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Best time to visit the Northern Territory | Weather, price and activities

From Darwin and Kakadu to Alice Springs and Uluru, check out when you should go based on weather, price and activities.

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As one of Australia's northernmost states, the Northern Territory is prone to hot and wet weather. Considering a trip? Before you book, get wind of when's the best time of the year to go to suit your ideal itinerary.

When is the best time to visit the Northern Territory?

Wherever you're headed in the NT, the winter months of June, August and September offer warm weather with low humidity across the territory.

Those wishing to visit the Top End of the territory, including Darwin, should avoid travelling between November and April as this is cyclone season. It's also the summer months which welcome sweltering heat and average highs of 35℃.

Cheapest time to fly to the Northern Territory

For budget travellers, the summer season from December to February is the cheapest time to visit. Fair warning though – while fares are low, the temperatures and rainfall run high.


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Overview

Dry and arid are terms that are synonymous with the Northern Territory. Its northern half, which includes Darwin and Kakadu, experiences weather similar to those in the tropics with dry, warm winters and wet, humid summers.

Its southern half, which includes Uluru and Alice Springs, sees more distinct seasons. Here, the summers are hot and dry, springs and autumns are warm and winters can get bitterly cold in the evening.

Autumn, winter and spring are peak seasons across the territory.

Summer is the low season due to the high temperatures and humidity.

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Best time to visit the Northern Territory for...

  • Visiting Darwin: Mid-June to mid-September is the overall best time to see the territory's capital. The weather is cool, the skies are clear and there are a number of activities to experience, such as Darwin Festival.
  • Hiking: Winter outdoor exploration across the state is best during winter when the weather is in its low 20s and there's little rainfall. However, if you're seeking to camp we recommend visiting in spring or autumn as winter night temperatures can drop to the single digits.
  • Festivals: Art and cultural activities predominantly run August to October and give you a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture, traditions and music. Darwin Festival is in August, BASSINTHEGRASS in Darwin is in October and Parrtjima in Alice Springs is in September.
  • Hiking through Uluru and Kata-Tjuta National Park: Make your trip to the Red Centre between May and September for temperatures that won't see you break a sweat. Well, not a heavy one anyway. Many of the hiking trails in this National Park are exposed so hiking in the coolest temperatures possible is ideal. Either way, you should bring a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water when out and about. To stay on budget, avoid the July school holidays as this is a peak period when the region is well received by tourists and locals alike.
  • The Field of Light: This light illumination runs year-round at Uluru. There's no poor time to see it; however, if you visit during December you can catch a special Opera Australia performance amongst the lights. Details here.

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