Welcome to Roaming Down Under, an independent hobby website showcasing great places and activities experienced on travels in Australia and New Zealand. All illustrated with original photos and a few videos, plus some articles that have something to say about travel in these wonderful countries.
I've mainly written for independant travellers, and those who'd like to be ... people with the flexibility to choose their own path, especially away from the crowds or in the off season. But anyone else curious about what Australia and New Zealand have to offer the traveller, beyond the obvious highlights, should find something to stir the travel bug.
This website mostly covers Tasmania, the south of Western Australia, and the south island of New Zealand. In other words, the cooler southern parts of "down under". The sort of places I write about include:
- Roads less travelled - places a bit out of the way, or not well visited (but mostly accessible in a normal car)
- Places on or near tourist routes, but relatively overlooked
- Places which are well known and well visited, but especially worthwhile (in my opinion). I usually visit these out of season.
By documenting my journeys I want to highlight some of the many special places which don't get the publicity they deserve, and encourage people to explore more thoroughly. Nowhere these days is truly untouched or undiscovered ... but some places feel like they are!
Using the links on the right hand side or bottom of each page, you can:
- Browse by location - the location links (WA south coast, etc) list pages about places in that state or area
- Browse by category - the category links list pages grouped by subject (beaches, scenic drives, etc)
- Browse the list of articles - relating to travel down under, but not about any particular place
- Watch the videos - many of my pages are illustrated with videos along with the photos and text. The videos pages show just the videos, gathered together in one place (or three).
- Otherwise, there is a sitemap which lists every page.
Just like exploring Australia and New Zealand thoroughly, this website is a very long term project. I hope to average two new pages every month, but this will vary depending on my available time. You can keep up to date with new additions using the RSS feed, or by checking the space below.
Most recent changes:
13 December 2014 - Added Shipwreck at Yellow Rock Beach - about a beach on King Island. Apart from splendid isolation it is distinguished by a river, lots of nesting birds and a shipwrecked boiler.
29 November 2014 - Not a new page, but an update. To my Plane spotting at Perth Airport page I've added a video which shows the outdoor viewing area near the end of the long runway, and some of the landings and take-offs that can be seen from there.
11 November 2014 - Added Cheese tasting at King Island Dairy - about my visit to one of Australia's great cheese makers, where the tastings are generous and it's best not to think about about your intake of saturated fat.
28 October 2014 - Added Visiting King Island - about my recent visit to the large island community at the west end of Bass Strait, where the grass is green, the cows are contented, and the cheese is delightful.
5 October 2014 - Added Dalgety - almost a capital city - about the small historic town on the Snowy River which almost became Australia’s national capital. It is also handy for the Snowy Mountains, and a good place to spot platypuses.
20 September 2014 - Added Campervans and cold weather - about the challenges and rewards of using a small campervan to travel the coldest parts of Australia in winter conditions. Is it as bad as people think?
9 August 2014 - Added Lake Esperance walk, Hartz Mountains - about a lovely walk to an alpine lake in the Hartz Mountains National Park south of Hobart. It can be relatively easy if there's not a gale blowing.
26 July 2014 - Added Jet boating in New Zealand, about some of the many worthy options for riding jet boats in New Zealand, other than the famous one at Queenstown. Includes a short video from a speeding jet boat at Hanmer Springs.
12 July 2014 - Added Benefits of revisiting old places, about the rewards of occasionally going back to places you've already been to, instead of only seeking new places
7 June 2014 - Added Snow at Naseby - about the uncommon sight (for us down under) of a snowfall in a country town, in this case the New Zealand town of Naseby, inland from Dunedin
17 May 2014 - Added Tarkine rainforest - a gentle stroll in the lush magic of Australia's largest remaining chunk of temperate rainforest in Tasmania's north west. Includes video.
26 April 2014 - Added Elachbutting Rock - a large remote monolith in the WA wheat belt with some interesting caves and a striking wave shaped wall to rival that of Wave Rock
12 April 2014 - Added Lessons learned on the Bibbulmun Track - five things I’ve learned from hiking sections of this magnificent and rather long hiking trail in Western Australia
2 March 2014 - Added Frosty mornings at Great Lake - photos from a scenic frosty morning in one of Tasmania's coldest areas. (my mind often turns to snow and frost during Perth's long hot summers).
6 February 2014 - Added Rare snow on the NZ west coast, about the time snow fell and settled near sea level on the west coast of New Zealand's south island - a normally mild area where snow is hardly ever seen. Includes some video.
11 January 2014 - Added Special places: tell others, or keep quiet? About things I consider when facing the dilemma of sharing about special quiet places - so good I want to tell everyone, but at risk of being spoiled if too many people visit.
28 December 2013 - Added An alpine stroll at Pine Lake, about a lake on Tasmania's central plateau with an easy walk trail leading to some unique alpine plants. Very tranquil when not windswept or stormy.
23 November 2013 - Added Kokerbin Rock near Bruce Rock in WA - reputed to be Australia's third largest monolith, with its own version of a wave wall and devil's marbles
2 November 2013 - Added Gnomesville, about a thriving community of thousands of garden gnomes in the Ferguson Valley near Bunbury. It started with a gnome on a roundabout, and has mushroomed into a most unusual and impressive roadside attraction.
26 October 2013 - Added Toilet paper art in a tree, about an odd but artistic use of toilet paper I noticed in New Zealand.
Also updated Cheese tasting in Tasmania with some cheesemakers from my last Tassie visit.
12 October 2013 - Added Tomahawk Bay, about a remote beach in Tasmania's north east with a caravan park - and not much else. A great spot to chill out in coastal peace, outside holiday periods.
19 September 2013 - Added Sad history at Wybalenna - about my visit to one of Tasmania's most significant historic sites on Flinders Island, where the last direct descendants of the Tasmanian Aborigines endured part of their demise.
31 August 2013 - Added Halls Falls - a small but charming waterfall in the Blue Tier region of north-east Tasmania, reached via a walk through some equally lovely forest.
10 August 2013 - Added videos pages: Tasmania, New Zealand and Skiing. The videos are not new; they already appear individually on existing pages where they supplement the text and photos. These new pages gather them into collections to make them more accessible.
3 August 2013 - Added Nuyts wilderness track - a coastal wilderness walk to two secluded coves on the south coast, the fruits of my recent Walpole trip. No snakes this time, just whales.
19 July 2013 - Added Tasman Island cruise - an exhilarating boat ride along the dramatic cliffs and spectacular coast of Tasmania's Tasman Peninsula. Includes some video snippets.
Older pages are accessible using the navigation links below (or the sidebar at upper right)