Melbourne to Broome via Katherine

Submitted: Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 14:28
ThreadID: 89482 Views:2035 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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Hi everyone,
we are new to this site and are hoping some of you might be able to help us.
We are planning a trip to the NT and WA next year. We are trying to decide the better time to go due to weather and work. I would like to travel from April and be back home early June. Is it still too humid in the NT at this time. Our other option was to leave late July and come home early October. But this time of year there will be a lot of tourists. Hoping someone has done a similar trip and might be able to help us out. We will be travelling with our caravan and our 8 year old son. Mostly bitumen travel for this one.

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Reply By: GimmeeIsolation - Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 15:14

Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 15:14
Hi Kathy, If you travel here first (Broome) before going to Darwin on the way back, it will be less humid, but I do not think it is too humid in Darwin at that time of the year anyway, but I live up here.
I think it's absolutely the best time of the year, minimal tourists (terrorists), the tropical feel, and all nice and green. Its great. You also have the run-off which is great if you go with a guide Barra fishing or go to the freshwater swimming holes and sit under a waterfall. The young blokes eyes will pop out of his head and have a grin like a split watermelon when he hooks a Barra.
The Mindil Beach Markets in Darwin start on the last Thursday of April. Take your deck chairs and esky and set up early on the beach, like a local. You'll like it that much that you will go back the next week if there - or wish you had organised it that you were there.
There may be a chance of a late cyclone, but a very small chance and if one is coming directly over Darwin you can just drive a couple of hours south or put the van into a storage unit for the few days and book a room.
You will have a memorable time. All the best.
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 16:02

Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 16:02
Trip timing is always a gamble, but my pick would be your latter option. The centre of Oz has the potential to be very hot in April as the summer dies off - we have done the trip you intend, starting early in July a few years back - it was hot up in the top north west of Oz, but warm mostly elsewhere. Re tourist numbers - there are always lots at the best times - can't be avoided - you'll be adding to the problem by trying to get the best holiday experience you can :-o).
AnswerID: 467264

Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 17:05

Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 17:05
Hi Kathy

I would choose the earlier timetable for climate and less tourists. You will be travelling a long way and passing by so much good stuff with such a short time frame for the distance. Shorter distances allowing time for more activities would make it easier on your eight year old.


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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 18:48

Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 18:48
I would go later. Yes more tourists, but not a real problem. We did NT last year and arrived in Darwin on the 29 May. A bit hot and humid. On the 31st May it was like someone flicked a switch. The weather was perfect from then on. We also found some of the places in Kakadu and Litchfield were still closed because of the wet.
We did the Kimberley this year from 6 June to middle of August. Left QLd In June and after Mt Isa (rain and cold) we had the most perfect weather.
AnswerID: 467276

Reply By: Patti D - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at 09:56

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at 09:56
Hi Karen, we are about to start out travelling around from Melbourne >around the west, up to Broome and then Katherine > settling in Hervey Bay some time in the next few years - we are not gonna hurry, just take our time but we also have no idea when is the best time to venture anywhere - we leave here in the middle of December. We also someone has done a similar trip and can tell us the best highways to travel and some great spots to stop off at... and yep, we also will only be travelling on bitumen..
AnswerID: 467314

Reply By: Kathy A - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at 22:27

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at 22:27
Hi everyone,
for all of your replies. We have decided that we will only get to Katherine and then across to Broome, or Broome to Katherine (depending on what way we go) That way we are not rushing to get to Darwin. We will do Darwin in another trip. We are also going to Litchfield instead of Kakadu (will do Kakadu when we do Darwin next time).
Still haven't decided when we will go though. Still working on that!!!

If anyone has anymore advice will be happy to receive it.

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Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2011 at 11:38

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2011 at 11:38

I live in Katherine and therefore the weather is not an issue for me. The wet is the best time of the year because everything is so green and there is lots of water. The heat would be an issue for you coming from Melbourne.

This year we had a lot of rain and the wet ended late. Without a Crystal Ball no-one knows when the wet will end next year. I would suggest that you start your trip in May. The wet should have finished by then.

I don't know what sort of vehicle you are using but consider the Gibb River Road. You can take a Caravan along that road provided you drive slowly.

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Follow Up By: Kathy A - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2011 at 11:55

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2011 at 11:55
Hi Kumana,
Thanks for that, unfortunately because of my business I need to be here for end of financial year, so I need to be home for June until at least end of July. I have heard it is so much nicer in the wet, more greenery etc.
I know what you mean by the weather, we are now in October and it's still pretty crappy weather down here. We would love to try the Gibb River Road, just need to do a bit more homework. Our van is 22ft with independent suspension, but we need to do a bit more homework.

Before we know it Christmas will be over and we will still be pondering over when we go. Time will tell

Thanks again

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Reply By: Member - Hunnam Family - Saturday, Oct 15, 2011 at 01:15

Saturday, Oct 15, 2011 at 01:15
Hi Kathy,

We are on a 6 month trip with 4 kids and we have just done the area you are wanting to do. We are also Victorians so not acclimatized to the tropical weather!! We have just left Darwin last week and have headed south via Litchfield and Kakadu. As of today we are in Katherine before we head down and across to QLD. Prior to Darwin we had been in WA spending a couple of weeks in Broome.

I read that you need to be home for the end of FY which will make it awkward for the places you want to see. Late September early October is very uncomfortable weather wise in both Darwin and Katherine. I assume you would only be passing through Katherine as apart from the Katherine Gorge there ain't much to see! The humidity in Darwin is almost unbearable for us southerners but the upside is the caravan parks are almost empty. It's just too uncomfortable to do anything much outdoors except swim.

In Katherine it is just damn hot! In both places the night temps don't get below mid 20's so sleeping can be very difficult. We sleep with the AC on all night! June, July and August are definitely the months to be in the top end.

We were in Broome in September and it was hot but more bearable than Darwin. Even so the caravan parks were a bit quieter because it was the end of the best time to be there.

My suggestion would be leave late July and get up to the top end as quickly as possible because August and the first half of September would be the most 'comfortable' times to be up here.

Also think carefully about the Gibb River Road! If time becomes an issue you may want to stay on the bitumen because it takes a while as there is heaps to see and it can be quite a slow trip in places.

Whatever you decide I can assure you there is plenty to see and you and your family will never forget the experience. Enjoy!!
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