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.
Making this website is a hobby - an enjoyable creative outlet which brings me satisfaction regardless of whether anyone reads it or not.
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:
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.
Down under - the term usually refers to just Australia, but it 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.
This website exists purely as a hobby, and any opinions expressed in my writings are entirely my own. I do not have any vested interests in any of the businesses or travel-related products I write about, and I do not receive any benefit from recommending or writing favourably about anything. You can't be influenced by commercial affiliations or advertisers when you don't have any!
If, in the future, I am ever offered any form of reward for writing reviewing something on this website, that fact would be clearly disclosed with the relevant writing. I'm not against being rewarded for writing a review (as long as I could write my own honest opinion), but that hasn't happened and I don't seek it.
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'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 (the map of my travels in Tasmania is an example). 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.
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 (Bash and PHP) 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 then troubleshooting the "unintended effects" of some updates, such as broken plugins. 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 my site is straightforward and non-interactive and I enjoy learning technical things (I’m one of those people who prefer plain text to graphical interfaces). There is still quite a learing curve, but rather than learning how to fix Wordpress I'm learning skills that can be used elswehere (Raspberry Pi projects spring to mind). However, content management systems like Wordpress have their place, and are probably the best option for the majority.
This site is proudly hosted in Australia by VentraIP in Melbourne.
It's been encouraging to occasionally receive comments from people who have found something useful or likeable on this website. I've also had some acknowledgement from other online travel writers. The PreTraveller travel blog included my website in their list of the Top Australian and New Zealand Travel Blogs in 2016 and again in 2017 (there hasn't been another list since then. More recently, the writer of Outdoor Explorer included my website in the Top 25 Caravanning & Camping Blogs in Australia 2021.
By the way, those 'top' lists are a great resource if you're looking for blogs and websites which focus on Australian travel and are written by individuals, couples and families (not organisations).
If you have any questions or comments, the best way to contact me is via e-mail at this address:
contact at roamingdownunder dot com
(delete the spaces and replace at and dot with the relevant symbols)
All e-mails are read eventually, however I don't go online every day and get a lot of email ... so replies may not be prompt.
Please note that: