Kakadu Climate and Weather
While the below table indicates average temperature, rainfall and other weather factors, we recommend visiting the Bureau of Meteorology for up-to-date weather information before your trek.
Temperatures in Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park has varied seasons that can see the terrain experience monsoon rains, storms, humidity and cool weather. With such varied extremes the park’s aboriginal inhabitants have divided the year into six distinct seasons.
Mid October – late December: Gunumeleng Pre-Monsoon Storm Season
Gunumeleng is a pre-monsoon season that can last from a few weeks to a few months. From mid-October to late December, visitors can expect hot weather that becomes more and more humid. With thunderstorms in the afternoons and scattered showers throughout the day, the rain brings life to the landscape and new growth from the plants becomes more widespread. Sometimes, as the streams begin to run, acidic water rushes down from the floodplains and into the billabongs, decreasing the oxygen levels in the water and causing fish to die. You may begin to notice waterbirds in abundance as new growth becomes more widespread and barramundi begin to migrate from waterholes to the estuaries downstream to breed.
January – March: Gudjewg – Monsoon Season
Kakadu’s true wet season occurs from January to March, when the land is drenched with regular thunderstorms, heavy rain and flooding. Plant and animal life during these months thrive thanks to the increase in water, heat and humidity, such as spear grass, which can grow up to 2 metres tall throughout the woodlands.
April: Banggereng – Storm Season
Also referred to as ‘knock em down’ season, Banggerreng is characterised by early, strong windy storms that roll through and flatten the spear grass that has been thriving in January – March. From mid-April, rain clouds disperse, and with it, the vast expanses of floodwater and streams begin to run clear. With clear skies and sunny days, this is a time when plants begin to fruit and animals care for their young.
May – Mid June: Yegge – Cooler but still humid Season
While the southern states of Australia shivers through winter, Yegge in Kakadu is relatively cool with low humidity. During this time, waterlillies carpet the billaongs and shallow wetlands, providing picture-perfect scenes in areas such as the Yellow Water Billabong. Spend your mornings gazing over the misty plains and waterholes in the early hours, or your afternoons admiring the flowering woolly butt flowers in bloom.
Mid June – Mid August: Wurrgeng – Cold Weather Season
The ‘coldest’ months in Kakadu are not considered cold by any stretch of the imagination, as daytime temperatures hover around 30°C and evenings dip to 17°C. This is prime walking season in Kakadu or on the Jatbula Trail, thanks to its clear blue skies, sunny days and manageable temperatures. You’re more likely to see an abundance of waterbirds around billabongs, as the waterholes begin to drink after months of no rain.
Mid August – Mid October: Gurrung – Hot Dry Weather
Typically hot and dry, the early spring months are pleasant and can offer travellers a chance to see wildlife such as long-necked turtles layingt their eggs on some of Kakadu’s sandy beaches. Towards mid October, temperatures build alongside the thunderclouds, signalling the approaching pre-monsoon season.
The following charts provide an indication of rainfall, temperatures and humidity within the Kakadu region. Data for the charts was sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology, Darwin.
|Mean maximum temperature (°C)||33.6||33.3||33.7||34.5||33.6||31.8||32||33.8||36.3||37.6||36.9||35||34.3|
|Mean minimum temperature (°C)||24.7||24.5||24.4||23.6||21.9||19.4||18.7||19.1||21.6||23.9||25||24.9||22.6|
Sunny Days vs Cloud Coverage in Kakadu
|Other daily elements||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Annual|
|Mean daily sunshine (hours)||6.4||6.6||6.1||8.6||9.3||9.4||9.7||10||9.4||9.4||8.4||7.3||8.4|
|Mean number of clear days||0.3||1.2||1.5||3.2||7.9||9.9||10.8||15||11.1||5.4||1.2||0.2||67.7|
|Mean number of cloudy days||13.8||12.8||11.7||5.5||2.9||1.8||2.1||1.8||1.8||3.4||8.8||12.5||78.9|
Rainfall in Kakadu
The best time to visit Kakadu National Park is in the winter season, where the rainfall is minimal. Summer is known for the ‘West Season’ with afternoon showers cooling the hot temperature down to the early thirties.
|Mean rainfall (mm)||357.3||359.0||313.1||89.1||16.0||1||3.2||2.6||12.0||39.6||139.9||225.6||1564.9|
|Mean number of days of rain ≥ 1 mm||18.6||18||17.5||6||1.6||0.2||0.2||0.2||0.5||2.6||9.4||13.6||88.4|