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The Territory Guide


The Northern Territory encompasses approximately 1.3 million square kilometres and yet has a
population of only 247,000 people. The ‘NT’ is considered Australia’s real outback and is renowned
for its colourful characters and unique aboriginal culture. The NT is also home to world heritage listed sights such as Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), Kings Canyon and, approximately 2000km further north, Nitmiluk Gorge (Katherine Gorge) and Kakadu National Park.

The Northern Territory divides into two distinct climate zones – tropical and desert. The northern
region, including Darwin, is tropical with two seasons: wet season (November to April) being
very humid and the dry season (May to October) offers a clear heat. The Central region, known as ‘The Red Centre’, includes Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Alice Springs and is semi-arid with 4 seasons: winter, autumn, summer and spring.

Darwin to Uluru (Ayers Rock) Driving Distances

989908975675Tennant Creek509983971
1496141614831183509Alice Springs475463
1970189019571657983475Kings Canyon321
1958187819451645971463321Uluru / Ayers Rock

The Top End

More than 50 nationalities make up Darwin’s population of approximately 100,000 people.

The Asian inspired cultural and culinary benefits of such a melting pot are on offer at Darwin’s weekly markets of Mindil Beach, Parap and Nightcliff, the variety of restaurants and through the city’s annual calendar of festivals and events.

Darwin is also the gateway to the iconic National Parks of Kakadu, Litchfield and Nitmiluk, as well as the tropical Tiwi islands. The Top End offers a friendly layback approach which will inspire all travellers to the region.

Sail from Darwin to the Tiwi Islands and their unique indigenous artists, take a dip under a waterfall in Litchfield National Park, cruise down the majestic Nitmiluk Gorge, explore the natural wonders of Kakadu or take a cultural tour of Arnhem  Land, the Top End has an experience to entice every traveller to the region.


Boasting warm weather all year around, The Top End which includes Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu, Mary River and Arnhem Land, has a tropical climate, and has two distinct seasons, the ‘Dry’ and the ‘Wet’.

We would recommend visiting during the ‘dry’ season from May until October, when the weather is usually around 30°C to 33°C during the day. Roads to Kakadu, Lichfield and Katherine are all sealed so travel to these regions is available all year round, although the warm, dry sunny days of the ‘dry’ will make travel more comfortable. It is worth noting that travel to the Top End is extremely busy during July school holidays and the Darwin Cup Carnival.


Dry Season – This season offers warm, dry sunny days and cool nights and is the most popular time to visit the Top End region. The ‘dry’ runs from May until October.

Wet Season – The Wet season period runs from November until April and has increased humidity followed by monsoonal rains and storms. Travel to some parts can be restricted due to these conditions but the ‘Wet’ is also a wonderful time to see gushing waterfalls, incredible natural light shows and the landscape a lush green hue.


Jun to Aug31°C19°C
Sep to Nov33°C24°C
Dec to Feb32°C25°C
Mar to May32°C23°C

The Red Centre

The Red Centre is home to Australia’s most recognisable natural icon; Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock), Standing 348 metres high, it is located 440kms south-west of Alice Springs in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. 40km to the west of Uluru is Kata Tjuta, (also known as The Olgas). Kata Tjuta is a monolith of rock domes that dates back some 500 million years.

Alice Springs has a unique pioneering history and is famous for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and School of the Air. A wealth of touring experiences are available from Alice Springs including the ancient MacDonnell Ranges, Palm Valley, Hermannsburg, an Aboriginal community and renowned for its Aboriginal art collection, the spectacular Glen Helen Gorge and Kings Canyon some 330kms south-west of Alice Springs.


‘The Red Centre’ including Alice Springs, Uluru and Tennant Creek has a semi-arid climate.

June and July offer the most pleasant conditions, with the average daytime temperature in the low 20ºC.  April and May are also regarded as ideal times to visit Uluru, as temperatures are mid to high 20s and there is little chance of rain. September to November has many of the desert plants blooming and the wildlife is more active during this period.


The area experiences Australia’s four typical seasons: summer, autumn, winter and spring, with large variations in temperature from season to season. The temperatures in Central Australia can be extreme: temperatures can drop below 0ºC overnight in winter and rise above 40ºC in summer. What little rain can fall will usually be during the hottest months from November to March and usually in the form of sporadic, powerful electrical thunderstorms.


Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Jun to Aug20°C5°C
Sep to Nov32°C14°C
Dec to Feb37°C20°C
Mar to May28°C12°C

(Click on the map to enlarge)

Territory Calendar of Events

The Northern Territory has a vast array of events occurring mainly in the dry season months of April to October. Please note dates for some events and festivals may change. For up to date information please call our office.

Alice Springs Cup Carnival
Alice Springs
1 May

Bass in the Grass
20 May

Alice Springs Camel Cup
Alice Springs
May – TBA

Finke Desert Race
Alice Springs
9 to 12 Jun

V8 Supercars Championship
Jun – TBA

Darwin Cup Carnival
8 Jul to 7 Aug

Darwin Fringe Festival
14 to 23 Jul

Darwin Fringe Festival
27 to 29 Jul

Harts Range Rodeo
Alice Springs
4 to 7 Aug

Darwin Cup Carnival
7 Aug

Darwin Festival
10 to 27 Aug

Henley-on-Todd Regatta
Alice Springs
19 Aug

Red Centre Nats
Alice Springs
1 to 3 Sep

Desert Festival
Alice Springs
Sep – TBA

Australian School Holidays 2023/24

7 to 21 Apr
3 to 14 Jul
25 Sep to 6 Oct
20 Dec to 29 Jan

7 to 14 Apr
26 Jun to 17 Jul
25 Sep to 6 Oct
18 Dec to 29 Jan

1 to 16 Apr
24 Jun to 9 Jul
16 Sep to 2 Oct
9 Dec to 21 Jan

SA 15 Apr to 30 Apr
8 Jul to 23 Jul
30 Sep to 15 Oct
16 Dec to 28 Jan

6 Apr to 25 Apr
8 to 24 Jul
30 Sep to 15 Oct
22 Dec to 7 Feb

7 to 23 Apr
24 Jun to 9 Jul
16 Sep to 2 Oct
21 Dec to 29 Jan

7 to 23 Apr
1 to 16 Jul
23 Sep to 8 Oct
15 Dec to 30 Jan