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By © Graham Barker. This is a print-friendly version of:

Why?

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.

Kakanui Mountains from road near Kyeburn, New Zealand

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.

Road approaching Liffey, Tasmania

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!

Why?

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.
Larger photos are usually available by clicking on the small ones.
Why?

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:

 
Sea Elephant River, King Island 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.


 
Currie Harbour at dusk, King Island 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.


 
Toorongo Falls, Victoria 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.


 
Approaching Mt Hotham on the Great Alpine Drive, Victoria 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.


 
Calcified Forest, King Island, Tasmania 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.


 
Rainbow over Lake Lilla, Tasmania 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.


 
Yellow Rock Beach, King Island, Tasmania 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.


 
A Virgin flight landing into a northeasterly wind, from the public viewing area, Perth Airport 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.


 
Roaring Forties blue cheese, King Island Dairy, Tasmania 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.


 
An 8-seat Piper Navajo Chieftain preparing to leave Moorabbin Airport for King Island 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.


 
Snowy River dawn near the caravan park, Dalgety NSW 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.


 
Waiting for the van to de-fog on a frosty morning near Mole Creek, Tasmania 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?


 
Lake Esperance track, Hartz Mountains, Tasmania 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.


 
Shotover Jet, Queenstown New Zealand 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.


 
Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand 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


 
The Ancient Briton Hotel, Naseby 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


 
Mist on the Pieman River, Tarkine rainforest, Tasmania 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.


 
Wave wall, Elachbutting Rock, Western Australia 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


 
Peace and quiet with space to spread out: Gardner shelter in winter 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


 
Older pages are accessible using the navigation links below (or the sidebar or page header)