Welcome to Roaming Down Under, where I share places and experiences from my travels in Australia and New Zealand.
Here you'll find unbiased accounts of great places and activities, mostly nature-based. All illustrated with original photos, and some with video too. Also useful links and maps, plus some articles relevant to travel in Australia and New Zealand.
This website mostly concerns places or activities in Tasmania, the south of Western Australia, and the south island of New Zealand, with a few items about nearby areas. 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 which are on or near tourist routes, but relatively overlooked
- Places which are well known and well visited, but especially worthwhile (in my opinion). I try to visit these out of season, to show another side.
The author: an Australian individual who enjoys solo independant travel as a hobby.
The audience: I've mainly written with independant travellers in mind ... people with the flexibility to choose their own path, and who seek places worth visiting, especially away from the crowds or in the off season. Also armchair travellers, and anyone else curious about what Australia and New Zealand have to offer, beyond the obvious highlights.
By documenting my journeys I want to showcase some of the many great places which don't get the publicity they deserve, and encourage people to explore more thoroughly.
Using the links on the right hand side or top of each page, you can:
- Browse by location - click the location links (Tasmania, etc) to see lists and descriptions of all pages about places in that state or area
- Browse by category - click the category links to see pages grouped by subject (beaches, scenic drives, etc)
- Browse the list of articles - relating to travel down under, but not about any particular place
- Explore visually using maps - the map links lead to Google maps, with clickable symbols marking the location of most of the places I've written about
- If you don't mind a long page of text, the sitemap lists every page on this site with a one sentence description of each
- If you're looking for something very specific, the search box might help
I plan to add heaps more to this website, but it is a very long term project. I hope to average two new pages every month, but this could vary a lot depending on my available time. You can keep up to date with new additions by subscribing to my RSS feed, or checking the space below.
Most recent changes:
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.
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.
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.
20 February 2013 - Added Fernhook Falls, about some pleasant cascades and pools in the forest between Manjimup and Walpole.
Also completed some behind the scenes tasks ... fixed broken links, and installed a new search function for this site (more accurate and up to date than the Google search I used before).
26 January 2013 - Added Snow at Cradle Mountain, showing Tasmania's best-loved national park when it was transformed by a rather good winter snowstorm on my last visit in August 2012. Includes some video.
5 January 2013 - Added Snow at Lake St Clair - Tasmania's most famous lake seen as most visitors don't get to see it - during a light snowfall. Includes a short bit of video.
17 December 2012 - Added Westgate Park - a Melbourne park with an unusual mixture of natural and industrial views which give it more character than I would have expected.
28 November 2012 - Added Walking at Trousers Point - a fine coastal walk on Flinders Island. If you like exploring deserted beaches in gorgeous bays with mountain and island views, then this is a walk to savour.
3 November 2012 - Added Walker's Lookout on Flinders Island - a humble hilltop with fantastic views over most of Flinders Island. If I were to make a list of my top ten Aussie lookouts, this would be in it.
26 September 2012 - Added Visiting Flinders Island - the large, scenic and little-visited island off the north-east corner of Tasmania in Bass Strait. I'd been meaning to go there for years, but like most people I never got around to it. Now I have, and it was worth the wait.
3 August 2012 - Added The many Blue Lakes, about a scattered collection of lakes I've visited; very diverse but sharing a common name, and very blue, mostly.
14 July 2012 - Added Conspicuous Beach - a magnificent beach near Walpole on Western Australia's south coast. A place for enjoying the wild ruggedness of nature, but not swimming.
1 July 2012 - Added Aerobatics over Queenstown, about a stomach-churning but very enjoyable flight over the Queenstown area in winter. Includes video from the cockpit.
16 June 2012 - Added The Pieman River gumboot tree - a tree decorated unconventionally with rubber footwear, in an unconventional shack community on Tasmania's wild west coast
2 June 2012 - Added Skiing at Treble Cone, a ski area near Wanaka in New Zealand. It's big, challenging, has gorgeous views, and despite being crowded at times it is one of my favourite places. Includes some of my video footage, edited to music.
19 May 2012 - Added Benefits of camera-free periods, about putting away the camera occasionally in order to enhance enjoyment of a scenic place. Taking photos is an important part of travel ... but sometimes it can get in the way.
6 May 2012 - Added A curious sign at Oatlands, Tas - an unusual sign I saw which could be interpreted in many ways ... beware of low-flying winged people?
21 April 2012 - Added Battle of the Cardrona bra fence, about hundreds of bras dangling from a fence near Cardrona in rural New Zealand - quirky kiwi humour in a battle with council rules
7 April 2012 - Added Summer skiing in Australia - about my efforts to ski in late spring to early summer, a time of year when Australia's ski season is considered well and truly finished. It was limited and involved much hiking, but was a lot of fun.
24 March 2012 - Added Lake Maringup - a pristine lake and wetland hidden away in Western Australia's south. You can only get there by walking on the Bibbulmun Track, which conveniently has a campsite close to the lake.
10 March 2012 - Added Skiing at Rainbow Valley, about a very uncrowded, laid-back and friendly small ski area in New Zealand's Nelson Lakes region - one of my favourites. As well as the usual photos, this one is illustrated with a music video.
25 February 2012 - Added Travelling light with bulky winter clothing, about two ways I've managed to take bulky cold-weather clothing on a winter trip yet still travel light with a single carry-on bag.
11 February 2012 - Added Visiting Bruny Island - a large island reached by vehicle ferry from south-east Tasmania, where I enjoyed lovely scenery, deserted beaches and some wonderful cheese
Older pages are accessible using the navigation links (top, bottom, sidebar at top right)