Does it get cold in the Northern Territory?

Does it get cold in the Northern Territory?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 03/14/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

The Northern Territory is known as Australia’s outback. The remote area is home to dry, flat landscapes, coloured sands, and jagged rocks and gorges.

Many travellers picture the area as a scorching hot land, with the sun beaming down with very little shade. But this is not always the case. With the area being so huge, the weather and temperature are ever changing. Although the area won’t have snow anytime soon, the area is not always boiling.

Top End

Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu, and the Arnhem Land all have similar weather patterns, all nestled within the top end of the Northern Territory. Instead of the typical four seasons of Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring, the area instead has only two seasons. This is due to the area being a tropical climate, so rather than having an ice-cold winter, it has wet or dry seasons. The Wet season is between November and April, with mild temperatures but higher humidity and a bucket-load of rainfall and monsoonal storms. The dry season is between May to October and contains warm, sunny days and cool nights. Humidity drops (although not completely it is the tropics!) and rainfall become scarce.

Central Australia

Central Australia is made up of Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, the Barkly Tablelands and Uluru. This section has the four typical seasons of summer, autumn, winter and spring. With extremely hot summer days and freezing cold winter nights. This usually surprises visitors, for this area, especially iconic spots like Uluru is seen as a dry hot desert area. Although the days can be like this, even in winter, once the sun sets the temperatures can drop to even sub-zero number.

When is the best time to visit?

Choosing the right time of a year to explore the Northern Territory can be difficult as each area can vary. For best results, working out which area you will spend the majority of your time, and visiting during the part’s best season can help. Giving you better days on average times! For the Top end, the two seasons drastically change the landscape. This gives you a completely different experience depending on your choice of season. For the wet season, the landscape is lush, with plants bursting in greenery and rivers and waterfalls flooding. However, rain is common throughout this time and can result in strong storms halting your outdoor activities.

The dry season is the busiest and coolest times to travel here, as the humidity is lower and rain rare, giving visitors a much more enjoyable time. However, as it is the dry season, not as many plants are blooming, and crowds can swarm popular tourist sites. Our recommendation is August to September, which is the tail end of the dry season, promising beautiful days and quieter crowds. For Central Australia, nothing beats from September to October, for it has days ranging from 27 to 31 degrees, with the nights being a comfortable 10 to 14 Celsius.

Depending on your preferences for each season and location can help you decide when to travel to this fantastic area of Australia.

Related article: Why the Aboriginal Culture in Darwin, Northern Territory is so significant

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.