The Weather in Darwin, Australia
What Is The Best Time To Travel To Darwin?
Darwin, Australia weather stats, monthly temperatures and rainfall tables, Darwin weather forecast:
The weather of Darwin in Australia's tropics is influenced by only two seasons:
Dry season and wet season.
There is no spring, summer, autumn and winter here.
Below I have put together some information for people trying to work out what is the best time to travel to Darwin.
- Find out what the two seasons mean for the Darwin weather,
- what that means for your travels (what is the best time to travel to Darwin),
- check the tables with the monthly temperature and rainfall averages for Darwin.
A general rule of thumb for the weather in Australia's north, and therefore the Darwin weather, goes something like this:
The dry season is the best time for travel to Darwin. It lasts from April/May until September/October and brings beautiful weather in Darwin with clear blue skies, balmy nights and warm days. (If you look a bit closer you will find that especially the beginning and the end of the dry season can be quite hot.)
The wet season in Darwin starts around October/November and initially brings hot and steamy weather with the occasional spectacular lightning storm and short but intense rains. Temperatures drop a bit and rain falls increase as the new year approaches. Most of Darwin's rain falls between January and March. This is also the time of the year with the biggest risk of cyclones and floods.
Take those rules with a grain of salt. Darwin's weather during the dry season is very predictable, but real life wet seasons don't follow any rule of thumb... It may rain very early or very late or not at all for months. Wet season weather in Australia is above all unpredictable.
As I said, we can predict the dry season in Australia: the Darwin weather is perfect every day, no rain, comfortable temperatures, and huge tourist crowds...
See, everybody is told the middle of the dry season is the best time to travel to Darwin and northern Australia, so everybody arrives here at the same time, which also coincides with the Australian school holidays. I'd say, disregard the standard advice about the best time to travel to Darwin. Don't go anywhere that's popular with tourists from mid June to mid August...
In my opinion the very early dry season is the best time to travel to Darwin, followed by the late dry season. You will find slightly higher temperatures but the lower tourist numbers make up for it.
How early in the dry season? Hmm, that depends on how much rain Darwin had in the wet season, and how late. And Australia's wet seasons are unpredictable...
It also depends on your plans. If you want to visit just the bigger and well known attractions around Darwin, go early. If you look at going bush and four wheel driving you'll need to wait a bit longer for the roads to open. I think early to mid May is a good compromise.
How late in the dry season? It's funny. Nearly every year the Darwin weather features a few very hot days late in August or early September. All the tourists panic, hitch up their caravans and head south. And after that we get another three to four weeks of beautiful weather in Darwin, so that's a good window to catch. By the end of October it's usually too hot and sticky for the average tourist.
How about travel to Darwin during the wet season? If you are adventurous and flexible and don't mind the warm Darwin weather, give it a go. Like most locals I love the wet season. It's spectacular and wild and exciting, and it brings life. Waterfalls are raging, all the wildlife is mating and breeding, wildflowers are blooming, and you can watch the plants grow. It's the best time of the year.
Just keep one thing in mind when you look at the temperature tables below: the Darwin weather is moderated by the ocean. As soon as you leave Darwin and head inland, say to Kakadu or Katherine, the temperatures will be much higher.
Darwin Temperature Averages
This table shows you the monthly temperature averages: the daily maximum, and the minimum for the night. The data was collected at Darwin airport between 1941 and 2004.
You are looking at long term averages, and averages can be deceiving. The temperatures at any given day or night can be well below or above that.
But more importantly, the humidity during the wet season is a lot higher, which makes the same temperatures just so much more uncomfortable... (To get an idea what the Darwin weather feels like during the wet season add about 7 - 10°C to the actual temperature.)
Darwin Temperature Extremes
This table shows the highest/lowest temperatures ever recorded at Darwin airport. This is where you want to keep in mind that as soon as you leave Darwin to go further inland the weather will be more extreme, much hotter during the wet season days, and much colder during the dry season nights.
Darwin Weather - Australia's North And Rainfall
This table shows rainfall amounts in mm: the average per month, the highest/lowest monthly rainfall that has been recorded, and the highest ever recorded daily rainfall amount for every month.
It shows very well the extreme variations, the unpredictability, and also how our rain often falls in a matter of a few hours or days. It's very impressive when it happens. Several hundred mm in one day is a HUGE amount of water to fall out of the sky...