The best time to visit the Northern Territory

Are you thinking of exploring the Northern Territory? Do you know when the seasons are or when you should come? Discover the climate & best time to tour the Northern Territory now!

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If you are planning to visit the NT you are most likely doing one of two things, either planning a trip to the north (Darwin, or Kakadu National Park) or visiting Alice Springs/Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the south.

A big Red Kangaroo laying in the shade of a tree
During the hot summer months even the
animals like to hide in the shade!

If you are visiting the north, it has a tropical climate with a monsoonal wet and dry season, and you should follow the link to the when to visit Darwin page for more details.

However, if you are planning on exploring the southern part of the NT just keep reading!

Alice Springs is the only major town/city in the southern part of the territory, so let us investigate the weather there as it gives the best indication of what to expect when exploring this area.




Average Temperatures in southern NT (Alice Springs):

 
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec

Avg. Max Temp:
36
35
32
28
23
20
20
23
27
31
34
36

Avg. Min Temp:
21
20
17
12
8
5
4
6
10
15
18
20

Avg. Rain (mm):
39
44
33
17
19
14
15
9
9
22
29
37


These are the average yearly temperatures from 1942 - 2012 and are sourced from www.weatherzone.com.au.
For more details please visit  www.weatherzone.com.au (Alice Springs)



Hottest 3 months:
December, January, February
Coldest 3 months:
June, July, August
Wettest 3 months:
December, January, February
Hottest ever:
45.2°C in January (1960).
Coldest ever:
-7.5°C in June (1976).

During the summer months of December - February when it rains, it pours down like a torrential tropical storm!. During the winter months of June - August it gets really cold at night, but because of the lack of rain it is also the most dusty time of the year.

Conclusion:

This is what I recommend:

A guy dressed up as Santa Clause walking through Outback Australia
If you come during December you might
just see the elusive Outback Santa!
  • - If you like it really hot come during the months of October - March. This has the added advantage that there won't be as many tourist! During the colder months Alice Springs is literally overflowing with tourists wanting to see Uluru.
  • - If you don't like it really hot, come during April - September.
  • - But... if you don't want to be crowded with too many other tourists it is best to come in either April or September, as the tourists numbers are much lower.
  • - My verdict, April is the best month to come. It is not too busy, the weather is great with an average of 28°C during the day, there is still water in the local gorges for you to swim in, it is not too dusty, and the nights are not yet freezing! It also has the added advantage that if you are planning on then heading north to Darwin, April/May is when I recommend to get there!


Note: The Northern Territory is a massive place. While this page gives a quick guide as to what to expect, and when I recommend you should visit certain areas, it is always a very good idea to check the local weather forecast before heading somewhere new. Australia is a land of extremes with anything ranging from bushfires to flooding, or even the odd cyclone. While the chances of these are minimal, it pays to be safe!

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