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A Great Place

When should you visit very special and unique places in the world that touch you? Places with an atmosphere you can’t describe or where you even get overwhelmed with emotion.

Geierlay is one of the most picturesque bridges in Germany. It's a half-day trip to the popular suspension bridge if you are in the Hunsrück area, at river Moselle, Eltz Castle, or as a good stopover. The bridge is open 24/7. The visitor terminal is opened each day from 10 am to 4 pm and provides a map in different languages. 

Avoiding Crowds

The Sunday Crowds at Geierlay Suspension Bridge

It's utterly crowded during the summer and weekends are the worst, especially on sunny days. In autumn the views are just spectacular with the fall foliage. To avoid the crowds, visit the bridge early morning or late in the evening in the summer. Very few visitors in winter only.

Tip for photographers;  The sunlight is best in the evening. The sunset is just gorgeous here.

Geierlay Suspension Bridge best in the evening

DE Germany

The 12 Apostles is one of Australia's most iconic attractions and an amazing year-round destination. However, summer and even shoulder seasons often bring heavy crowds. Our article covers everything you should know before you go. Make sure to read our 7 Must-Do Things almost at the end of this guide. 

 

Read our tips about the best time to visit:

Weather and Crowds 

12 Apostles crowded during midday

While weather conditions don't vary heavily throughout the year, the tourist crowds definitely fluctuate. Thus, spring and autumn are the best time. It's frequently windy along the coast; bring a wind jacket the entire year. Rain can occur but the wettest time is the winter until September.

Spring (September - November)

Great Ocean Road - Erskine Falls

It's getting warmer but also crowded again. Day temps are pleasant between 16°-20°C. It's cooler in the morning and evening. Expect a packed place from around 10 am onwards, even worse when the tour buses arrive around 12. However, it won't change anything of this spectacular view to the limestone pillars. The water temp though is cold around 15°C. During spring break most of the accommodations are fully booked.

Summer (December - February)

Shipwreck Walk is leading down to Loch Ard - pic from summer

Best conditions with usually dry and clear weather. Temps can climb up to almost 30°C but usually, they stay around 22°C. It's the peak season and the rates are at their highest (book well in advance for a nearby hotel). 12 Apostles are overrun with visitors during the day. However, come early or late in the day and enjoy the special atmosphere. Even though it is summer, it's not that hot because of the breeze from the sea. Water temps are 18°C maximum. That's still pretty cold.

Autumn (March - May)

Great Ocean Road London Bridge in autumn

Fewer visitors but still very busy. Even more so during the Easter holiday and on weekends. Midday is the worst time of the day but it doesn't change too much of this awesome scenery. The 12 Apostles view is the busiest, the Grotto or London Bridge are less crowded. The weather gets a little cooler. Temps can drop below 20°C, the morning and evening temps are around 10°C only.

Winter (June - August)

12 Apostles are less busy during winter

The best months if you'd like to enjoy a quieter visit. However, it can still be busy at weekends. Excellent months for taking photos from the large viewing platform without hundreds of others pushing each other shoulder to shoulder. The downside is the weather: While definitely not freezing, it's cooler and the most rainfall occurs in winter. The advantage you may get fantastic shots with towering clouds in the back.

Time of Day and Tips for Photographer

12 Apostles during sunset

During summer and in the shoulder seasons the place is usually utterly crowded. In summer, we arrived after midday and got the feeling there were at least a thousand people from many different countries. It was a little difficult to enjoy the scenery with so many people around. We learned our lesson and visited the 12 Apostles two years later in spring during the morning. For this reason, come early or late in the day to dodge the crowds. The pro the light in the morning and the sunset are the best time of the day for magical shots from one of the most famous sights around the world. We know it's hard, but get up very early and try to be there around sunrise: Sunrise / Sunset Times Princetown

Weather

In general, the Southern Ocean has a strong influence on the climate. It keeps the winter warmer and the summer cooler. In summer the sun is extreme, but it is not too hot always a fresh breeze. Most stable weather in summer from January to March. Most precipitation in winter from June to September. Be prepared for extremely windy conditions.


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 best time for the incredible Great Ocean Road is the summer, followed by spring and autumn. In contrast; crowds are the lowest during winter when most of the precipitation occurs. However, it is one of the most beautiful roads on our planet. Continue reading for our season guide.

Read our complete season guide below, the best tips, or jump directly to our itinerary: Best Things to Do | 11 Highlights in 3 Days

Weather and Crowds by Season | Monthly Tips

12 Apostles crowds during midday

We’d been here several times already in different seasons. Summer is a fantastic time for the entire Great Ocean Road, but we prefer spring and autumn. There is less traffic, therefore, parking lots at the different main attractions are not overflowing and crowds are bearable. Temps vary depending on where you are along the Great Ocean Road. Exposed cliffs are colder than sheltered bays. Continue reading for our seasonal guide and figure out your best time for this magnificent Ocean Road Trip.

Spring (September - November)

Erskine Fall and River Trail in Spring - Lorne

That’s my favourite season in Victoria. Forests are vivid with the bird sound around. Waterfalls are still picturesque. Days are getting longer, and rain decreases. Day temps are on average between 12-15°C but can climb to almost 20°C. There is more traffic on the Great Ocean Road now but still bearable.

Summer (December - February)

Apollo Bay beach in summer

Usually, the weather is fantastic however, showers can occur now and then. It’s not too hot, always a breeze from the sea. Nevertheless, crowds are the worst, especially in the Christmas summer holidays. Most of the Australian go on vacation. Hotels and campgrounds as well are fully booked months in advance. If your journey along the Great Ocean Road is planned in December or January, you can dodge the crowds early morning only. To enjoy some of the most beautiful places with few people only; check out our hidden gems along the Great Ocean Road. Scroll down to our 11 Highlights to find out some of the most beautiful hidden gems.

Autumn (March - May)

Gable Lookout - Great Ocean Road

The crowds thin out a little. Day temps are on average around 18°C though in the rainforest, it’s a little cooler. Stronger winds occur at the sea, and a wind-jacket is necessary. Night temps can drop below 10°C. The weather is often pleasant in March and April although rain increases a little. May experiences already more precipitation. It doesn’t mean it rains all day, but it can happen.

Winter (June - August)

Lorne Queenscliff Coastal Reserve - Great Ocean Road

If you don’t mind the cold and rain from time to time, this is the best time to enjoy this exceptional drive and sights with viewer people. The climate in Victoria is mild with day temps around 10°C and higher. This time of the year is awesome for hikes through the rainforest. Waterfalls are on their highest level, and rainforests sparkle in lush green.

Whale Sightings During Winter

Southern Right Whales migrate along the coast and to Logans Beach at Warrnambool, the very end of the Great Ocean Road. They come here annually from June to September for calving.

AU Australia

Exceptional, beautiful, and fascinating: Taiwan! The mountainous island is utterly safe for traveling and a great place to meet some of the friendliest people on our planet. Read our season tips as well as a complete guide with tips for every spectacular place in Taiwan!

When is the best time? You can travel to Taiwan throughout the year but consider typhoons are likely to happen from July to October. The driest months are from November to April. These are the best months to travel around the entire island. During summer (July and August) Taiwan is overrun by the Taiwanese. 

Weather Overview

Fast changing weather in the Taroko Gorge
Taroko Gorge

First of all, if traveling to Taiwan, you have to consider that rain is common throughout the year. There is much more precipitation on the east side due to the high mountain range. Most rainfall occurs from May to October. In these months Taiwan gets hit by typhoons regularly, especially in the east and in the central mountain range.

Breakwater on the east coast of Taiwan
Breakwater on the East Coast

The northern part of Taiwan and the Taipei area are several degrees colder than the south like in Kaohsiung and Kenting. Being there for quite a while, we learned that the weather forecast gives you an indication, but often it's better than predicted especially in the drier season from November to April. Find more weather details here: Monthly Weather Taipei - Taiwan NorthMonthly Weather Tainan - Taiwan South
 

Spectacular Sunrise and Sunset

In Taiwan, you can experience stunning sunsets and sunrises. We give you insider tips for the popular spots and show you the hidden gems as well. Just mesmerizing!

Alishan National Forest Recreation Area

View from Alishan
View from Alishan

Alishan is famous but also an extremely crowded spot to view the sunrise. If you depend on public transport, it's one of the view sunrise spots where you can get to. However, it's utterly crowded which makes it hard to enjoy the sunrise. You can't watch the sunrise in Alishan only on the 2.489 m high Zushan mountain. Take the sunrise train which runs just once from the Alishan station early morning. If the train is not fully booked, you can get tickets from 1 pm to 4.30 pm the day before. The departure of the train depends on the time of the sunrise. Each afternoon at 4.30 pm the exact time will be mentioned. Ask at your hotel reception for the departure time. When booking the hotel ask them to make a reservation for the sunrise train for you the next morning. It's a short ride up almost to the summit of Zushan. To catch the train, you have to get up very early between 4 and 5 am. It's a bit of a hassle during the sunrise, but you can take an amazing picture.

Akishan Shuttle Bus

The rest of the day shuttle buses are offered but only every 2 hours. 9/11/13/15. The Zushan area is also beautiful in the daytime, and the views are awesome. Take the sunrise train or the bus later in the day to the top and walk back through the forest to Alishan. Consider frequently the clouds already roll in before midday. Therefore, it may happen that you are covered in clouds from midday onward. 

Tip: Stay in Alishan if you want to watch the sunrise otherwise you have to get up in the middle of the night. ll the hotels here are fully booked very far in advance, although most of them are not outstanding. The best one perfectly located in Alishan is the Alishan Hotel ****.

The Alishan Hotel
Alishan Hotel

An excellent budget option is the Legendary Bed and Breakfast in Fenqihu. The owners; Mr. and Mrs. You walk an extra mile for you. We prefer Fenqihu which is much quieter and located close to the Dadongshan Trail.

More information and details about Alishan and Fenqihu can be found in our detailed description of the Central Mountain Range. 

More Beautiful Sunrise and Sunset Places Without Crowds

Besides Alishan there are even more outstanding locations in Taiwan to experience a gorgeous sunrise above the horizon or a mesmerizing sunset in the evening. Let us show you the best ones:

  • Linzhi Mountain
    Yushan National Park

    Linzhi Mountain is not far from Alishan already in the Yushan National Park is still one of the hidden gems. You can either come here for the sunrise or just early morning to watch the spectacular Alishan Mountain Range and the highest peak with 3.952 m Yushan or Jade Mountain. The Linzhi Mountain Loop Trail is roughly 7 km long and takes 3 1/2 hours. It's an easy and well-marked 1/2 day hike. Due to the high elevation, you may watch the sea of clouds before midday. Parking at Takaka Visitor Center. The visitor center is closed every second Tuesday each month. Bring water and a sandwich. There is just a restaurant but no shop. Takaka Visitor Center Google Maps
     
  • Dadongshan or Dadong Mountain
    Dadongshan Trail close to Fenqihu - Trail Map
    Spectacular hike and views without any crowds can be experienced from Dadongshan or Dadong Mountain. It's already part of the Alishan National Scenic Area and close to Fenqihu. Here you can watch a stellar sunrise with fewer people on the 1.976 m high Dadongshan or Dadong summit. It’s an hour drive west of Alishan. The climb is roughly 2 km up one way, and it may take up to an hour. The trail can be slippery and muddy. Watch the roots and stairs along the path. During summer be aware of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Mosquitos occur here at this time of the year. Winter can be pretty chilly. When you reach the viewing platform, you can see the highest mountain of Taiwan Mount Yushan on a clear day; during winter covered in snow. Mount Yushan also called Jade Mountain is 3.952 m high above sea level. Also here frequently clouds roll in at midday and spoil the breathtaking view. hen we hiked the trail we ended up in fog. However, you walk through lush vegetation full of life and we enjoyed the mystic atmosphere. You can either hike the short circular trail or add another one. Have a look at the hiking map of Dadongshan. Dadongshan Trailhead and Parking Google Maps
     
  • Hehuanshan
    Sunrise at Hehuan Mountain

    Hehuanshan near Taroko Gorge with a height of 3000 m is an excellent spot for the sunrise. You can already watch the sunrise from your hotel room, or you climb to one of the summits of Hehuan Mountain. For detailed information read our article about Hehuanshan at Sunrise.
     
  • Eryanping Trail
    Eryanping Trail along tea plantations to the second outlook for the sunset
    Popular by locals, not so much by foreign visitors, is the Eryanping Trail through tea plantations between Longmei and Shizhuo.  The area has the perfect climate to grow tea due to dense fog and cool temperatures in the afternoon like at Alishan. The Oolong - high mountain tea grows mainly at an altitude of 900-1200 m. It's a short steep trail up mostly on steps leading to two outlooks. Parking is available at the trailhead, and there are restrooms as well. Nice farm stalls and six fresh waffles for a less than 1,50 € are offered.  Eryanping Trail Google Maps
     
  • Guanwu
    Guanwu Sunset
    We also watched a beautiful sunset at Guanwu where you can get to by car. It's 5 minutes walk to the viewing platform only. Guanwu is also excellent for hiking and famous for two thousand years old giant Formosan Cypresses. Detailed information in our Guanwu National Forest article. 

     
Cherry Blossom and Sakura Season

Cherry Blossom in Alishan

This is the most famous time of the year in Taiwan. Depending on the elevation level it usually takes place between the end of February until mid-April. The most popular places are Yangmingshan and the Wuji Tianyuan Temple, Wulai Waterfall, Sun Moon Lake and, Alishan. All these places get utterly crowded, especially during the weekend.
 

Season Details

Before we dive into our adventure experiences and ideas for your next visit, let us give you a detailed season overview. What to expect in terms of climate, highlights, and crowds:

March - April - May (Spring)

Rhododendron in bloom in May

In terms of weather March and April are often sunny while heavy rainfall starts in May. March has pleasant temps above 20°C but not too hot. Temps are Increasing in April and May, as it's already hot with high humidity. However, rain showers can always occur. March and April are perfect months if you'd like to see Taiwan in full bloom. In April and May, we highly recommend visiting Guanwu for the rhododendrons.

June - July - August (Summer)

Summer

Temps are above 30°C, and it's not a pleasant time. During the Computex in June, the biggest IT Show in Asia, it's heavily crowded in Taipei. July and August is the peak season because the residents go on vacation. Many Taiwanese travel either to the cooler mountains or to the sea. Often to Kenting in the south to escape the heat. Expect high humidity and lots of precipitation. These are the wettest months on the entire island and typhoons can occur.

September - October - November (Autumn)

Taiwan during Autumn

There is still lots of rain until the end of October and typhoons are likely to occur until the end of September. October gets drier but not on the east side. November is one of the driest months with pleasant temperatures above 20°C, but it's often cloudy in the north. We can't recommend traveling in September, due to the rainfall. October and November are much better and not very crowded except Taipei.

December - January - February (Winter)

Tea plantations during winter close to Alishan

The temps in winter are still pleasant at day time roughly around 20°C and sometimes slightly below. The temperatures in the mountains are pretty chilly during the night from December to March. In January and February, the peaks are often covered with snow. Snow is something special for the Taiwanese and many of them travel to higher elevations like Hehuanshan or Alishan.
 

Avoiding the Crowds

Famous sights in Taiwan are often pretty crowded

So many regions of Taiwan are still overlooked by travelers from non-Asian countries. Of course, the famous attractions in Taipei like the World Trade Center or the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall as well as Taroko Gorge, Alishan, and Kenting are popular and crowded. In general, Taipei is extremely busy during the summer between July and August and from the end of December until early January. Weekends are always super busy. The Taiwanese have very few holidays. That's the reason for the very crowded weekends almost everywhere on the entire island. It tends to get busy from Friday midday onwards. Even worse is Xitou, which is busy even on weekdays due to retired hiking people. However, the hinterland and not well-known places by tourists are just visited by residents. What did we do to dodge the crowds? We went on adventures and deep into nature. Particularly on weekends to get away from the masses. That's how we shared beautiful nature with very few people only. Tip for the famous spots: If you'd like to visit the popular places, get there early in the morning to dodge the most crowds.

TW Taiwan

Regarding the weather and the crowds April, September, October, and early November are the best months to visit the "Heaven's Gate". Be prepared for showers, but if you are lucky you can get sunshine as well.

Avoiding the Crowds

Expect a busy holy mountain throughout the year except for winter (mid-November/December - February). The main season is from May until October with most visitors and rates at its peak. Heaviest crowds in July/August. A sweet spot month with mild climate but without heavy crowds is early-November until mid-November. Otherwise, March/April are considered months without massive crowds.

CN China

Land Diving, where the New Zealander AJ Hackett got inspired for Bungee Jumping. It’s a custom which takes part from the first Saturday in April until the last Saturday in June, 13 times in 2020 and 2021. There is limited space only, and flights fill up quickly for this event each Saturday. Advanced booking is recommended. Only very few airlines offer this trip. Some cruises offer this spectacle as well, but just for their guests. We made our booking six months in advance. Regarding the weather, Pentecost experiences much precipitation until late April. May gets drier, and June is the best choice if you like to watch these breathtaking jumps.

Land Diving Pentecost Island - Last dive on the highest level

Weather 

Pentecost has a tropical climate. It’s warm throughout the year and gets hot and humid during the rainy season with temps above 30°C. The season lasts from November to March officially, but the wettest months are January to April. The dry season lasts until October. Occasional rain showers occur. The western side of Pentecost experiences more rain. Cyclones are more likely to happen between January and March. The category 5 monster, Cyclone Pam, hit Vanuatu in March 2015. It was the worst natural disaster ever. 

Crowds 

Usually, Land Diving is held for 30-40 people, but the audiences increase if it’s presented for a cruise ship. There is much space for everybody to sit and stand around the diving tower. Due to a limited number of seats and flights available, you will always sit in the first row to attend this cultural spectacle from an ancient time.

Pentecost Land Diving - groups are small up to 40 people

VU Vanuatu