When is the Best Time to Visit Australia? - by Region
The Best Time to Visit the Northern Territory
The Northern Territory plays host to a handful of the country’s largest deserts, including the Great Sandy Desert, Tanami Desert, and the Simpson Desert, each contributing to an expansive landscape that is uniquely Australian. With terrain ranging from powerful rivers and expansive wetlands to barren deserts and sandstone escarpments, much of the Northern Territory has been shaped by a monsoonal climate that cultivates extremities, ensuring one of the most dynamic and exciting environments on earth.
1) The Red Centre
Australia’s interior is an arid semi-desert with very little rain, high summer temperatures and occasionally freezing winter nights. The best time to visit Australia's Red Centre, Uluru and Kata Tjuta is between May and September when the maximum temperature during the day is usually between 20°C (68°F) and 30°C (86°F). The weather is cooler, making it easier and safer and much more pleasant to walk and there is very little rain. Overnight temperatures can be very cold during winter, so be sure to bring some warm clothing with you.
August and September are usually the best months to see the park’s wildflowers in bloom. October to March can get extremely hot, with daytime temperatures regularly exceeding 35°C (95°F). However, the hot weather also brings storms and rain, which fill the waterholes and start Uluru’s waterfalls flowing – a truly spectacular sight!
If you visit the park during the summer, make sure you drink plenty of water and do not walk after 11.00 am. Summer also brings large numbers of flies to the desert, so you might want to consider wearing a protective head net (these can be purchased when you arrive).
Weather in Uluru could be considered extreme. Summer temperatures can get very hot with temperatures soaring to 40°C (104°F) and 45°C (113°F) in the desert. On the contrary, during the winter, temperatures can drop to below 0°C (32°F) Here’s a rundown of what temperatures you could expect when you visit, depending on the season and the months you choose (all temperatures are in Celsius and are rounded off).
Spring – High from 26°C-34°C (79°F-93°F) and low from 17°C-9°C (62°F-48°F)
Summer – High from 35°C-38°C (95°F-100°F) and low from 17°C-21°C (62°F-69°F)
Autumn – High from 23°C-28°C (73°F-82°F) and low from 17°C-8°C (62°F-46°F)
Winter – High from 22°C-20°C (71°F-68°F) and low from 5°C-3°C (41°F-37°F)
2) Darwin, Kakadu, Arnhem Land, Katherine & Surrounds
Known for its tropical weather, Salt Water Crocodiles, rich Indigenous culture, abundant fishing spots, National Parks and laid-back Australian lifestyle; the Top End is blessed with more than its fair share of world-class destinations and attractions. Monsoonal wet and dry seasons provide the region with one of Mother Nature’s most punishing environmental contrasts, shifting from dry heat and scorched earth to astonishing downpours and flooded plains on a half-yearly cycle.
Wet Season (November – April)
During the wet season, the Top End is subject to unprecedented volumes of rainfall. Characterised by intense and often visually dramatic weather events, the average temperatures range from 25°C (77°F) to 33°C (91°F) and are amplified by a sharp rise in humidity (in excess of 80%).
Visiting the Top End during the wet season provides travellers with some interesting dilemmas. The increased rainfall results in spectacular waterfalls pumping with life and lush green landscapes that engulf much of the region, including Kakadu and Litchfield National Park. Locations such as Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls will also reach their visual best during these months. - Katherine Gorge as a visually impressive destination during the wetter months. The whole area's waterfalls are amazing when it’s so wet, the wildlife really comes out but the downside is roads can often be closed and certain areas won’t be accessible.
Dry Season (May – October)
During the dry season, the Top End boasts warm sunny days and crisp winter nights. Temperatures typically range from 21°C (70°F) to 32°C (90°F), with a drying heat throughout the day complemented by substantially lower levels of humidity (around 60 – 65%) providing arguably the most comfortable time of year to visit.
With the lowest temperatures falling between May and July, the Top End will never be more accessible than it is during these months. Regions that were previously off-limits from flooding or dangerous conditions have now reopened and visitors are free to explore every nook and cranny to their heart’s content.