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Best at low tide especially for the 9.2 km long hike around the peninsula.
Candelabra flowers in bloom from February to April (pictures number 6-8)
Whale spotting from May to November possible.
In general, low rainfall in the Plettenberg area. Driest and coldest months are from June to October. The coolest and driest month is July. More precipitation in the hottest months from November until March. Most rainfall in March. However, Plettenberg gets more than 300 hours of sunshine each month in summer.
(updated by whentobewhere)
Hiking to Widgery Cross and Brad Tor is almost always possible even in changeable weather. This short hike is a "hidden gem" and not marked. Best visited and more impressive at the magic hour before sunset if the Dartmoor weather allows a blue sky and sunshine. Avoid hiking here in May during the huge Ten Tors event. Check out the details here.
There isn't any sign for the walk or the car park. The reason that not many people walk to the cross. We marked the minor road on the map which leads to the parking site. Coming from Tavistock or Lydford Gorge on A 386, after the Dartmoor Inn (they offer delicious local meals) on the right before the farm stall on the left turn right into a gravel road. Shortly afterward you have to pass a gate, and after roughly 200 meters you get to the car park which is for free. For more information make a stop at the farm stall. They offer the best beef pasty and a good coffee. The owner provides you with lots of information and pictures for hiking in the nearby surroundings. It’s also one of the car parks for the famous Ten Tors hike. Each May a huge hiking event takes place on Dartmoor for two days.
The climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Due to the higher altitude and exposed areas, more extreme climate conditions appear. Much more precipitation occurs on Dartmoor than in the surrounding lowlands. Many rivers emerge on here. The rain gets quickly absorbed by the moor, the reason that the soil is often soaked. Sometimes the weather is notoriously bad, windy, cold, foggy and of course wet! Autumn and winter are the wettest time of the year. Snow can occur in the winter, but it’s not common. Anyhow, sunny days or hours appear. The driest months are in the summer. The summer mean daily temps are below 20 degrees, but up to 30 degrees are possible.
The best time to safely visit the place would be from the beginning of May till the end of September. The snow should be melted by this time and the access road should be safer to move on. If you are planning to walk from Smrdliva Voda to the range it will be a two day trip - the distance is almost 20 km one way. Check the weather forecast before you go. The weather can change very quickly in the mountains.
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 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 whole year and soon fully booked during summer. Availability and booking
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.
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. Next opportunity is Anchorage and Bark Bay.
Water Taxis at Kaiteriteri
Tip: Even for a day trip book your water taxi in advance during the peak season.
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 in 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.
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
From November to April are the best conditions for hiking. You may spot an Echidna in spring and summer. The hibernation of echidnas starts at the end of summer (March/April). Be prepared for march flies in February and March.
Occasionally snow in winter between July and September. It can get cold and freezing during the night (below 0°C). More stable weather from December to April with warmer temperature. Anyway, the weather is unpredictable. Be prepared even in summer.
Lake St. Clair is easily accessible and very popular. As soon as you leave the lake for a several hours hike you have the woods almost for yourself. Winter is the off-season, quiet and empty.
The Valley of Fire just an hour drive from Las Vegas is quite popular. The winter time is the quietest. Best light for photography at sunrise and early morning as well as later in the afternoon and during sunset. If you plan to visit the park come here for the entire day and bring your lunch in a cooler.
Weather / Climate
The summer is boiling with daytime temperatures ranging from 38°C / 100°F to 49°C / 120°F. Thunderstorms and heavy showers can occur. The winter is mild with pleasant temps up to 24°C/ 75°F and freezing nights. Occasionally rain can occur during this time of the year. The best seasons to visit the desert are spring and autumn.
Busier during the best weather conditions in spring and fall, especially from February to late May. Both campgrounds are filled up before midday. Weekends are more crowded than weekdays. Less busy in the summer; many visitors want to avoid the boiling heat during the daytime. The winter is also an option to enjoy the scenery almost alone. Anyhow, it’s a State Park and not a National Park, therefore often underestimated. Limited parking at all stops: Arrive either early or late during the peak season.
Opening Hours for the Valley of Fire State Park and Visitor Center
The park is open from sunrise to sunset and the Visitor Center from 8.30 a.m. until 4.30 p.m. It's a small but nice visitor center. They provide you with information about the history and a map as well. A short film about the State Park is shown.
Highlight During Spring
In spring several plants like the desert marigold, indigo bush or desert mallow are in full bloom.
Pay attention to the speed limit; the Hwy is frequently patrolled!!