Situated in the far north of Western Australia, the Kimberley has two seasons – wet and dry. Being so close the the equator, the climate is tropical.
The extremes of these two season make for very different travel experiences, depending on the time of year you visit. There’s no defined start and end to the seasons as Mother Nature is unpredictable! But read for for a general guide to the average weather conditions in the Kimberley.
The Dry season runs from April to October and is the best (and busiest) time to visit. The temperature is pleasantly warm, there is little chance of rain and all of the roads should be open.
During the Wet season from November to March, the temperatures soar to over 40C and it is extremely humid. It doesn’t necessarily rain everyday, but when it does it’s an incredible spectacle. Thick black clouds drop massive amounts of rain, accompanied by loud thunder and spectacular lightning displays.
The biggest drawback to travel in the Kimberley during the wet season is that the Gibb River Road is closed. The heavy rains flood the creeks, making them impassable, and sections of the road look more like a river!
The Best Time to Visit the Kimberley
The dry season months between May and September is the most popular time to visit the Kimberley.
April usually marks the end of the wet season in the Kimberley and the start of the dry. The temperatures are starting to cool down and the rain is easing up.
There is still a lot of water around and it will take several months for the land and rivers to begin drying up. The highways and some tracks should be open, but this depends on what the weather has been like. Sometimes it can still be raining heavily in April, making it difficult or impossible to explore the Kimberley’s attractions.
Visiting in April can be a bit of a gamble!
By May there might still be the odd isolated shower but the land is drying out. Temperatures are warm to hot and the waterfalls are flowing spectacularly.
Tourist numbers will be increasing during May. Depending on how much recent rain there has been, some sections of the the Gibb River Road and other tracks will still have deep water crossings.
June and July
June and July are the busiest tourist season months in the Kimberley. The weather is usually fantastic and most days will have lovely warm temperatures and clear blue skies.
The roads are still in good condition having been graded in May and the waterfalls are swimming pools are full of clean fresh water. There is less water later in the year, so if you want to see the waterfalls in all their glory, June is a better month to visit than July.
The nights can be cool in some areas, like the Bungle Bungles.
By August things are starting to warm up. Temperatures are getting a little bit hotter and there is usually less water around.
The waterfalls will be slowing to a trickle or be totally dry in some areas. There is still enough water in the pools for a refreshing swim but the water levels are starting to get low.
September and October
Things are definitely getting hotter now, and the Kimberley climate is starting to build-up to the wet season. There are less tourists and travelers around, and as you explore you will find that you have many attractions to yourself.
Storms will build-up during the day during September but often don’t bring any rain. By October there will often be afternoon showers which bring a refreshing cool change.
The drier conditions mean the landscape changes from green to brown, and everything is very dry.
November is a hot and cruel month. It is definitely the hottest month in the Kimberley, and temperatures can be brutal. If you are traveling in the Kimberley in November, be extremely careful and be aware of the heat. Temperatures can reach up to 50C is some areas.
Daily rain showers and thunderstorms are increasing but the temperatures remain oppressively hot. Some roads and tracks may begin to close due to rainfall.
By December all of the Kimberley locals will be waiting for the wet season to start. The temperatures are getting very hot and everyone is waiting for the rain to cool things down.
It is usually raining heavily by the end of the month. After the rains the landscaped is transformed with green shrubs and grasses coming to life.
The region is on holiday mode and many business will be shut.
January and February
January and February are the wettest months. Cyclones are a constant threat at this latitude. Even if they don’t bring destructive winds to the coast, they always bring plenty of rain.
Roads and highways may be closed due to flooding.
By March the weather is starting to dry out, but there are still isolated storms and maybe even a couple of large tropical downpours still to come.
There is a lot of water accross the whole region and it doesn’t take much for the creeks and rivers to overflow and flood after a heavy rain downpour.