The Northern Territory has two distinct climate zones: the tropical Top End, which has two seasons, and semi-arid Central Australia, which has four.
The Northern Territory has two distinct climate zones: the tropical Top End, and semi-arid Central Australia.
The Top End, which includes Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu and Arnhem Land, has a tropical climate, and has two distinct seasons, the ‘Wet’ and the ‘Dry’.
The Wet season spans from November until April and is characterised by increased humidity followed by monsoonal rains and storms. Temperatures typically range from a minimum of 25C (77F) to a maximum of 33C (91F), and humidity levels can reach in excess of 80%.
While weather conditions at this time of year can restrict travel to some areas, the Wet season is a stunning time to see the Top End. Waterfalls tumble, skies host incredible light shows, and the landscape turns a lush green.
The ‘Dry’ season, from May until October, is characterised by warm, dry sunny days and cool nights. Temperatures typically range from 21C (70F) to 32C (90F), and the humidity levels are much lower: around 60–65%.
Central Australia, which includes Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, the Barkly Tablelands and Uluru/Kata-Tjuta regions, has a semi-arid climate. The area experiences Australia’s four typical seasons: summer, autumn, winter and spring, with large variations in temperature from season to season.
In summer (December–February), average temperatures range between 20C (68F) and 35C (95F). In winter (June–August), the average temperature range is 3–20C (37–68F). Spring and autumn in Central Australia see warm days and cool evenings.
Note that temperatures in Central Australia can be extreme: temperatures can drop below 0C (32F) overnight in winter, and rise above 40C (104F) in summer. At these times, be sure to check the weather before you venture outdoors and make sure you are equipped for extremes.