Best time to visit Darwin...
Unlike southern parts of Australia, Darwin and the rest of the Northern Territory’s Top End (including the Kakadu, Arnhem Land and Katherine regions) don’t have the traditional four seasons. Here in the tropical north there are just two main seasons – the wet and the dry – and what you’ll be able to see and do during each season is as markedly different as the climate during each. If you’re thinking about visiting Darwin, we’ve pulled together a guide to help you get a better handle on the best time to head to the Territory’s tropical capital city.
Darwin in the dry
Jun-Aug (most popular)
During the dry season, Darwin is buzzing with the throng of tourists that flock to the Top End when the weather is at it’s coolest and most predictable. Locals and visitors alike make the most of the perfect climate by taking just about every activity they can to the outdoors, including cinemas, concerts, dining and even yoga.
The world-famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets are open for the dry, and visitors are spoiled for choice with a jam-packed calendar of events setting the town alight, including music and art festivals, sporting competitions, and outdoor food and wine festivals.
One of Darwin’s most spectacular natural attractions is at its best in the dry season; the fiery sunsets that wash the sky from cotton candy hues of pink, purple and blue to jewel tones of magenta, orange and red.
Because this is the city’s busiest and most popular time, you’ll need to book your accommodation, flights and tours early to beat the crowds, and you’ll be paying top dollar.
Darwin in the wet
Darwin is a totally different place in the wet season; to the introvert’s delight, there are fewer visitors because the weather is hotter, less predictable and more humid. With lower visitor numbers come lower prices and less pressure to book travel in advance, so if your traveller style is more laid-back, this could certainly work for you.
During the wet, people take to the indoors (or at least to their verandas with a cold drink in hand) to watch the electrifying tropical storms roll in across the seaside city’s spectacular harbour. These soaking rains bring with them new life, so expect to see the city’s tropical gardens at their most vibrant.
Apr-May and Sept-Oct
The transitional months between the wet and the dry are referred to as shoulder seasons, with the transition from dry to wet season particularly hot and humid. This particular season is called the ‘build up’ where the humidity escalates to extremely high levels, but relief is some weeks away until the refreshing wet season rains arrive. April-May is not as humid as the build up and a good time to visit to avoid the crowds that come in the peak of the dry season.
If you’ve made your mind up about when you’d like to visit, have a look at our tours departing from Darwin to some of the Top End’s most famous attractions, including Kakadu, Arnhem Land, the Kimberley and Cobourg Peninsula. Watch the video below of you most popular tour, a 5 day tour of the Top End.