Top five myths about Darwin in the wet season
I know Santa never made it into Darwin back in 1975, but that’s no reason for you not to consider it a suitable destination for your summer holidays. If you haven’t been to the Top End in wet season, you don’t know what you’re missing.
I know a lot of people are put off by the thought of all the rain and the possibility of cyclones. That suits me – it means it’s much quieter while I’m there - but wet season really is worth seeing. There’s a reason they also call it the ‘green’ season. Tropical flowers come into their own in the wet.
The scenery is amazing, there are very few tourists, and costs are much lower in the wet season. So why wouldn’t you go?
Here are the top 5 myths about wet season
It rains all the time
Rather than constant rain, what you’re more likely to get is lovely sunny days, with afternoon/evening storms. January is the wettest month, so storms can be phenomenal – cyclones even. But all that rain also means that plants flourish, waterfalls are spectacular, and animals and birds abound. It is truly beautiful.
It is extremely hot
There is only about 2 degrees Celcius difference between the coolest months (June/July – about 30.5C), and January, which has an average maximum of 32.6C. January’s minimum is about 25C, compared to 20C in June/July.
What does increase is the humidity. There is very little rainfall in the dry season, and little or no humidity. January is the wettest month, with over 400mm of rain on average. And when it’s not raining, it’s humid.
The hottest time in Darwin is October/November during the build up, but that’s still only 33-34C.
The roads are all closed
Many of the roads in the NT are asphalt and remain open all year long. You can still get to Kakadu, Katherine, Litchfield National Park, Alice Springs. Even Uluru is tar all the way. If you’re crossing creeks you do need to be careful – don’t cross when the water is up, particularly if it’s fast flowing. And don’t cross at all unless you have a vehicle designed to do it. Lots of fast-flowing water can sweep your car away.
All the parks are closed
It’s true there are places you can’t get to because of the amount of water, but sometimes that makes it even better. The water itself is worth seeing.
You can’t walk up to the waterfalls, but I highly recommend taking a scenic flight to see the amount of water everywhere. What was a trickle over the falls when we visited in the dry, was a rush in the wet and you only get the full impact from the air.
When we were at Katherine, I thought our van was going to be washed away in the night rain. The gorge came up 3m overnight. Believe me - that’s a lot of water! But we still had an amazing tour, got to swim at one of the waterholes and then sat outside at the café for lunch.
You can’t swim in the ocean or waterholes because of crocodiles
Yeah, well, nah …. yeah. That’s true. But it applies during the dry season as well. Beware of crocodiles all year round!