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:
14 November 2015 - Added Lightweight travel photography - all you really need. This is my own answer to the question of how much (or rather, how little) camera gear a weight-conscious traveller really needs to get great travel photos.
17 October 2015 - Added Kukenarup - memorial to a massacre - about a historic memorial I came across on the way to Esperance, opened just a few months ago to commemorate a little-known massacre near Ravensthorpe.
26 September 2015 - Added Tin Horse Highway of Kulin, about a delightfully quirky collection of horses-themed roadside sculptures made from farm junk. It makes this 15km stretch of road unique in Australia.
29 August 2015 - Added Taieri Gorge Railway - a return train journey up a rather nice gorge near Dunedin in New Zealand. Great for train buffs, people accessing the Otago Central Rail Trail ... and anyone else.
15 August 2015 - Added Driving the Pig Route - about a mountain road between Palmerston and Ranfurly in southern New Zealand. I was drawn by the curious name, and its frequent mentions in road reports when I last visited NZ.
25 July 2015 - Added Stirling Range Retreat - a range of accommodation spread out among the trees bordering a national park. It's a great base for exploring southern WA’s highest peaks and unique wildflowers.
2 July 2015 - Added Omeo - history in the high country, about a small gold rush town in Victoria's high country which is surrounded by mountains and some great scenic drives.
13 June 2015 - Added Trees of Tarra Bulga National Park - a small but gorgeous remnant of old growth mountain ash forest in South Gippsland, Victoria, with lush ferny glades and some well formed paths to enjoy it from.
13 May 2015 - Added Donaghys Hill lookout - about a walk up a hill to a lookout with extensive and glorious views of Tasmania's western wilderness. Unless the weather is bad, which it often is.
20 April 2015 - Added Sea Elephant River - a peaceful estuary on King Island's sheltered east coast which is popular with rare birds, and wallabies which are anything but rare. But no sea elephants.
28 March 2015 - Added A taste of Currie, King Island - about the friendly town of Currie on King Island. Its harbour, great bakery and a restaurant with no food helped make it a lovely place to hang out.
8 March 2015 - Added Toorongo Falls - a lovely Victorian waterfall (plus its neighbour, the Amphitheatre Falls) which can be enjoyed on a pleasant walk in mountain ash forest near Noojee, east of Melbourne.
7 February 2015 - Added How great is Victoria's Great Alpine Road? - about a road trip I did through some of Victoria's most impressive mountain scenery at the end of last winter. Includes a driver's eye view video: 300 km of scenic driving compressed into 6 minutes.
24 January 2015 - Added King Island's Calcified Forest - the remains of an ancient forest, now a small collection of rocky pinnacles scattered across a sandy hillside on King Island.
10 January 2015 - Added Rewards of photography in unkind weather - about the sort of photos which can reward those who venture outdoors with a camera in bad or uncomfortable weather. With examples from some of my own inclement excursions.
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?
Older pages are accessible using the navigation links below (or the sidebar or page header)