When is the best time to visit Kakadu National Park

When is the best time to visit Kakadu National Park

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 12/05/2019

Reading time: 4 mins

Planning holidays usually revolve around two key factors, when you can get time off work and when the best time to visit the region is.

There are six recognised seasons in Kakadu National Park, however when considering when to visit it is easiest to simply compare the two broader seasons, dry season and tropical summer.

Kakadu has rather pleasant temperatures year-round, with it rarely dropping below 20°C there is no real winter to avoid. That said, there are pros and cons to visiting Kakadu during both seasons. There’s no real bad time to visit Kakadu, just different ones!

  • Dry Season

    The dry season runs from approximately May to October each year. This is generally the most popular time to visit the Kakadu region as most of the major tourist sites are open.

    Pros of the Dry Season

    • Sites are open. During the dry season it is very unlikely you’ll find any sites closed, plus roads are easily accessible and you may be able to get away with travelling without a 4WD.
    • Exploring falls. Waterfalls flow gently through the dry season as the rains from the wet season flow towards the oceans and major waterways. Falls are less aggressive during this time and it is safe to swim beneath many of them.
    • Infinity pools. Slow water flow means that the natural pools found atop of waterfalls are accessible and safe for swimming. These pools provide spectacular views and incomparable swimming experiences.
    • It’s cooler. The average temperature through the dry season is lower than in the wet, plus humidity is down also.
    • Rain and bug free. It is extremely unlikely to rain during your trip, plus there are fewer insects flying around to bug you.
    • Crocs. During this cooler weather it is easier to spot crocodiles as they emerge out to sun themselves.

    Cons of the Dry Season

    • It’s packed. The dry season is the most popular time to visit the Northern Territory, including Kakadu National Park so you’ll have to share with other visitors.
    • Peak season. As it’s peak tourism season you’ll need to book everything well in advance, as well as pay peak season prices for activities and accommodation.
    • Waterfalls may not be flowing by the time you reach them, particularly if you’re there from August onward.
  • Wet Season

    The wet season runs between November and April each year. Many people are scared or turned off by the wet season, however this is a fantastic time to visit Kakadu!

    Pros of the Wet Season

    • No crowds. You won’t need to worry about sharing, as crowd numbers are lower, you’re less likely to run into other tourists.
    • It’s cheaper. During the low season many companies drop their prices to attract more customers, plus you’ve got a greater freedom to book things spontaneously as they don’t book out months in advance.
    • Wildlife. This is peak breeding season for most of the wildlife in the park so you’ll be more likely to spot all kinds of creatures!
    • Flowing falls. Though they may not be safe to swim in at this time of year, tropical storms result in roaring waterfalls.
    • Green landscapes. The rains bring new life and the park is covered in a blanket of fresh colourful landscapes.
    • Tropical Thunderstorms. There’s nothing quite like a tropical thunderstorm. Watching the clouds roll across the sky and dramatic lighting dances across the sky is remarkable.

    Cons of the Wet Season

    • It’s humid. Not only is this time of year hotter, the rains cause a lot of humidity.
    • Insects. It’s not just birds and mammals coming out to play, but insects as well, so be sure to bring plenty of repellent.
    • Road closures. Some sites and access roads may be closed due to flooding, and most of the park is only accessible with a 4WD.
    • You might not enjoy the frequent rain. While locals welcome the brief breaks from the heat, you might not have the same positive feelings towards the wet!

As you can see there are plenty of reasons to visit Kakadu in both the wet and dry seasons. No matter what time of year you visit it’s sure to be a fantastic trip!

Related article: Interesting Facts about the Kakadu National Park

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.