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Forest

Nowadays Primary Forests and ancient trees are rare. There are still spectacular forests with a huge biodiversity or ancient trees to discover.

If travelling the Great Ocean Road, don't miss this little jewel. Maits Rest is always worth to visit even in the rain. During summer expect more tourists around midday. Nowadays bus groups make a stop here as well. Most visitors take a break here when driving the Great Ocean Road due to the close proximity.The busiest time is the summer, but mostly bearable, best visited in the morning or late afternoon.

Top Tip: Visit the the rainforest in the evening. Bring a torch for the walk and watch the glow worms shining in the forest. That's like being in a fairytale. 

Update December 2019: The rainforest walk should be reopened. It was closed for months for boardwalk improvements and to raise and widen the trail because of increasing visitors. 

Weather

High rainfall throughout the year deep in the heart of the Great Otway National Park. Warmer and "drier" conditions from November to April, however, shower can always occur. Winter is the wettest and coldest season from June to August.

Don't miss out our entire Great Ocean Road Guide - 3 Days Itinerary - Top Tips - Where to Stay

Great Ocean Road Outlook

AU Australia

The Blue Tier Forest Reserve is still under pressure to get logged. This mystic rainforest is a must-see. The 3.2 km long trail can be walked almost the entire year. If it is too rainy, it might be difficult to get to the trailhead by car. The last part of the gravel road is a bit rough.

Update December 2019: It makes us very sad, but now it is fact; Forests that are increasingly at threat of logging, including the Blue Tier Giants, from April 2020 they are taken out of reserve status. We will lose old grown forests in the northeast of Tasmania. Please share this post and make comments. The Blue Derby Wild, The Friends of the Blue Tier, and the residents are fighting for their native forests, but it looks like we all lose this hidden treasure trove forever.

Gravel Road to the Blue Tier Giant in Tasmania

In April (autumn) it might be a lovely walk with different species of fungi along the trail.

Crowds

The Blue Tiers are still a hidden gem; remotely located and not leading along of any popular tourist route. Very view hikers visit the blue tier giant the reason that we enjoyed the whole forest for ourselves. 

Weather

This area is often cloudy or overcast. Summer brings pleasant temps, mostly around 20°C. In the winter, most days with single-digit temperatures, frost can occur, and most rainfall with its peak in August during this time of the year. The driest months are from December to March. Nevertheless, it's Tassie so be prepared for rain when you visit this outstanding destination.

AU Australia

Unfortunately, parts of the Waitakere Ranges got closed due to the Kauri Dieback disease in May 2018. Also, the trail to the Fairy Falls is closed at the moment. Check out which trails in the Waitakere Ranges are open and which ones are closed. PDF Hiking Trails Waitakere More information about the disease, and the status of closures for hikes and campgrounds can be found here.

Update closure August 2019: The Fairy Falls Track remains closed.

If you travel to the famous Piha Beach, don't miss this marvelous rainforest and the Fairy Falls. The falls are most impressive after heavy rainfall, but hiking is much for fun in the drier season with pleasant temps from November until April. Important; if you like to hike to the falls don't leave any valuables in the car!

Weather

Warmest and driest months are during summer from December to March with pleasant temps. Coldest months in winter from June to August. Most precipitation during winter but rain already starts in May with its peak in July. Anyhow, moderate to significant rainfall can always occur. 

Crowds

It is a popular trail and easily accessible. Anyhow if you have any mobility issues, it might be too steep to get to the falls. Especially during summer; the peak season and at weekends more people walk this trail. Nevertheless, this hike is still not overrun. Less busy in March, April and November with cooler temps but still lovely.

NZ New Zealand

The Avenue de Baobab is stunning all day long and a widely popular attraction. However, sunset is the best and most popular time of the day. Truly magical due to Madagascar's location; sunset is easily predictable. In January sunset is around 6:30 pm and in June you can expect the light to disappear around 5:20 pm. If you want to see the Baobabs in bloom February and March are the right months. Along the dirt road RN8 connecting Morandava and Belon'i Tsiribihina you will find many Baobab trees (Adansonia grandidieri), but only a small part of just 250 m is known as the Baobab Alley due to its photogenic nature. The road leads from Morandava to the Andranomena Reserve or the Kirindy Forest. Photographers around the world visit Madagascar, and it became one of the most visited places in the country.

Avenue de Baobab

Weather

The dry season starts in April/May and lasts until October. Wet season means heavy rain. It's possible that roads aren't accessible, especially in January. Even when the dry season begins in April/May, the roads are usually still recovering. June is the best months before the crowds arrive in summer. The annual day temp is always around 30°C while nights in the winter time from May to September are below 20°C. Expect a high humidity of 70% and more. More weather details: Monthly Weather and Rainfall – Morondava Madagascar

Tourist Crowds

July/August is the peak season with most visitors. September and October are quieter and a great time to visit. Alternatively visit at the end of the rainy season late April, May or in June, before it starts to get too busy.

MG Madagascar

It’s a popular State Park close to San Francisco, but less busy than Muir Woods. Somehow crowded at weekends and popular for camping under the astonishing trees. It’s a park you should not miss. During winter it gets wet and trails are slippery and muddy. Nevertheless, hikes can be done all year but ask for trail conditions first.

Weather

The wet season starts in November and lasts until February with most precipitation in January. It receives three times the rainfall of the Bay Area. This rain is much needed by the redwoods after the dry summer. The average night temp is around 41°F / 5°C and day temp under 60°F / 15°C.

Summer from June to September is mostly dry with dense summer fog in the morning. The mist provides the trees with moisture. Nights temps are much cooler than in the Bay Area with around 49°F / 9°C and day temps about 74°F / 23°C. Anyhow, in the hot summer months, it can reach up to 86°F /30°C and more.

Where to Stay

You can either camp for $ 35-50 which includes the State Park fee of $ 10 under the ancient redwood trees or choose the charming The Inn at Saratoga ideally situated. Included is a cold buffet breakfast. 

US United States

Muir Woods is situated close to San Francisco therefore pretty popular. One well-maintained boardwalk and paved trail are leading through the park. The path is suitable for the entire family with pushchair and wheelchair as well. The magical times to be there are early morning and late in the day to avoid the crowds and to enjoy the unique atmosphere. The light filtering down into the valley through the enormous trees is utterly delightful.

Muir Woods Trees

Avoiding Crowds 

It’s a magical place, but it’s also heavily crowded. Due to the close location of the urban area, only 12 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge the park is overrun from spring to fall. First of all, avoid weekends and go mid-week if possible. Rainy, foggy or cold days are less crowded as well. To avoid the crowds during the day get there very early. The park is open from 8 a.m. until sunset. Be there at about 7:30. The visitor center opens at 9 a.m. You could also park on Muir Woods Road in the early morning. If you go in summer, we recommend taking the Muir Woods Shuttle. Quote from a Park Ranger: "It takes away all the worries and headaches of driving and parking." Shuttle information

Fully Parking Lots at Muir Woods

In September and October, many school classes visit the National Monument. Winter is less busy but consider it’s the wet season with most of the annual 40 inches / 1016 mm of precipitation.

Best Accommodations Close to Muir Woods

There are some hotels and lodges around to explore the Bay Area. It's quieter to stay here than in San Francisco, and it doesn't take long to reach the Golden Gate Bridge. Our first choice is the charming boutique hotel Mill Valley Inn. It is just a 3 miles drive to Muir Woods and 5 minutes walk to shops ansd restaurants. What we loved most there are already redwoods in their garden.

US United States