Weather in The Kimberley
Located north of the Tropic of Capricorn, the climate in the Kimberley is a tropical monsoon climate, defined by a distinct wet season and dry season.
You’ll find this climate not only in Western Australia, but across all of Australia’s North.
The Kimberley dry season is characterised by clear blue skies, easterly winds and balmy days with some chilly nights.
The weather is very stable, and outdoor events can be planned years in advance. The chance of rain is very unlikely. Every day is so beautifully perfect.
The Kimberley wet season however, is a different story. During the wet season, the Kimberley becomes hot and humid, sometimes violent, and above all unpredictable.
Kimberley Dry Season
There are three seasons in the Kimberley region, with the dry season the best time to visit. It generally goes from April/May to September, a period which is followed by the so called ‘build-up’, where high humidity and temperatures prevail before the ensuing ‘wet’.
The Kimberley dry season is tourist season, when hotels are fuller and booking ahead is recommended. It has the ideal climate for the most part, with several months of generally rain-free, blue skies and pleasant temperatures at night even—bearing in mind that this is effectively the Aussie autumn and winter when the Northern Hemisphere is taken in context.
Along with the nicer weather, the region opens up to visitors during the dry season in the Kimberley, where roads become passable again and the rivers and waterfalls have less water to enable swimming. Just after the end of the wet season is one of the best times to visit, with fewer tourists and generally greener scenery and buzzing wildlife.
The dry season in the Kimberley is also the best time to go snorkelling on the coast, with clearer waters and even humpback whales making an appearance sometime between July and October, especially during August.
Visiting in April can be a bit of a gamble, while May has less rainfall and high level waterfalls, though some sections of the Gibb River Road will still be flooded. June to July is peak time in the Kimberley dry season, but you get the very best weather and full access. Note: for impressive waterfalls and cooler nights, visit in May or June rather than July or August
August sees the mercury rising again, though there is less water in the rivers and billabongs. The build-up comes in October and November, where you can expect high temperatures and big storms. Like April, this is a tricky time to visit and is a bit of a gamble. The wet season proper hits in December.
Kimberley Wet Season
The Kimberley wet season is best described as monsoonal and hot and humid. It can even be quite violent on account of heavy storms and the sheer amount of water involved. This is not the best time of year to visit the Kimberley as the Gibb River Road closes thus limiting access to the gorges, though hotels are usually cheaper.
Low pressure systems draw in moist air from the ocean to dump vast volumes of water on northern Australia. The best way to see how much is to cruise Geike Gorge in the dry and note the water bleaching on the walls, which is around 16m higher than the normal level.
Coastal regions can also be hit by cyclones during the wet season in the Kimberley and these are hard to predict, so always keep an eye on the news and weather when visiting the coast in particular.
Though it is the low season and many roads are impassable, the wet season in the Kimberley is also the greenest and is when the waterfalls are at their most impressive. Unfortunately, often the only way to see them in most cases is by doing a scenic flight or cruise.
The wet season is preceded by the ‘build-up’, which is even more uncomfortable than the rainy season. This occurs in September, October and November after the land has heated up and produces lots of dust and then intense thunderstorms towards the end of this period. When the rains hit, it is usually in the afternoon.
While these storms are refreshing, the general heat and humidity produced in the build-up are oppressive, where temperatures can pass 40°C. The big plus for anglers is that this often produces some of the best fishing in the north.
If you can’t make the dry season and are stuck between holidaying during the Kimberley wet season or the build-up, consider getting here early November. Hotels will be reasonably priced, including in Broome, and some tours still operate out of here and Kununurra.
Average Monthly Maximum Temperatures
Average monthly temperatures in Broome for January.
Average monthly temperatures in Broome for February.
Average monthly temperatures in Broome for March.
Average monthly temperatures in Broome for April.
Average monthly temperatures in Broome for May.
Average monthly temperatures in Broome for June.
Average monthly temperatures in Broome for July.
Average monthly temperatures in Broome for August.
Average monthly temperatures in Broome for September.
Average monthly temperatures in Broome for October.
Average monthly temperatures in Broome for November.
Average monthly temperatures in Broome for December.