largely dictated by the annual monsoon cycle. While November to April is referred to as the ‘wet', and May to October is the ‘dry' season; in the vast expanse of Kakadu National Park, the local Aboriginal people recognise six different seasons.
January and February is considered by many as the most beautiful time of year in the Top End. Sunny days and afternoon storms refresh the landscape, and animals and plants flourish. The rivers and waterfalls are flowing and the countryside turns a lush green. One of the best ways to appreciate these natural wonders is from the air on a scenic flight.
As the heavy rains begin to ease in March and April, the rivers subside and the transition from wet to dry begins. Fish are plentiful in the rivers and billabongs. This is considered the prime fishing time and anglers flock to the tidal rivers around Darwin to catch barramundi.
Relatively cool weather arrives in May, and until July, nights are crisp and the mornings are misty with temperatures ranging from 17-23 °C during the night and a pleasant 29-32°C degrees during the day. Darwin really comes alive at this time of year as everyone makes the most of the clear skies and heads outdoors. This is a great time to recline in a deckchair and watch a movie under the stars at the open-air Deckchair Cinema; or watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean after visiting the famous Mindil Beach Markets. It is also the perfect time to explore the more remote areas of the region that can be off-limits during the wet. The Darwin Festival, the Top End's annual celebration of arts and culture, is held in August.
Birds in their millions converge on the diminishing waterholes and rivers in Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park and the Mary River wetlands during August and September. Birdwatchers come from around the world to see up to a third of Australia's bird species congregate in one place at the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve.
From October to December is the season of spectacular electrical storms, an event eagerly awaited by locals who watch the show from beachside restaurants and bars.
Tours and attractions operate year round in the Top End, however, weather conditions during the wet season can restrict travel to some areas, and some destinations may be closed between December and May.