Littered with remarkable orange cliffs, deep rocky chasms and sweeping views that’ll knock your hiking socks off, Watarrka National Park & Kings Canyon is a must-visit destination on any Red Centre adventure. Nestled in the heart of the Outback in the Northern Territory's Red Centre, the weather can be extreme and it’s important to understand what to expect in each season so you can decide when to plan your trip.

When is the best time of year to visit Kings Canyon?

Similar to other places in the Red Centre like Uluru, the best time to visit Kings Canyon is during the cooler months between April and September. Kings Canyon, and the Northern Territory in general, boast fantastic weather during this period, with pleasant daytime temperatures and plenty of sunshine. The conditions are ideal for hitting the walking trails and exploring all the park has to offer. Rain is low throughout the year, but June and July are the driest months with average rainfall of 1.4 mm. 

If you’re not a huge fan of the heat, it’s probably not a good idea to book a trip from October through February. This is the hottest time in Kings Canyon, and while the average highs range between 33-38oC, the temperature often soars much higher than this – the hottest temperature recorded was a sweltering 45.6oC! The heat and humidity also attract heaps of flies and insects, and it can be quite annoying trying to swat them away from your head. For this reason, wearing a netted hat is a must during the summer.

However, this glorious weather attracts more people. Many Aussies pack up their car for a road trip or jump on a flight to the Northern Territory to escape the cooler winter weather and bask in the sun. The peak season is in August and September, and although it never feels really packed (the Outback is a pretty huge place), flight and accommodation prices tend to shoot up around this time so it may be a more expensive trip overall.

Learn about the best time to visit Uluru

Learn about the best time to visit the Outback

Kings Canyon climate & weather

The climate in Kings Canyon is semi-arid with hot summers and mild winters. Although the days are warm and sunny throughout the year, the temperature variation differs considerably between night and day, particularly in winter when the temperature can drop to just above zero at night. Rainfall is very low throughout the year compared to other parts of the Northern Territory with an average of just 3.9 mm of rain in January (the wettest month).

  • Summer (December-February): Summer days are long, sunny and hot and nights are balmy. Average temperatures range between 20-38 oC.  
  • Autumn (March-May): Autumn days are warm and sunny with average highs of 30 oC, however, the temperature drops at night with lows of 10 oC come May.
  • Winter (June-August): Winter days see pleasant highs of 21-24oC with plenty of sunshine. The nights and early mornings are chilly with average lows of 7 oC but it can drop even lower so you’ll need warm layers and a jacket.
  • Spring (September-November): Spring sees warm days and cool evenings with average temperatures ranging between 17-32 oC.

Average temperatures at Kings Canyon

MONTH

AVERAGE HIGH (°C)  

AVERAGE LOW (°C)  

January 

38

24

February

37

23

March

34

21

April

30

17

May 25 11
June  21 7
July 22 6
August  24 8
September 29 13
October  33 17
November  35 20
December  36 22

 

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