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From the lush tropics of Darwin and Kakadu to the arid red outback of Alice Springs and Uluru, Northern Territory is the perfect winter escape. Whether you choose to fly into Darwin and pick up your maui motorhome hire in Darwin or to pick it up in Alice Springs, there is no shortage of things to do on a winter motorhome holiday in the Northern Territory. In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know about experiencing the Northern Territory along with lots of activity inspiration.
Image Source: Tourism NT Image Gallery
Winter in the Northern Territory
Does Northern Territory have a winter? Technically, yes - although you wouldn’t know it! Northern Territory has a tropical monsoonal climate with distinct dry and wet seasons.
In these winter months, the temperatures remain relatively warm at around 30°C on average during the day. The biggest difference? The winter dry season means warm weather without humidity and rainfall. In addition, in the evenings, the temperatures drop, unlike the wet tropical summer weather.
Top tip: Regardless of the time you visit, the sun can still be quite strong. So it's important to be SunSmart and wear sun protection, including sunscreen, hats, long sleeve shirts and so on.
How to travel in a motorhome during winter
Although the temperature in the Northern Territory is still hot during the day, it can drop to freezing temperatures at night. So, it is essential to pack a variety of layers and options to stay warm! Here are our top tips for packing for a campervan trip in winter:
- Consider thick layered clothing and good quality sleeping bags
- Pack hot water bottles or hand warmers
- A portable humidifier can also be a good idea. Breathing in cool, dry air through the night can make it difficult to sleep
- Try to stay at powered campsites when possible. This is so that you can have hot showers and keep that heater running!
- Want to try freedom camping? Be sure to know what in the campervan works while unplugged. That way you can come prepared for your off-grid adventure
- Download the thl Roadtrip app. This app has a range of pre-arrival videos so that you can know what is included in the campervan at pick-up. It also acts as a road trip itinerary planner to help you plan everything from campsites and holiday parks, to dump stations, top Australian attractions and more.
7 winter-must do’s in the Northern Territory
Northern Territory is full of epic things to do all year round, but especially in winter. In addition to the incredible winter seasonal events, the reduced humidity also allows for a unique experience of the top local attractions. Here’s our list of must-dos on a winter road trip in the Northern Territory.
1. Get festive at an epic event
If you time your motorhome holiday right, you’ll be able to experience a uniquely Northern Territory festival or event. There really is something for everyone’s taste, including:
Barunga Festival is an annual three-day-long weekend celebration held in June. This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the best of remote Indigenous Australia in the territory. Featuring music, sport, traditional arts and cultural activities, there is something for the whole family.
Darwin Cup Carnival
Darwin Cup Carnival is a festival for fun, fashion, and quality racing in the Top End. Held over eight days in July, come join the fun as Darwin comes alive for this annual equestrian celebration.
Nitro Up North
Feel the rush with two nights spectating at the drag car racing at Nitro Up North in July. Watch the drivers as they compete for their title in the Burson Auto Parts Australian Top Fuel Championship. It’s bound to be an experience to remember!
There is no better time to visit the Northern Territory than during the Darwin Festival. Running in August, this festival has an incredible line-up of events and festivities. Whether you prefer theatrical performance, music, Aboriginal culture, or comedy acts, Darwin Festival delivers. This festival is easily one of the best things to do in Darwin city!
2. Fall in love with a piece of art
Although the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair is technically an event, we think it deserves its own section! Showcasing the contemporary fine art of more than 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres, this event is an experience not to be missed.
The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair is a great opportunity to get immersed in Aboriginal culture. You can feel good taking home a stunning piece of art from your campervan adventure, with 100% of sales going back to the art centre communities.
3. Explore the great outdoors
The winter months are a fantastic time to get out in nature in the Northern Territory. In the dry season winter months, the air is less humid, making it the perfect climate to get out on the trails and enjoy a hike. Plus, with less water in the watering holes, the winter months are prime time to go bird watching.
Top tip: Be aware of all wildlife safety alerts. Large and potentially dangerous crocodiles are often found in large bodies of water, so it’s good to stay aware and look for safety signs.
4. Visit the Aboriginal rock in Kakadu
Kakadu is one of the most stunning winter escapes in Australia. Just three hours from Darwin, you can explore monsoonal forests, ancient landscapes and one of the largest collections of ancient Aboriginal rock art in Australia. Step back in time to see this wild side of the Australian tropics.
5. Watch the sun set at Uluru
Uluru is filled with intangible magic. Located five hours southwest of Alice Springs, Uluru is an outback experience you do not want to miss. Experience the magic and majesty of Australia’s largest monolith as you walk around the base. Plus, see the rock light up at sunrise and learn about the Aboriginal culture and traditions of this ancient landscape. Best of all, with temperatures at their coolest, winter is a more comfortable time to visit.
6. Experience the Devils Marbles
There is something almost extraterrestrial about the Devil’s Marbles. Poised amongst the flat surrounds, these giant granite boulders stand erect as if being held up by an invisible force. Walk amongst these gravity-defying rocks, learn about their history, and don’t miss the chance to see them in their ochre-red glory at sunset.
7. Take a dip at Berry Springs
Berry Springs features clear and shady pools and monsoonal forests that are perfect to explore on foot. Located 50km south of Darwin, it is a popular day trip from Darwin or a stop on a longer Northern Territory campervan itinerary.
Want inspiration for your Northern Territory Itinerary?
There is no right way to explore this diverse landscape, only what is right for you. There are plenty of fantastic motorhome itineraries to choose from, depending on what you want to see and do in Australia’s Top End. Here are some of our favourites.
Nature’s Way is the perfect nature escape. Soak up the very best of the Territory’s lush northern tropics as you traverse 900km over the space of five days. On this campervan winter escape, you will have the chance to:
- Soak up the history and culture of Kakadu
- Relax and unwind in the thermal waters of Bitter Springs
- Wander through the impressive Nitmiluk/ Katherine Gorge
Darwin and Beyond
You don’t have to venture far from the city to see the incredible natural wonders on display in the Northern Territory with the Darwin and Beyond itinerary. Within a few hours of Darwin, you can immerse yourself in:
- Exploring the Top End city of Darwin
- A 4WD adventure into the lush expansive wetlands of Kakadu
- The wildlife and impressive natural wonders of Litchfield National Park
Darwin to Uluru
If you are looking for the quintessential Australia road trip, don’t look past the Darwin to Uluru itinerary. In eight jam-packed days, you will traverse 2600km through some of the most beautiful and iconic parts of this territory, including:
- Wild and ancient landscapes of Kakadu
- Gem laden fields of Gemtree
- Freestanding boulders of Devils Marbles
- Brilliant sunrises and sunsets at Australia’s largest monolith: Uluru/Ayres Rock
Alice Springs to Darwin
Alice Springs to Darwin is a popular Australian road trip for anyone wanting to experience the true-blue Aussie outback. Traversing 1500km over four days, this trip winds its way through some of the most iconic Australian attractions. Along the way you will have the chance to:
- Wander through the otherworldly landscape of the Devils Marbles
- Soak in the thermal pools of Bitter Springs
- A scenic walk through Elsey National Park
- Swim in the famous Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park
Time to book your winter escape?
Northern Territory is filled with natural wonders waiting to be explored. With the outback temperatures dropping to a comfortable and temperate level during the day, winter is the perfect time to visit. For more information on the territory, check out our guide to campervan travel in the Northern Territory.
Ready to book your winter motorhome holiday in the Northern Territory? Book your motorhome online today. With a branch conveniently located in the northern city of Darwin, you can pick it up from the maui Darwin branch and let the adventure begin.