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Hiking

When should you hike a trail? Some hikes lead to fascinating forests, some have tremendous views and others are rich in variety. Share your favorite trails with other hikers and nature lovers.

Mount Cook - Aoraki in Maori, one of the most famous places in New Zealand is exceptional in all types of weather. It is the highest mountain of NZ at a height of 3.724 m/12217 ft. The summiz of Mount Cook is covered in snow the entire year. Forty percent of the National Park is covered by the largest glaciers. Nineteen of the peaks are more than 3.000 m high. This park has lots of superlatives.

Read our season guide below, our advice why Aoraki/Mount Cook is worth visiting and our 5 Amazing Must-Do Walks and Hikes as well as our 9 Tips for Mount Cook

Weather and Crowds Mount Cook

Mount Cook view from Hooker Lake

Rain and snow can occur throughout the year; however; the summer is the sunniest time. The weather is changing quickly in the South Alps of NZ. So even if the forecast is excellent be prepared for strong winds, rain, and snow. The mentioned temps for each season are for Mount Cook Village on 760 m elevations.

Spring (September - November)

Mount Cook during spring view from Hooker Lake

In spring the Mount Cook Village can still experience minus degrees in the night and day temps are pleasant on average between 15-18°C degrees. Nowadays, with climate change temps in the high 20 can occur. Rain is increasing; showers are likely to happen, but it doesn’t mean it’s raining the entire day.

Summer (December - February)

Aoraki - Mount Cook in summer view from Sealy Tarns Track

December and January are the wettest and warmest months of the year. Rain is already decreasing in February. During summer day temps are on average around 20°C degrees. On a clear and sunny day, temps can climb up to 35°C. Night temps are on average around 10°C. Summer is the busiest time of the year. The limited accommodation options are usually fully booked far in advance.

Autumn (March - May)

Mount Cook during fall - view from the Hooker Valley

There is less precipitation during autumn. March is still pleasant with day temps around 20°C on average. It gets colder in April and May with day temps around 15°C but one-digit temps can occur as well. Nights are cold, and minus degrees can happen. It’ a little quieter already and again packed with tourists during Easter. We spent three nights here on Easter and experienced all-weather; blue sunny skies, rain, snow, and hail on the day we left.

Winter (June - August)

Mount Cook - Aoraki covered in snow during winter

It’s chilly here during winter on average 10°C and colder, however, 20° C can happen but that’s rare to experience. Nights are pretty cold, especially if you plan to camp. Expect minus degrees during the night. Some huts and trails on higher elevation may be closed but the most popular ones are less busy.

Exact weather forecast for Mount Cook

Accommodations and Camping in the Aoraki – Mount Cook National Park

Campground in the 'Aoraki - Mount Cook Village

Mount Cook village is easy to reach but there is just one long road leading along Lake Pukaki to the village and out. If you don’t stay in the village it is quite a journey. You need at least three hours from Queenstown and four from Christchurch. There are very few accommodations the reason that advanced booking is utterly necessary throughout the year. Lodges, Chalet, and Motel for Aoraki (Bookmark the Link for price guarantee at booking.com). Stay at least 3 better 4 days in case of poor weather. The weather can change very quickly here in the NZ Alps. We experienced sunny blue skies, rain, hail, and, snow on our last day-

The doc campground is huge - 60 non-powered sites. You can pitch your tent wherever you want. It's first come first serve. There is one public shelter for cooking which is quite small in the peak season during rain or hail. Hot showers are only at the village available. However, nights are cold; temps can drop below zero. I know what I am talking about. The price is $15 per adult and children half.

NZ New Zealand

Trolltunga! Mesmerizing! Follow our tips to make the most out of your visit. When is the best time? Mid-June until early September are the most pleasant months for hiking and seeing the spectacular scenic cliffs. However, it gets very crowded up there. Read on for our detailed description of weather conditions, how to avoid the crowds and a full season guide. Updated 2019!

We also have new (scroll down or click the links) must-know tips, hiking details, camping tips, and more! Looking for a place to stay? Our Hotel Tips for Trolltunga can help you. Please check out the recommended tours section as well. 
 

Season Guide

Spring | Late March - April - May | Guided Hiking | It’s still snow season (hiking tours with snowshoes). A guided tour is recommended. Sometimes groups who hiked in April on their own, had to turn around: Freezing, too much snow and trail markings (red ‘T’s) were snow covered. In May experienced hikers report that the hike is doable alone but still challenging due to the snow. We suggest guided hiking tours throughout spring. You can find the official Trolltunga Active A.S. (they are the best!) hikes here: Trolltunga Active Tours & Hikes Booking in advance is highly recommended!

Summer| June - July - August - Mid-September | Self-Guided Hiking | Peak season! The best weather and terrain conditions are from mid-June until early September. The trail is well marked and can be done without guides. However, if you're very unexperienced a guided hike is recommended. Meaning, if you can't or don't want to go alone, book a tour via GetYourGuide. They only offer tours from the two top operators Trolltunga Active and Trolltunga Adventures (the best guides you can get):  Reliable Trolltunga Tours. Crowds? The downside is indeed the crowds at Trolltunga and on the trail as well. At the cliffs, it’s not unlikely to wait in the queue for 1-2 hours until you can take your photos. Read our tips below on how to dodge the crowds!

Autumn | Mid-September - Mid-October | Guided Hiking | Already a high chance of new snow and rough weather. Guided tours are highly recommended. Recently in late September, a group had to be rescued by the Red Cross before they would have frozen to death. They went in bad weather. If you want to go alone: Check weather conditions constantly, listen to the locals and prepare with the right gear and clothing.

Winter | Mid-October - Mid-March | Guided Hiking Only | Off-season! DANGER, extremely rough conditions. Life-threatening even for experienced hikers. UPDATE 2019: Somehow the tourist information center 'Visit Odda' changed their mind about hiking in the winter. Now, they say you can hike even in the winter, but only with very experienced guides from Trolltunga Active. See their new infographic here: Trolltunga Hiking Seasons And the official tour by Trolltunga Active: Winter Snowshoe Hike 

 

Avoiding the Crowds


Norway Trip by Neuwieser, CC BY-SA

The main trail to the top and Trolltunga itself became really crowded recently. However, we got you covered with the best tips. You have three viable options to dodge crowds on the trail as well as avoiding long waiting times to take a photo at Trolltunga:

Start Early
Start very early around 6 AM or even better at 5 AM. (If you want to drive the new road (see below), be in Skjeggedal at 6 a.m. when the road 'opens') Hikers who start at 5 AM and arrive around 9 AM usually only see a few others on the trail and up there, even in July/August. You’ll only wait less than 15 minutes to take your photos, compared to an hour or longer!

Consider Camping:
Bring a tent for camping and stay overnight. That way you can experience a quiet sunset and sunrise without the crowds of day hikers. Never camped before or don't want to camp alone? In that case we highly suggest booking the Overnight Hike to Trolltunga (with Camping). It's offered by Trolltunga Adventures and you'll completely dodge the crowds at sunset or sunrise. 

Visit Outside Summer
Go in shoulder season, either April/May or Sept/Oct or even in the winter with a guided tour now. Rougher conditions but fewer people, sometimes almost solitude.


Sweet Spot Months

Try the sweet spot time between EARLY JUNE until MID-JUNE: Still, some snow on the ground but no guide needed. Mostly pleasant conditions and much less crowded than in late June, July, and August.

NO Norway

The glacier is open year-round. The best time to visit Franz Josef depends on what you’re looking for. Mild temperatures? Ice highlights? Fewer Crowds? Read on for our detailed ‘WHEN TO GO’ tips below. In addition, make sure to check our complete season guide and must-know tips for the breathtaking heli tours!

  1. Season Guide | Monthly Weather - Busy Times
  2. Avoiding Tourist Crowds | Time of Day
  3. Helicopter Tours | 2 Types (Recommended!)
  4. Hotel Tips | + Hotel Deals with Low Price Guarantee
  5. Walks and Hikes (Main Hike, Treks, Valley Walk)
  6. 10 Must-Know Tips | + Things to Do


Special Tip: Planning to visit Milford Sound as well?  Check out our detailed guide with many tips: 7 Tips for Milford Sound| A Complete Guide Link to our article.  If you need  tips about combining Queenstown - Milford Sound and Franz Josef Glacier, read this TripAdvisor Post: How to combine Queenstown - Milford - Franz Josef — TripAdvisor. If you're looking for a New Zealand guide book. This is our tip: Fodor's New Zealand (via Amazon)

 
Seasons | Weather - Busy Times 

In general, the weather is highly unpredictable in this region, regardless of the season. Within one day it can change radically. Always bring rain gear, despite a sunny weather forecast. The Franz Josef town experiences more than 5 liters of rain each year and 10-15 meters of snow at the top of the glacier. However, in the winter it’s more stable.

Winter (June - August)
Temperatures are low: 5 – 15°C (41-57°F), but the weather is more stable than during other seasons. Winter has the clearest days; everything is clean and pristine. Highlight: The ice moves less in winter, resulting in amazing ice features like crevasses and ice caves which stay much longer. There are significantly fewer tourists, and it’s a lot quieter than in summer months.

Spring (September - November)
Temperatures are rising: 9 – 17°C (48-63°F). September is still quiet but also still a cool month with 6-13°C. October gets a little more busy and warmer. November is already peak season which means it gets crowded during the day.

 

Summer (December - February)
Mild daytime temperatures between 12 and 25°C (53-77°F). Great for exploring. However, the weather is very unpredictable and can quickly change from sun to heavy rainfall which can last for hours or a whole day. It’s also the very busy peak season: Starting in November (spring) and lasting until March with up to 2700 tourists each day. Be prepared for crowded tracks and photo spots.

Autmn (March - May)
Temperatures continue to be pleasant: 9 – 17°C (48-63°F). However, be prepared for rain like in the summer. In March it’s still busy. The heavy crowds start to dissipate during April and thin out even more in May.

 
Avoiding Tourist Crowds | Time of Day

It’s usually very busy and crowded in high season between November and March with one million visitors each year. Especially if you want to take the popular 45 minutes walk to the glacier (90 minutes round trip). Although there is plenty of parking space, it fills up pretty quickly by mid-morning. In peak season it can become quite difficult to find a parking spot after 10 AM. The main track itself gets crowded as well, although it thins out a little as you near the glacier. When parts of the track are closed during or after heavy rainfall, it feels even more crowded. Moreover, the helicopter sightseeing and hiking flights start at 8 AM making a lot of noise. Expect one helicopter each minute during the peak season. To dodge the crowds and avoid the disturbing helicopter noise be there early around 7 AM. You’ll experience a much more peaceful walk to the glacier and enjoy the fascinating sights in solitude. You might also try to go after 6 PM in the summer or after 4 PM in the winter when the crowds dissipated again and heli flights are terminated soon for the day. However, the views sometimes can get worse since when clouds descend later in the day. But still, a late hike, still daylight etc., is a great way to dodge the crowds.

NZ New Zealand

The best time to visit Zion is either in April or October. In April the summer crowds haven’t arrived yet and the weather is pleasant with temps around 73°F (23°C). In October most crowds are gone, temps hover around 78°F (26°C), and you can witness the fall colors. The shuttle runs in both months.


Zion: The Narrows in summer with crowds and without crowds in spring

We provide you with tips on how to avoid the crowds, even in peak season. In general, Zion N.P. can can be visited year-round. Depending on what time of year you go, you will be faced with different conditions that you need to prepare for. Summer is hot and dry, spring and fall vary widely and winter is cold and wet. As well, the services available will vary based on the season.

Below you’ll find a weather overview and a paragraph on how to avoid the busy times. Even more tips can be found in our complete guide with every season explained in detail. We put wrote down what you can expect to encounter on a monthly basis. The seasons are broken down based on the weather rather than the calendar. Finally we added tips and information about when The Narrows are open and the operating times for the Zion Shuttle System.

Weather Overview

Always keep in mind that the difference between dayime temperatures (see above) and during the night can be 30°F (15°C). In summer, it is oven-like and can get well above 100°F (38°C) and on the other side thunderstorms occur. If you go in the middle of summer avoid long hikes. In the winter snow and ice can be an issue. However, winter is a great time without any crowds and an awesome experience. It's not too cold! Check out this video on YouTube: Zion in Winter Another huge advantage in the winter: Accommodation rates are at their lowest. Check the hotel deals below. For the official helpful season guide visit: NPS - Zion Seasons

 
Avoiding Busy Times


Official Zion National Park Visitors 2018/2019

Peak months are June to August. A little less crowded in spring and fall. Very quiet in December, January, February but bear in mind road or trails can be closed. However, you can avoid crowds year-round by starting your hike or exploration right after sunrise. At that time you’ll have the park almost for yourself. Most visitors don’t start before 10 a.m. In the morning there is also a better chance of spotting wildlife and the best light for photos.

Shuttle Overview: From March to October you have to take the shuttle bus, cars are not permitted. Usually, from November to February you can park your car at the available parking lots. The scenic drive in Zion can be closed on weekends in February and shuttle bus transportation has to be taken. Read more details about the shuttle system further below in our shuttle paragraph.

 

Spring | March and April

Spring is a great time to visit Zion NP as the temperature is not as hot as summer. Spring can be volatile so bring warm layers and rain gear as the weather can change quickly. Mornings tend to be cool but warm up as the sun heats the valley.

March is the start of spring in Zion which is an unpredictable transition time with warmer days but is also with up to 8 days of rain. The temperatures make for great hiking as it's not too hot and not too cold. Daylight is getting longer as well which means you will have more time to explore.

If there is a high amount of snow up on top of the canyons then the many seasonal waterfalls will start to flow. They are usually dried up by summer so it is a treat to see. This meltwater can make the Virgin River a raging torrent so keep away from the banks. The Narrows is closed during spring due to the water levels and current.

Flash Flood Danger: Always check with the visitor center for any flash flood warnings and the daily weather forecast. I've witnessed the sheer power of nature as we watched from upon a ledge a trickling stream transform into a wall of water in seconds. With steep terrain when it rains it will all get funneled to the low points which tend to be the canyons so you might not know it's coming because it rained many miles away. If when hiking in a canyon and you hear a rumble upstream and feel a cool damp breeze, get to high ground as this may signal an imminent flash flood.

While down low is becoming warmer and lush the trails up atop the canyon may still have snow and ice late into March so bring traction devices if you plan to hike at the higher elevations. The trees start to bud and the canyon floor appears to come back to life after a winter slumber. But winter and the spring melt can take a toll on the trails with flood damage and downed trees, so check at the visitor center or the Zion National Park webpage to find out about current trail conditions.

In the month of April the wildflowers really start to bloom. Longer days, less rain and warmer temperatures make this an almost idyllic time to visit. Early April is one of our favorite times to go as it's not too hot, waterfalls are often still flowing and the crowds aren't excessive. By this point, all of the trails but the Narrows are open. The snow is melted and the rock dry so rock climbing is often perfect during this window as well.

Backpacking Tip: If you want to go backpacking then consider going in on the northwest side at Kolob Canyon or on the east side for the East Rim Trail. There are local shuttle services that will take you from one trailhead to another and you can hike back to your car. There are also loop routes that will bring you back to where you started. If your route starts or ends in the main canyon make sure you are finished before the shuttles stop running as there is no camping in that part of the park. You will require a backcountry camping permit that is available online or in-person at the Visitor Center.

Weather: Warm days with cool nights and mornings. Wettest time of year with regular rain.

AveragesMarchApril
Daily High63°F (17°C)73°F (23°C)
Daily Low36°F (2°C)43°F (6°C)
Days of Rain86
Rainfall1.7 inches1.3 inches

Park Services: The shuttle buses start running in March so private vehicles are not allowed on the canyon road. The shuttles are free with park admission. While the visitor center is open year-round, other amenities like the South Campground and Human History Museum open back up for the season in the spring.

Crowds: March sees a huge spike in traffic over February due to the improving weather and spring break but is still only half of the peak traffic in the summer. April ramps up again as it may be one of the best months for hiking, climbing and general exploring. During weekends and spring break it's advised to get to the park early in the morning (before 8 am) to get a parking spot and avoid crowds on the trails, especially Angel's Landing.

 

Summer | May, June, July, August, September

With the warm weather comes the crowds. The span from May to September is the busiest time of year with over half a million people visiting the park each month. May marks the beginning of summer in Zion. Daily high temperatures are getting to be over 80°F (27°C). At this point, any damage from spring flooding will usually be repaired so all the hiking trails should be open spreading the crowds out.

From June to Mid August you will find a lot of families with children on summer vacation so the park has several programs for kids and shorter easier hikes. There are ranger-led walks and talks that will give you an understanding of Zion NP while being easy enough for even young kids. There are also nature games, music, and storytelling on the lawn of the Zion Lodge. Check for the schedule each day.

Parking in Summer: During the busy times of June, July, and August you avoid parking issues in the park with one must-know tip: Use the free shuttle service from Springdale to the entrance of Zion NP! It runs roughly every 10 minutes and the pick-up spots are close to the hotels in town. Tip: Read our shuttle section below the season guide.

The Narrows: In May the chances of hiking The Narrows are good. However, the water is freezingly cold (see below). The first time we ever went to Zion was in May 2000. No shuttle, no gear (neoprene) to rent, nothing. We are experienced hikes had to return after a few minutes due to the freezingly cold water. June is a safe bet for the Narrows hike to be open. This hike is in the Virgin River walking either from the canyon upstream or a longer multi day trek downstream. To hike the whole downstream stretch requires a permit but a day outing upstream as far as Big Spring. We’ve done the upstream hike (no permit required) in the summer and while it is extremely hot out the water, the river was surprisingly cold. You will want to wear water hiking shoes and use poles as the uneven rocky bottom and the current makes it treacherous in places. To do the downstream hike which is 16 miles you will also need to arrange a shuttle to Chamberlain's Ranch as it starts outside the park. If you are interested in this hike always check with the Visitor Center as flash floods happen in the summer due to thunderstorms. You can rent canyoneering boots and neoprene socks if you find the water too cold. If a thunderstorm is forecast the Narrows is closed to avoid dangerous conditions.

Hiking and other activities in June, July and August should be started early in the morning or later afternoon due to the heat. Wear a wide-brimmed hat as well as UV protective clothing and sunglasses to protect against the sun. Cover any exposed skin with sunscreen. The hot dry air will dehydrate you faster than you would expect if you are not used to it. Bring about a quart of water per hour of hiking. Electrolyte drink mix added to your water can help your body retain moisture and replace what you are sweating out. There are places to fill water bottles at the Visitor Center, Grotto, and Zion Lodge.

September is still busy but slightly less than the peak of summer. If you visit in September, go after Labor Day weekend and try to avoid the other weekends as well. That way you’ll avoid most of the crowds Temperatures are slightly cooler making hikes more enjoyable.

Weather: Hot days with warm nights. Relatively dry but frequent thunderstorms which can lead to flash floods.

AveragesMayJuneJulyAugustSept
Daily High83°F (28°C)93°F (34°C)100°F (38°C)97°F (36°C)91°F (33°C)
Daily Low52°F (2°C)60°F (16°C)68°F (20°C)66°F (19°C)60°F (16°C)
Days of Rain53564
Rainfall0.7 inches0.6 inches0.8 inches1.3 inches0.8 inches

Park Services: Summer is the time where the park is going full speed. Unless otherwise posted all programs are running and all the attractions are open. The shuttle buses will be running roughly every seven minutes so you don't have to wait long if you missed one. >> raus und in generellen Shuttle Abschnitt: There are shuttles from Springdale to the park and shuttles within the park so you have options on where you park.

Crowds: This is the high traffic time of year with more planning and reservations needed. July is the peak month with over 600,000 people going through the gates. Because this is peak season expect lineups for shuttle buses and parking to be harder to find. If you plan to head to Zion NP during the summer make sure you book accommodation in Springdale or the park campsites months in advance as everything books up quickly.

 

Fall | October and November

Aside from cool temperatures, October and November bring the fall colors. One of the coolest things you will see is the descent of the color change as it starts at the top of the canyon and works its way to lower elevations with the peak in the valley in late October.

Temps: In fall the temperatures can vary so bring layers for warmth as well as sun protection. The temperature can vary by 30 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. We carry beanie hats, light thermal gloves and some light layers which will let us adjust our comfort level if the temperatures drop or the wind picks up.

Crowds: This is our favorite time to visit as the crowds are decreasing and the weather is more pleasant if you are hiking or climbing. Just make sure you have a headlamp with you as the days are getting shorter and you don't want to accidentally get stuck out after dark.

The Narrows: In the fall, the Narrows start to get too cold to go bare-legged so insulated water gear is suggested. You can rent canyoneering boots, wading pole, dry pants, waterproof backpack, and neoprene socks from Zion Outfitters in Springdale right by the Visitor Center. You can rent the boots and socks in the warmer weather if you just need better traction as well.

Drive: Fall is the best time to drive the Mt. Carmel Highway and experience the tunnel. The tunnel is about a mile long with hole cut in the rock so you can see out. The switchbacking road has many pull-offs that let you get beautiful views. Just after the tunnel, there is a pull out on the right to park and hike the Canyon Overlook Trail. This will give you a great view of the canyon.

Weather: Moderate daytime temperatures with cool nights and mornings. November can see snow at higher altitudes.

US United States

Karijini is one of our favourite National Parks in Australia. The best times to travel are late autumn, winter, and early spring (April to October); the dry season. The most pleasant day temps can be experienced from May to September. Read on for more insights and tips on how to avoid the crowds. Also, don't miss our '9 Must-Know Tips' at the end of this article!

Weather by Season and Month

The weather in Karijini National Park is influenced by the local steppe climate or in other words: Mostly desert climate. It can get very hot, and there are a few months with lots of rain, which might spoil your adventure. Check out our detailed monthly guide to find out more:  

Spring (September-October-November)

Karijini - beginning of Weano Gorge

September temps are still bearable around 30°C. It’s a fantastic month to visit the mindblowing National Park but come before the spring break. Swim through the chilly waterholes. You won't believe how cold these waterholes in the gorges are. Increasing day temps in October and November which makes hiking in Karijini strenuous during the day. Start early morning to avoid the midday heat. Carry plenty of water.

Summer (December-January-February) 

Fern Pool after heavy rainfall in summer

Summer is not a good season for Karijini. Cyclones, heavy rainfall, and thunderstorms can happen during the rainy season from December to the end of March. Precipitation occurs on average just on 32 days in the entire year but the majority during summer. If it starts raining, you can’t enter any of these gorges. Road closures may happen. You always have to monitor the forecast. Flash floods can occur, and the water is muddy. It is oven-hot; frequently topping 40°C. Even the information centre is closed from mid-December to late February.

Autumn (March-April-May) 

Weano Gorge - Handrail Pool awesome for swimming

Rain and thunderstorms can occur until the end of March. April is still hot on average more than 30°C on daytime. The gorges might be inaccessible until mid-April if there was too much precipitation before. May and June are great months for Karijini. There are huge waterholes where you have to wade and to swim through. The water is freezing cold. It’s even more fun for the adventurous to climb to the different gorges, especially the well-known Weano Gorge. Pleasant temps are ranging from 22°C to 26°C at daytime. Night temps are cool but above 10°C on average. 

Winter (June-July-August) 


The Falls by Paul Balfe CC-BY, cropped

June is a perfect month to explore Karijini with its waterholes. In the winter months of June and July days are warm and clear with average daily temps of 22°C while night temps drop below 10°C. The existing waterholes are freezing cold. Hypothermia can happen; so be careful. You need a warm sleeping bag for camping; 0°C can occur during the night. There is a significant difference in the temperature at day and night during winter. It’s pleasant for hiking due to the low humidity.

More detailed weather insights including precipitation at Meteoblue - Climate Karijini National Park

Avoiding Crowds and Busy Times

The popular Fortescue Falls in Dales Gorge

In general, it's not very crowded. However, the season at Karijini starts during the Eastern Holiday until the end of October. It's busy at Easter, on weekends and during school holidays: Packed adventure tours, hectic campsites, and crowded spots.  At this time the Karijini Eco Retreat, which is perfectly located, might be fully booked. Seriously, try to avoid Easter, the school holidays in winter (usually, the first two weeks in July), and the spring break at the end of September if possible!: Western Australia School Holidays 2019.

Where to Stay and Camping (Our Accommodation Tips)

Eco Retreat

Top accommodation tip: Karijini Eco Retreat (save this bookmark).  Perfect location, utterly fantastic place. Excellent food and accommodating staff. We came here already twice; once we spent three nights in a cabin and again camping for five nights in 2019. We would book any time again. In the evening you can either have dinner in the restaurant or from the burger bar. They offer ice for cooling and ice cream as well, which we appreciated while camping. It's the closest accommodation with luxury tens and campground for Karijini close to Joffre Falls.

Savannah Campground Karijini Eco Retreat

There are 114 campsites plus 12 group campsites available. The bush kitchen and BBQ are average. Solar shower and flush toilets are available but not in high number. If the Savannah campground is fully booked during the holidays; you may line up. The Eco tents with quality bedding and private bathroom were even at the end of the season in late September fully booked. If you prefer to stay at the Eco Retreat, book your tent in advance. 

Karijini Eco Retreat - Dorm Eco Cabin
Karijini Eco Retreat; Dorm Cabins with shared bathroom (cheapest option)

Another option is the Dales campground at the eastern side of the park. It's basic bush camping without power or a shower; clean drop toilets only. A shower is available at the Information Center. We recommend staying at both campgrounds to enjoy as much as possible of the park. Don't come here in a rush. Karijini is one of the most adventures and mindblowing parks in Australia. Stay at least 5 nights to explore the many gorges.

Sunset at the Karijini Eco Retreat

If you want to visit the entire National Park, it is pretty convenient to stay in Tom Price. It always takes around one hour to get to the different entrances and gorges. There is an excellent bakery offering bread, pies, apple crumble, and coffee. Two liquor stores and a pharmacy are also located in the town centre. All in walking distance. Tom Price Tourist Park booking. It offers a mix of camping, fully equipped cabins, and backpacker rooms.

AU Australia

Abel Tasman is one of the most popular National Parks in New Zealand. Peak season from mid-December to March (Easter). Often several hundred day-trippers visit the park for a hike between Awaroa and Marahau. The crowds thin out after Awaroa. Best months for a visit with pleasant weather and fewer hikers are November, March, and April. Continue reading to get all the needed information for each season.

For the Coast Track of 3-5 days booking for the 4 huts and 19 campsites is essential for the entire year. For summer booking far in advance is recommended. Availability and booking

Split Apple Rock at Abel Tasman National Park
Split Apple Rock

Tide times must get as much consideration as the weather forecast for the coastal track and also for day hikes:

  • Crossing the stream at Onetahuti beach is only possible around low tide.
  • Awaroa inlet can be crossed only within 1 ½ hour before and 2 h after low tide. 
  • You can walk along the beach at Torrent Bay at low tide. At high tide, it’s a long way around along Cleopatra's pool which takes an additional hour.

Cleopatras Pool at Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Cleopatras Pool

Tide times

A pick up at Torrent Bay is not any longer offered. Limited drop off between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. exceptions for overnight guests and residents. The next opportunity is Anchorage and Bark Bay.

Water Taxi Shuttle early morning at the Abel Tasman National Park
Water Taxis at Kaiteriteri

Tip: Even for a day trip book your water taxi in advance during the peak season in summer.

Weather and Crowds

It’s one of the sunniest spots in NZ with over 2.200 hours of sunshine annually.

  • Spring (Sept.-Nov.): Nature awakes, and the temps are perfect for hiking with temps below 20°Cs on average. Nights are pretty chilly. It’s the shoulder season and less crowded.
  • Summer (Dec.-Feb.): It’s the best time of the year for hiking and swimming with less precipitation. From mid-December on the park gets utterly crowded with visitors from around the world, as well as from AUS and NZ in their school holidays. Day temps are above 20°C and nights are pleasant. January is the warmest month.
  • Autumn (March-May): Still pleasant temps and crowds thin out. Not a high amount of precipitation on average 8 days a month. Temps are perfect for hiking. March and April are still very sunny. Nights temps in May are often below 10°C.
  • Winter (June-Aug.): Day temps are around 14°C while there are one digit temps in the night. Camping is pretty cold. The coldest month is July with a night temp on average around 6°C. Most rainfall occurs in June. It’s the perfect time for photographers without crowds on the beaches and the turquoise crystal clear sea looks breathtaking at this time of the year. Viewer people visit the park. 
     
Where to Stay in Kaiteriteri - Abel Tasman National Park

There are plenty of accommodations in Motueka but not many in Kaiteriteri. To get one of the early morning water taxis we recommend staying within walking distance to the beach and the shuttle service. Torlesse Motels are just a 10 minutes walk where the boats depart. The staff is lovely, and the view from here is spectacular. Book a studio and prepare your picnic for hiking in the Abel Tasman National Park. 

Top Tip

Don't miss the famous Wharariki Beach which is most picturesque at sunset. You may know it from the Windows 10 Wallpaper. 

Wharariki Beach north of Abel Tasman National Park
Wharariki Beach north of Abel Tasman

 

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