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.
The Painted Cliffs are accessible within two hours before and after low tide and most vivid in the afternoon sunlight. Therefore, less than 10 days each month are perfect for a good shot. Typically, summer is the busiest time of the year. To dodge the crowds visit the island between September and November or in April and May. Check the tides first: Tides Maria Island
The ferry is going from Triabunna to Darlington, Maria Island. This island is very popular, and the ferry was often fully booked in summer. Now the service is offered more often. It’s a big advantage to visit the island by bike.
September-April: The ferry is going up to five times daily depending on demands and bookings.
May-August (Winter): The ferry is going up to three times daily on 5 days. It's not going on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Where to Stay in Triabunna the Day Before
There are only a few opportunities to spend the night before to get the early morning ferry. We'd chosen The Triabunna Cabin and Caravan Park. The owners were attentive and the cabin well equipped.
Avoiding the Crowds
The ferry service is offered more often from April 2017 on. Even more day visitors are coming to the island. During summer, up to several hundred tourists visit the island each week. From now on the winter is the best time for a visit. When the ferry left the island in the afternoon, it becomes more tranquil and peaceful. If you arrive on Monday or Wednesday, you have to stay for two nights at the campground. The big advantage; the next day only a few people are on the island. Still no ferry transfer on Tuesday and Thursday!
Maria Island has a mild climate without frost in winter. The average summer day temperature is around 21°C / 70°F and can be up to 30°C / 86°F. The driest month is January although rain showers often occur throughout the year. One of the wettest months is November. May and October are a bit cooler but also worth a try. Night temperatures in winter and spring are below 10°C / 50°F. During our stay in November 2016, the night temp was around 6°C / 43°F.
It’s a great destination all year round, but it should be sunny or at least dry. The rocks are totally exposed, which means it can be windy and it’s not pleasant with rain. In September and October, beautiful proteas and wildflowers are in bloom.
Paarl Rock is still a "hidden" gem and more known by the South Africans. Therefore, on weekends and public holiday, it’s a bit crowded especially the braai areas. At weekdays enjoy the tranquility on top of the rocks.
The “dry” season lasts from November to March. In summer it can get hot around midday. Bring a hat and sunglasses. Most rainfall from May to August with its peak in June. In winter temperatures range from 8 to about 16 degrees.
Opening Hours of the Nature Reserve
Summer: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. (1 Oct – 31 March)
Winter: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. (1 April – 30 Sept)
Last entry 1 hour before closure times.
Thanks to the good road, this place can be visited all year round. It is very popular and thus can become crowded with tourists. The summer months of July and August is always the busiest time of the year, as tour buses arrive during the day. The best time of day to visit the place and to avoid the crowds is early morning or in the evening. Being there at 9:00 AM, even in peak season, gives you enough time to enjoy the place without many other visitors. During off and shoulder season it's less busy. However, it's still a good idea to visit early and enjoy the place in solitude.
Highlights (Puffin Watching)
Puffins can be spotted from April until the end of August. Sometimes until early or even mid-September. To be on the safe side for Puffin viewing, visit between May and August. Usually, the best weather is a calm day. When it's very windy you'll have a hard time finding them.
You might be wondering: What's the best time to experience Wadi Rum desert? Get ready for our fascinating insights and let us help you finding your best time to visit this amazing scenic desert landscape as well as a complete Wadi Rum guide (updated 2019!). Here is everyhting you need to know (click the links to jump directly to your desired section):
- Where to Stay (The Best Camps)
- Quick Facts
- Quick Guide (Itinerary)
- History and Facts
- How to Get to Wadi Rum
- What to Do (Activities)
- How to Spend the Night
- Must-Know Tips
March - April - May (Spring)
- Season: Peak season
- Tourists: Medium - high
- Weather: Excellent
In March the temperatures are getting pleasant. Often ranging from 15-20°C (59-68°F). From mid-March to late March it's getting even warmer. However, keep in mind that especially in early March the nights are still cold. Definitely bring additional layer of clothes and a jacket. Later in the month nights are getting warmer and you usually don't extra clothing any more during nighttime. In April and May the average daytime temperatures are climbing and reach around 30°C (86°F).
Are there a lot of tourist crowds? Besides autumn, spring is the most popular time to visit Wadi Rum. It's also the busiest time. However, since you are on a tour in a vast desert during the day, tourist crowds are not a big issue. Except for Wadi Rum Village, which is busier of course as well as hot spots visited during desert tours. Book your accommodation well in advance. Another great thing about spring are the desert flowers which bloom in March/April. It's not unlikely that you'll see gorgeous carpets of purple wildflowers during that time.
June - July - August (Summer)
- Season: Low season
- Tourists: Low
- Weather: Hot - very hot
While in summer the average highs hover around 33°C (91°F) 'only', temperatures can in fact reach 40°C (104°F) and more sometimes. That means it boiling hot at times, especially in July and August. However, you can get lucky as there are days when it's not that hot, even in the summer. On the other hand you could experience heatwaves with extreme temperatures. Even in June there are already days when it gets very hot up to 40°C. For many visitors that's not the time for a pleasant visit. This is why this is low season in Wadi Rum, with the big advantage of having less crowds in Wadi Rum Village and quiet camps.
So, is summer a good time to visit? It depends! First of all, the heat is easier to tolerate than in other regions. Mostly, because it's a dry heat. However, if you're not good with boiling temperatures, don't go in summer. We think it's a great time. Tours in summer take the heat into account: Lunch breaks are longer and in a shady place. If you travel with kids, we'd say choose spring or fall instead. For children it's more difficult to tolerate the heat.
September - October - November (Autumn)
- Season: Peak season
- Tourists: Medium - high
- Weather: Excellent
In September temperatures are still high up to 35°C (95°F). Especially until mid-September some visitors say it's still too hot for them. Towards the end of September it starts to get cooler. Weather wise from mid-September until end of October it's the most pleasant time to visit. Temperatures range from 20 to 30 °C. Although, evenings, mornings and in particular the nights in October are getting a lot cooler with temps ranging from 8 - 12°C (46 - 54°F) Also, there can be a little rain in October.
Is autumn really that great? In general a fall visit is an excellent time with a lot of daylight (8 - 11 hours of sunshine), beautiful clear skies, less dusty wind and fascinating migrating birds. Another big advantage: You can experience sunrise without getting up in the night. Sunrise is between 6 and 6:30 in autumn. From mid-October through November it's also the perfect time for trekking/hiking tours. While you need warm clothes in the evening and morning already in October, it's even cooler in November (about 10°C / 50°F mornings/evenings) but still not as cold as in winter. In general autumn is a busier time tourist wise. That means places like Wadi Rum Village and some popular tour spots can't be enjoyed in solitude.
December - January - February (Winter)
- Season: Low season
- Tourists: Low
- Weather: Cooler but not cold (except during nighttime)
Like summer, winter is low season in Wadi Rum. Which results in quieter hot spots and less busy popular sunset places, which you now can enjoy almost in solitude. Is it cold? Not during the day. It's just cooler with average temps between 10-15°C (50-59°F), which is excellent for tours, in particular hiking/trekking tours. But still, prepare for cold evenings and mornings as well as much colder nights. Alle three months, from December to February, are equally 'cold', with January being slightly cooler. Bring layers of clothes, gloves and a warm jacket (rainproof) for the evenings and nights. Warm blankets are provided by the camp. In the night temps can drop to zero degrees celsius.
Can it rain in winter? Yes, Wadi Rum experiences about 15 days of rain every year and most of them in the winter. However, rain showers are usually not very long. Rainfall which is going on for days is very rare and it's very unlikely hat rain will spoil your visit during winter season. Despite popular opinions, we highly recommend a visit to Wadi Rum in the winter.
It can get very hot in the summer months. However, the heat in Wadi Rum area is more tolerable since it's a dry heat. Unlike in Aqaba for example, where it's getting uncomfortable humid and even hotter. In Petra on the other hand it's slightly cooler due to the higher elevation. From late April throughout May, you may experience 'khamsin' in Wadi Rum. This means hot, dry and dusty winds which may cause heavier sandstorms. Wind, although not as as extreme as 'khamsin', can be present in summer, especially in the afternoon. Good to know for photography are the sunrise and sunset hours: Sunrise and Sunset Times
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
Wadi Rum is still (2018) significantly less busy than Petra for example. However, during spring and fall it gets busy at Wadi Rum Village, as well as at the popular desert hot spot sites. Booking a remote camp (see below) with knowledgeable local guides helps. They can take you to stunning hidden spots, away from all tourists. Also visiting in the low seasons of winter or summer means enjoying even the popular spots in solitude.