Did you know Kakadu has six seasons?

Harry Butler Heatley on a trail in Kakadu National Park
Harry Butler Heatley on a trail in Kakadu National Park

When we visited Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, I was intrigued to learn about the difference in seasons. Even more fascinating, was how they directed ways of life, and what they meant for survival.

These six distinct seasons are based on the traditional knowledge of the Indigenous people who have lived in the area for thousands of years.

Where we camped, rangers came into the caravan parks and gave daily talks on cultural knowledge. It was suited for families, too.

Kakadu entry Gilmore Lap 2013
Kakadu entry Gilmore Lap 2013


  • Monsoon season
  • December to March
  • 24°C – 34°C
  • True tropical summer with thunderstorms, heavy rain and flooding
  • Crocodiles hatch, magpie geese nest and speargrass grows
  • Humidity plus! Great time for helicopter ride to see overflowing waterfalls


  • ‘Knock ‘em down’ storm season
  • April
  • 23°C – 34°C
  • Clear skies, floodwaters recede and roads open again!
Kakadu National Park NT - Native bees love this time of year, too
Native bees love this time of year, too
  • Fruiting plants, animals babies and dragonflies!
  • Catch barra on a fishing tour 


  • Cooler (but still humid) season
  • May to mid-June
  • 21°C – 33°C
  • Dry winds and flowering Darwin woollybutt signal that it’s time to start patch burning
  • Enjoy the water lilies and explore the National Park – take a cultural tour


  • Cold weather season
  • Mid-June to mid-August
  • 17°C – 32°C
  • Floodplains and creeks dry up –
  • Waterholes at Jim Jim Falls and Maguk to swim in (be croc safe and here’s a camping spot nearby
  • Patchburning continues and birds of prey feed on the escaping animals
  • Waterbirds like magpie geese are abundant
  • Best time for camping and hiking – like up to Ubirr to look out over Arnhemland


  • Hot dry weather
  • Mid-August to mid-October
  • 23°C – 37°C
  • Locals hunt file snakes, long-necked turtles and it is ‘goose time’
  • Swimming holes dry up
  • Sea turtles lay eggs
  • Look for white-breasted wood swallows
  • Thunderclouds start to build
  • Take a Yellow Waters Billabong cruise (our whole family enjoyed it)


  • Pre-monsoon storm season
  • Mid-October to late December
  • 24°C – 37°C
  • Heat and humidity build
  • This season could be a few weeks to several months.
  • Afternoon thunderstorms and showers fill up billabongs again
  • Most camping grounds are shut this time of year
  • Barramundi and waterbirds are on the move
  • This signaled time for Aboriginal people leave floodplains for the stone country

Find fantastic caravan parks and camps in the CAMPS  guide booksCAMPS Pendium boxed set and CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE App.

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