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:

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:

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:

 
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


 
Great Lake from near Miena, Tasmania 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).


 
Between Franz Josef and Fox, New Zealand 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.


 
Mushroom, Tarkine rainforest, Tasmania 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.


 
Pencil pine reflections, Pine Lake, Tasmania 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.


 
Kokerbin Rock, Western Australia 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


 
Gnome man is an island, Gnomesville, Western Australia 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.


 
A tree after teepeeing, Cromwell, New Zealand 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.


 
Beach at Tomahawk Bay, Tasmania 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.


 
Chapel at Wybalenna, Flinders Island, Tasmania 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.


 
Halls Falls, Tasmania 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.


 
Screen shot of videos page 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.


 
Nuyts wilderness track, Western Australia 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.


 
Tasman Island cruise, Tasmania 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.


 
Balancing boulder, Beringbooding Rock, Western Australia 28 June 2013 - Added Beringbooding Rock - a colourful big rock on the arid fringe of WA's wheatbelt, with balancing boulders, waterholes, and Australia's largest rock water catchment tank


 
Hidden Hollow, Western Australia 8 June 2013 - Added Hidden Hollow - a discretely located (hidden) rock amphitheatre (hollow) in the side of a monolith east of Narembeen. A good spot for a walk on the way to Wave Rock.


 
The rail trail (upper left) overlooking the Poolburn Gorge, Central Otago, New Zealand 11 May 2013 - Added Poolburn Gorge rail trail walk, about a short and enjoyable section of the Otago Central Rail Trail which features a gorge, a viaduct, two tunnels and occasional sheep.


 
Campervan at Swansea Beach, Tasmania 7 April 2013 - Added Top travel quotes - a collection of my favourite quotes applicable to travel, and how my own travels have confirmed the nuggets of truth they contain.


 
Where the North East River flows into Bass Strait. Flinders Island, Tasmania 9 March 2013 - Added North East River, about an isolated river inlet with some great beaches and coastline to explore, with that refreshing "away from it all" feeling that Flinders Island does so well.


 
Older pages are accessible using the navigation links below (or the sidebar at upper right)