Derby has a tropical climate which is pleasant for most of the year.
With warm Winters and hot, humid Summers, the temperature is hardly
ever cold. The town is subject to cyclones between December and
February, however the warm, torrential rain is a great feature of the
wet season. In Summer (December to February), the average maximum
temperature is 36°C with an average minimum temperature of
25°C. In Winter (June to August), the average maximum temperature
is 32°C with an average minimum temperature of 18°C.
Derby is located between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Equator. It
has two main seasons offering very different experiences for visitors.
The Dry Season – May
These are comfortable months with warm dry days (28-34°C). Nights
are cool on the coast (18-20°C) but colder in the ranges. Very
little rain falls in these months but showers may occur.
This time of year are the most comfortable months and access to remote
locations by road, sea and air is generally possible.
Loose comfortable cotton clothing is recommended for day wear – shorts
/ cotton trousers with a light windproof jacket and pullover for
evenings. A good quality sleeping bag is recommended for night time
comfort. We provide a mosquito net on our dome tents and insect
repellent is recommended for those camping out.
May – July: The countryside still has a green tinge after the wet and
waterholes and water falls are often still flowing. The humidity level
is dropping and conditions are very pleasant.
August – September: Streams are confined to waterholes and many smaller
waterfalls cease to flow. The countryside is drying out and bird life
is collecting around the billabongs. Temperatures increase towards the
end of September and can be in the vicinity of 40°C during the day.
The Tropical Summer
– November to April
This is the season when the humidity is high to very high and an
average of 600mm of rain falls in tropical downpours from thunderstorms
and cyclones. The boab trees are clothed in leaves and flowers. The
barramundi start to bite as the waters warm up. Estuarine and river
fishing is usually very rewarding at this time both prior to the rains,
and later as river levels drop and the waters clear.
Access to many remote locations and gorges is restricted as flooding of
rivers and streams occur. The unsealed roads become impassable and are
closed by authorities.
Loose comfortable cotton clothing is recommended. Long sleeved shirts
and long trousers plus a good tropical mosquito repellent should be
The coming of the rains can be unpredictable. Some years they come
early and others not at all.
October – December: This is usually the build up time for the heavy
rains. Temperatures can be very hot (35-42°C) and humidity is
increasing. If rains have not fallen the countryside will be dry and
the watercourses low. Birds congregate at billabongs and the migratory
waders from the northern hemisphere are moving south through the area.
January – April: The rains transform the countryside, the billabongs
fill and the birds disperse. Rivers and streams may flood and
spectacular waterfalls appear. Temperatures are less extreme as cloud
cover is common. Flying in light aircraft is one of the best ways to
see the countryside at this time of the year. Access by road off the
main highway may be difficult. The migratory waders are returning north
during April. As river levels drop fishing for barramundi resumes.
The Bureau of Meteorology provides climate information (observations,
warnings and forecasts) for the Kimberley District and local towns.