Best Time to go to Darwin

The best time to go to Darwin is typically during the dry season, from May to October. During this time, the days are warm and dry, with little to no rainfall and lower humidity than during summer. This time of year also compares favorably with southern Australia, which is in the grips of winter and is typically cold and often wet. The dry season months are also when some of the best events are held in Darwin, including the popular Darwin Fringe Festival and horse racing Darwin Cup. However, there are plenty of reasons to go to Darwin throughout the year, and we’ll look at all of these in this article. 

Where is Darwin?

Darwin is located in the far north of Australia in the Northern Territory. Darwin is Australia’s most northern city, a state capital, and one of the most isolated cities. In fact, Darwin is closer to Timor-Leste and Indonesia than it is to the nearest Australian city. It’s situated between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Equator, enjoying a tropical climate throughout the year.  

Best Time to go to Darwin for Good Weather

Darwin’s location in the Tropics means it enjoys a warm year-round climate. Rather than four seasons, the year is divided into a wet and dry season, which both run for an equal period. The wet season runs over the Australian summer, starts in November, and runs through April. The dry season runs over the Australian winter from May through October. So unless you’re a big fan of rainfall, heat, and high humidity, the best time to go to Darwin for weather is during the dry season. The following table demonstrates the stark difference between the wet and dry seasons. 


Maximum Temp

Minimum Temp

Days of Rain

















































Best Time to Visit Darwin for Events and Festivals

Often, coverage of when to visit a destination can be too focused on the weather and doesn’t consider what events are going on in and around a destination. If you time your trip right, being in a place for one of their big events or festivals can make a good trip a great trip. To help you decide on the best time to go to Darwin, we’ve included some of the biggest and best events in Darwin’s social and cultural calendar. 

Australia Day – This annual holiday on 26th January is often celebrated with street parties. On the esplanade, there’s a military flyby and 21-gun salute. There’s also free access to various public facilities on the day, including pools.

Territory Day – Held on the 1st of July each year, this is often a raucous occasion to celebrate the Northern Territory achieving self-government in 1978. There are various events throughout Darwin and the Northern Territory, with fireworks on Mindil Beach providing a spectacular end to the day. 

Sunsetting over the Timor Sea at Mindil Beach
Facing west, Darwin is blessed with spectacular sunsets over the Timor Sea.

Mindil Beach Sunset Markets – Operating every Thursday and Sunday through the dry season, this is a great place to shop, eat, and see entertainment. There’s something here for all the family and a stunning sunset always accompanies it. 

Darwin Fringe Festival – An annual event that runs for 10 days each July, it celebrates the rich arts and cultural scene of the North Territory. It features an eclectic set of performers that range from comedians to cabaret and from circus performers to magicians. This is a really magical time to visit the city.  

Darwin Cup Festival – The Darwin Cup Festival is a series of racing meets that take place through July and August, culminating in the Darwin Cup race. The 8 race meetings that make up the festival are popular affairs with plenty of parties and entertainment included. Plus, of course, lots of high-quality racing. 

With the Darwin Fringe Festival, Darwin Cup Festival, and Mindil Beach Sunset Markets all on during July, you can’t go wrong with a visit at this time. While it’s peak season and costs will undoubtedly be slightly higher, we think the cost is more than justified given the wealth of attractions available at this time. 

Colourful fireworks over Mindil Beach celebrating Territory day
Territory Day is celebrated with elaborate firework shows in Darwin.

Best Time to Visit Darwin for Kakudu National Park

Kakadu and nearby Litchfield National Park are two of the most popular reasons to visit Darwin and the Northern Territory. These two vast parks offer many amazing experiences, landscapes, and wildlife encounters. Choosing when to visit them isn’t as straightforward as just picking the time with the best weather, as there are pros and cons for both the dry season and the wet season. The final decision will come down to your preferences: what you want to see, what you want to do, and whether you’re prepared to deal with crowds or the rain.

Conventional wisdom tells you to visit Kakadu during the dry season from May through October. There will be little to no rainfall, warm and pleasant days, fewer bugs, and you can swim in some pools and at waterfalls. It all sounds very idyllic. However, on the flip side, the parks are exceptionally busy and, at some points, very crowded. You’ll also find that the landscape isn’t as spectacular later in the season, with the lush green colors fading and waterfalls slowing to a trickle.

The wet season, on the other hand, is a completely different experience. The parks are lush and green with thunderous waterfalls and few other tourists. However, such perfection comes at a cost in terms of rain, humidity, and bugs. A lot of bugs. There are also some issues with access after particularly heavy rainfall. If that doesn’t put you off, consider visiting in the wet season, as you’ll also benefit from a lower price for any tours and accommodation you book.

Our dedicated blog post has a more in-depth look at the best time to visit Kakadu

The Jim Jim Waterfall in Kakadu National Park
Nearby Kakadu National Park is one of Australia's biggest and best parks.

Best Time to Visit Darwin for Cheap Flights and Accommodation

Darwin’s peak season coincides with the dry season and includes the Christmas School Holidays across December and January. Therefore, the cheapest times to visit are typically from February to early May and from September to November. Although these periods include the months of May, September, and October, which all fall into the dry season, these shoulder months are still significantly cheaper than the peak months of June, July, and August. 

Related Content

Best Time to Visit Uluru

Best Time to go to Broome

Best Time to go to Cape York

Best Time to go to Darwin

Brisbane to Byron Bay Road Trip

Best Time to Visit Margaret River

Cairns to Cape Tribulation

Can you Drive to Australia?

Latest Blog Posts

Can you Drive to Morocco?

You can drive to Morocco from the neighboring countries of Spain and Mauritania, but not Algeria, despite a nearly 2000 km long border between the two countries. Travel between Morocco and any of its neighbors comes with its fair share of challenges. At first glance, you could be mistaken for

10 Best National Parks in Western Australia

If you love solitude, amazing landscapes, and vast open spaces, you’re going to love Western Australia. This amazing land, and the northwest in particular, is often referred to as the ‘Last Frontier’. It’s a land of endless remote possibilities and nowhere showcases this better than the amazing array of national

17 Best Things to do in Vlore

The Albanian port city of Vlore is one of Albania’s spectacular coastal highlights. Situated at the northern end of the Albanian Riviera and overlooking the beautiful Bay of Vlore, the city is blessed with a wealth of attractions. The home of Albanian independence and the gateway to the Riviera, the

Can you Drive to Tuktoyaktuk?

You can drive to remote Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean using the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway, also known as the “Mackenzie Highway” or “Tuk Highway.” The road provides access to Tuktoyaktuk from Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. Inuvik is accessible from mainland Canada by using the Dempster Highway, which runs all the

Can you Drive to Gasparilla Island?

It’s possible to drive to beautiful Gasparilla Island from the nearby Florida mainland using a bridge known as the Boca Grande Causeway. The causeway connects the unincorporated community of Placida on the mainland to the northern tip of Gasparilla Island, allowing vehicles to access the island. There’s a $6 round