The Noongar Six Seasons

The six Noongar seasons are Birak, Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru, Djilba and Kambarang.

The information found on this page is also available in a printable information sheet.


December to January

The ‘hot and dry’ was characterised by the onset of hot easterly winds. The signals of this season were the Christmas and paper bark trees blossoming. Noongar people burnt mosaic sections of scrubland through fire-stick farming. This forced animals into the open to hunt and opened the canopy to the November rains, which increased germination of summer foodstuffs. An abundance of food was found along the coastal lakes and river estuaries. The mullet, bream, marron and crabs were fat and ready for harvest. Colours of this season are green, blue, orange and yellow. 

Image: Flowering Nuytsia floribunda. Photographs by [CC BY 2.5 au] (image has been cropped).


February to March

The ‘fruiting’ was characterised by hot easterly conditions with afternoon sea breezes. Noongar people moved to coastal estuaries and reefs where fish and abalone constituted a portion of the seasonal diet. This was also the salmon and herring season. Large fish could be speared from overhanging trees along river banks. Colours of this season are yellow, orange and red.

Image: Flowering Eucalyptus. Photograph by Podiceps60 [CC BY-SA 3.0] (image has been cropped).


April to May

‘First rains – first dew’ began when the weather became cooler with winds from the southwest. Fishing continued, the emus were fat and the zamia palm nuts, bulbs, and other seeds were collected and prepared for food. Colours of this season are red, brown and grey.

Image: Banksia brownii. Photograph by Cas Liber, released into the public domain by the author.


June to July

During the ‘cold and wet’ Noongar people moved inland from the coast to the Darling Scarp to shelter from the cold coastal winds. The flowering sheoak trees meant the kangaroos were ready to eat. Wild carrots and several species of wild potato were ready for harvesting. Colours of this season are grey and black. 

Image: Dianella revoluta, the blueberry lily. Photograph by Sam Genas [CC BY-SA 3.0] (image has been cropped).


August to September

As the weather started to get ‘warmer’ Noongar groups moved to the drier Guildford and CanningKelmscott areas. This calmer weather allowed the bush to rejuvenate and plants begin to bloom. Eggs from water fowl, emus, swans and ducks were collected. Tortoises, berries and roots also supplemented the larger game of kangaroo, emu and ringtail possum. Colours of this season are black, blue and green.

Image: Acacia pycnantha (Golden Wattle). Photograph by Bidgee [CC BY-SA 3.0] (image has been cropped).


October to November

The ‘flowering’ is the height of the wildflower season. Quandong trees were ripening, ready for harvesting later in the season, as well as other small shrubs that produced berries. Families moved towards the coast where frogs, tortoises and freshwater crayfish or gilgies and blue marron were caught. Snakes and goannas were also a source of food during this season. Colours of this season are blue and green.

Image: Xanthorrhoea preissii, known as balga. Photograph by MargaretRDonald [CC BY-SA 4.0] (image has been cropped).

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