At almost 20,000 km² in size, Kakadu is Australia’ largest National Park. With an incredible biodiversity found almost nowhere else in the world, the park showcases timeless landscapes and an astonishing cultural heritage. When planning to visit Kakadu National Park, the time of the year you choose is a significant factor for your experience. There are many things to consider when deciding what the best time to visit Kakadu is for you, from weather and access to how busy it is at certain times of the year.
Kakadu from mid- June to mid- August
This is the most popular time to visit Kakadu National Park for a number of reasons; Firstly, Australian winter school holidays are usually around between mid- June and the end of July, giving many families no other choice but to travel during these weeks. This means, of course, that Kakadu gets particularly busy with families at that time of the year. Secondly, the weather in the Top End is at its best between June and August. Days are sunny with hardly any chance of rain and average temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius. There is often a lovely south- easterly breeze and humidity is low. Night time temperatures cool down to a very comfortable 18- 22 degrees. Last but not least, the popular Jim Jim & Twin Falls are usually not accessible by road until late June/ early July, depending on how much rain the previous wet season produced.
Kakadu from April to mid- June
There are great reasons to visit Kakadu National Park between April and June. Waterfalls are pumping from their wet season top up, and while some sights in Kakadu might not be accessible on foot, there are amazing scenic flights that allow you to witness places like Jim Jim and Twin Falls from the air. An unforgettable spectacle! Moreover, the park is much quieter than in the peak season and there are many lesser know waterfalls and features to delight any nature lovers heart. Popular sights like Maguk, Gunlom and Ubirr usually open around Easter. If you decide to participate in a guided tour, the tour operator might have special permits to visit key attractions before their official opening. In April, the weather is admittedly still quite hot and humid and some rain can be around. During the day, you will be able to freshen up in one of Kakadu’s natural swimming pools. At night, we recommend accommodation rather than camping. May and the first half of June are a good compromise if you would like to avoid most of the crowds and most of the hot weather.
Kakadu from mid- August to October
From mid- August onward, visitor numbers in Kakadu start to decrease while all of the park’s key attractions are accessible. On the other hand, the weather starts to heat up and humidity rises. If you are willing to tackle the heat, however, you will be rewarded with serenity not found at any other time of the dry (OK, no promises, but the chances are high). You can always book some air conditioned accommodation in the park to retrieve to after an active day.
Kakadu from October to March
There is a common conception that there is no point in visiting Kakadu in the wet season. It is true that some attractions become inaccessible once the rain sets in- this can happen as early as October, usually in November. However, depending on what you would like to get out of your visit to the park, this time of the year can be a great choice. Prices for park tickets, accommodation etc. drop, making your visit more affordable. Kakadu becomes a bit of a “ghost town” during the wet season, so if you are looking for solitude, this is the time to come. You can still access a number of great attractions from rock art sites to secluded springs and waterfalls, and you get to witness impressive wet season storms and lush landscapes. It is undeniably hot, humid and stormy, therefore we definitely recommend to book accommodation- camping would be very uncomfortable. Anything from two to four days in Kakadu over the wet can be a very relaxing, serene and rewarding experience.
As you can see the best time to visit Kakadu National Park depends on your personal preferences and whether you are restricted to a specific travel period. Every time of the year has its own advantages, and with the right planning, a visit to Kakadu will always be an unforgettable experience!
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