The Gondwana Rainforests can be found just in the north of NSW and south-east of Queensland. It’s two hours drive to the National Park entrance from Coffs Harbour.
Where there is rainforest, there is rain. The New England Gondwana rainforest is worth to visit throughout the year. Hiking and camping in such an ancient Antarctic beech forest is something very special and sensational. It may be 35°C hot at the Ebor Falls just 30 km north of the New England National Park, but in the forest, it’s cool with temps often around 16°C during spring and summer. Nights get pretty chilly. It’s a perfect example to experience the positive impact of forests for our environment and against climate change.
Weather New England National Park
First of all, precipitation can happen in abundance, and tents get flooded. On the other hand, dry and warm days can occur as well. Most important be prepared and check the weather forecast before visiting the park.
- Rainy Season
It frequently rains from November to March. Temps can be high on average 25°C and even more around 30°C is possible on a clear sunny day. If it’s misty and cloudy temps are on average around 15°C. Check the forecast before pitching your tent. The campground got already flooded a couple of times.
- Drier Season
In April the rain decreases and May to October are drier. May to August are the coldest months day temps on average are below 20° and night temps are around 7°C. However, be prepared if you plan to camp night temps can drop to 0°C with occasional snowfall.
If you like to experience nature without the crowds and awesome day hikes this is one of the rare places. The secluded Thungutti campground is very seldom fully booked. Usually, there are just four or five sites occupied. While hiking, we just met one family the entire day.
Camping New England and Dorrigo National Park
If you plan to visit the New England National Park make a stop at Dorrigo and its visitor center first. You can’t camp in Dorrigo, but there is one small campground called Thungutti at the entrance of the New England National Park. Just 20 sites are available, basic facilities and a picnic area with gas BBQ.
If you like to get close to mother nature and a digital detox this is the right place for you. Sugar gliders visit the campground during the night, and you can hear them in the kitchen/BBQ area searching for leftovers. The fee for two adults is $12 for one night. Nowadays booking online is essential. Map and campsite booking
There are three cabins to rent inside the National Park in the middle of the awesome rainforest. That's more comfortable during the rain. Toms Cabin is equipped with an oven, basic kitchen, and four bunk beds. Booking Toms Cabin and Booking the Chalet with an included balcony and The Residence for up to 10 people.
Spotting the orca rubbing behavior or seeing whales offshore is a memorable experience. You could see humpback whales swimming close to the shoreline and listen to breathing orcas enjoying the pebb
The Orcas usually approach the bay to rub against the pebbled beach in shallow water close to the shoreline, in as little as 1.8 m (6 feet) of water. It can be very close to the beach during high tide. The sea should be smooth and avoid windy days. The chance to spot them increases if you overnight at the campground at Bere Point Regional Park. Select an ocean view site at this fantastically located campground. It is serviced during summer only.
In the evening, we spotted Humpback Whales, and in the morning, we heard orcas rubbing on the pebbles. This rubbing ritual lasts from 15 minutes until 2 hours sometimes. Four different types of orcas occur here around Vancouver Island. The rubbing ones are the northern residents. It is still not known where the behaviour comes from. Is it a form of socializing or to get rid of parasites?
If you like to know more about the orcas and other occurring whales around Vancouver Island, check out our article Vancouver Island Whale Watching.
Weather and Season Details
The precipitation of Vancouver Island's east coast is just 700-800 mm per year. In contrast, the west coast of the island is exposed to moisture-packed winds blowing from the Pacific Ocean and receives plenty of precipitation from October to March. Summers are in general, relatively dry.
Spring is always a great time to visit Vancouver Island. Daily temperatures range from 11-15 ºC. It's a great time for wildlife viewing. The Pacify grey whales are on their route to Alaska, Grizzly and black bears finish their hibernation a looking for food along the shoreline.
From June through September, Vancouver Island is typically sunny and mild, although the temperature at Malcolm Island seldom goes beyond 15-17°C but can reach up to 25°C.
Autumn (late September-October)
In fall you may see a lot of fog, especially in the morning, which could last until mid-day or afternoon. The temperature is on average, around 12°C.
Vancouver Island enjoys a moderate and mild winter in most regions. Therefore outdoor activities such as fishing and hiking in the south-coastal areas are possible, even in January.
Douglas Apsley National Park declared a National Park in 1989 after public protest against clearing local forests for the paper manufacture.
This hike through the gorge can be done at low water level only. After heavy rainfall, the Apsley River is flooded. Check the weather forecast first. Don't hike through the gorge if there is much rain forecasted. Even roads can get flooded. One day after our hike in November 16 we experienced flooded roads, closed trails, and landslides. A couple of trails got destroyed.
The Apsley River waterhole is popular for swimming in the summer. We saw several people having a look to the waterhole, but none of them hiked the trail through the gorge. It’s still a hidden gem compared to Freycinet.
Pleasant temps around 20° C in the summer from December to March. Nights can be cold. More precipitation in summer. Warmest month on average is January. Winter with mild temps on average around 5-13° C. Frost is not common. In general, the eastern part of Tasmania is much drier than the western. Bear in mind it’s Tasmania rain can always occur.
The Blue Tier Forest Reserve and the Blue Tier giant tree also called big tree are still a hidden gem and one of the lesser-known walks. The forest is well known for its mining history.
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.
In April (autumn) it might be a lovely walk with different species of fungi along the trail.
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.
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.
There are many activities around Krabi; this is a must do trail to experience the breathtaking landscape self-guided. Hang Nak mountain is 498 meters / 1634 feet high above sea level.
The Tab Kak Hang Nak hiking trail becomes more popular, but due to the remote location, it's still not overrun up to hundred hikers per day. Start hiking in the morning to avoid the heat at midday. At this time of the day, only a few people are along the trail and on the top. The trail is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you would like to watch the sunrise or sunset you have to contact one of the ranger/officers otherwise you may get a fine of 1000 Baht.
The beginning of the hike
The dry season lasts from December to late April. However, showers can also occur in the dry season and especially in the rainforest. The hottest months are March and April with temps around 34°C and higher. Due to the high humidity hiking and breathing are more strenuous. The rainy season starts around late April and persists until the end of November.
Cheow Lan Lake is man-made and surrounded by mountains and rainforest. It was made by the flooding of a large valley in 1982 for the hydro-electric power station.
The best time to visit this fantastic region is the dry season from December to late April. It’s Thailand’s wettest region with an annual rainfall of 3.500 mm. The reason is the limestone mountain range from north to south. It gets hit by the monsoons from the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand between late April and end of November. In the rainy season, it’s very rare to spot wildlife at the lake. Trails are slippery; it’s cold and wet on the one or two hours boat rides. The famous Nam Talu Cave is closed in the rainy season since it got flooded and people died.
The boat tours which are usually offered are for bigger groups, and it takes around an hour to get to one of the raft houses. These groups visit the easy accessible Coral Cave (Pakarang Cave) mostly as we did instead of the adventurous water flooded Nam Talu Cave. Ask before booking! Overall these trips are utterly worth to do to get an idea of the immense size of the lake. The price p.p. in a group for one day visit is roughly 1.500 Baht / 40 € / $ 45 plus 300 Baht / 8 € / 9 $ National Park fee.
The dry season lasts from December to late April. Anyway, showers can also occur in the dry season and especially in the rainforest. The hottest months are March and April with temps up to 34°C and even more and high humidity. The rainy season starts roughly late April until the end of November. Most precipitation from May to July and from October to November.
The lake pier is always crowded, but as soon as the longtail boat leaves the dock, the crowds disappear. There are plenty of boats with tourists, but they have good timing not too many people visit one of the caves at the same time. Lunch is served on one of the many floating raft houses. It was very well organized that people can enjoy the marvellous scenery.
To experience the amazing rainforest, wildlife, and birds it's recommended to book a private tour far to the north-west. To get there, it takes a minimum of two hours by boat. The only available accommodation is basic and running by the National Park. Early morning you may spot wildlife by boat along the lake. Of course, independent tours are expensive and need to be booked in advance. Another option book a combined tour where the Khao Sok and the Cheow Lan Lake are combined. You get a pick up from your hotel in Krabi, Phuket, or Khao Sok and experienced guides will show you the amazing rainforest and lake. You can relax and enjoy this fascinating landscape.