A few things about this website ... its purpose, audience, the locations covered, some terminology, the author, and some technical details.
Why I made this website
Nowhere these days is truly untouched or undiscovered ... but some places feel like they are. I’d like to help others find them.
By combining my love of photography and writing to document my journeys, I aim to highlight some of the many special places which don't get the publicity they deserve, and encourage people to explore more thoroughly.
The audience I write for
This site is mainly for independent travellers (and those who'd like to be) - people with the flexibility to choose their own path, and who enjoy quiet and beautiful places away from the crowds, or in the off season.
It is also for anyone else curious about what Australia and New Zealand have to offer the traveller, beyond the obvious highlights.
Most of this website is about:
- Western Australia (southern parts),
- Tasmania (including King and Flinders Islands),
- the South Island of New Zealand,
- Victoria and southern New South Wales (limited content).
I only write about places I've been to. My love of cold (and poor tolerance of heat) means I naturally gravitate towards the cooler end of this region, so that is what I write about.
As for New Zealand, I've omitted the North island simply because the vast majority of my kiwi travels have been in the south, and very little in the north. I hope to rectify this, some day.
In case you were wondering ...
Down under - the term often refers to just Australia, but can include New Zealand too. I apply it to both countries. Geographically speaking, New Zealand is more down and further under than Australia!
Roads less travelled, off the beaten track (and similar terms) - nowhere these days is truly undiscovered, despite the efforts of tourist advertising to convey that impression. When I use terms like these I’m referring to places you can get to in a normal vehicle, but which have significantly less traffic than where most visitors go, and are relatively uncrowded. You may not have these places to yourself … although in Australia and New Zealand, outside of holiday seasons, you often will.
About the author
My name is Graham Barker and I live in Perth, Western Australia. I have an IT background and a day job as a library technician in the area of health research. Outside of work I enjoy reading, writing, photography, hiking, dabbling with technology, and of course travel. I used to enjoy skiing too, but age and injuries take their toll ... and Perth is a long way from any snow.
I haven't been everywhere yet,
but where I have been, I've tried
to explore thoroughly. This map
shows my travels in Tasmania.
I've explored overseas a little - US and Canada - but my most extensive travel has been in Australia and New Zealand. I love this part of the world, and feel no need to venture further afield ... although a visit to Antarctica would be nice.
I travel independently; mostly by car and occasionally by campervan. My focus is more on natural environments than commercial attractions, and I prefer to avoid crowds. This often means travelling out of season, as well as seeking out less travelled places. The content of this website reflects these preferences.
Rather than trying to see little bits of everywhere, I prefer to see a smaller area in as much detail as a visitor can. This means travelling slowly, lingering where possible, and making return visits to places I've already been. I won't get to see all of Australia and New Zealand this way, but the parts I do see will have been explored thoroughly.
I'm a relative newcomer to Twitter, mainly using it as another way of letting interested readers know when a new page is added to this site. Just like I’ve always done with RSS feeds (but more people use Twitter these days).
There might be an occasional tweet (or re-tweet) on topics relevant to the theme of my site ... but I don’t expect that to happen often. So anyone following me on Twitter will definitely not be swamped with tweets from me.
About this website (nerdy stuff)
This site is proudly hand-made the old-fashioned way using just a text editor to produce files. Also some basic knowledge of HTML, CSS and PHP, plus the use of variables and scripts to gain some of the efficiencies of a database, but without needing one.
I did once try Wordpress, but found it more time consuming than advertised thanks to the constant need for updates, backups, plugins, updates to plugins, and troubleshooting "unintended effects" of some updates. Not to mention the time spent deciphering mountains of other people's code in order to customise anything. With my own hand-made files none of that has been needed, and my pages are simpler and load more quickly.
The DIY approach works for me because I’m much more comfortable with plain text than graphical interfaces, and I love learning technical stuff. Also my site is straightforward and non-interactive (I don't have visitor comments). However, content management systems like Wordpress have their place, and are probably the best option for most people.
The site is proudly hosted in Australia by VentraIP in Melbourne.