Below is a list of all the pages on this website which I've categorised as being mainly about towns.
Curiosity is a great motivator, and when applied to travel it can provide the reason for some interesting journeys. My desire to find out why it gets so cold in Ophir took me on one such journey to a starkly beautiful and somewhat chilly place.
Country towns in Australia and New Zealand each have their own unique character. When the town is the main settlement on an isolated island, that character will be different from your average inland town. For that reason I looked forward to visiting Currie, the main town on King Island. I spent time just hanging out there, trying to get a feel for what makes it different.
When a site was being chosen for Australia's national capital, Canberra wasn't the only candidate. The honour almost fell to the small town of Dalgety, near the NSW Snowy Mountains. I dropped by to have a look at this almost-capital, and found a rural riverside hamlet which could serve as a peaceful base for exploring the area ... and a good spot to see a platypus in the wild.
If you're looking for a small but scenic country town in a gorgeous area that misses most of the tourist traffic, then Omeo may be worth a look. Especially if you enjoy scenic drives. I used it as a base when exploring Victoria's high country at the end of winter, and it is now on my 'must do again' list.
The small town of Richmond, near Hobart in Tasmania, is best known for having the oldest bridge in Australia. Built by convicts in 1823 it is indeed a nice bridge, but there's more to Richmond than that. For some it may even be a viable alternative to staying in Hobart.
If you have your own transport and the time to go wandering, you can end up spending time in some delightful places that might not have been chosen if planning a short trip. For me, one such place is St Arnaud, a tiny town in New Zealand's south island. It sits quietly beside a lake in the Nelson Lakes National Park in the central part of the island's north end, far enough from the popular touring routes to escape the notice of most international tourists.
St Bathans is an old gold mining town in New Zealand, and with a population these days of only seven (or five) it is often referred to as a ghost town. I enjoyed being shown around this charming place by a guide who wasn't human ... but it's not as it sounds. My guide had fur and four legs, and was a dog named Jack.
Most people who visit Australia's classiest ski resort, Thredbo, wouldn't describe it as a quiet village. That's because most visit in the ski season or the summer school holidays, when the place is packed. However, if you visit in the off seasons, Thredbo is the epitome of a tranquil mountain village.
One of the things I enjoy about travelling in Australia and New Zealand are the small country towns. Despite some common features they are not all the same; many have their own unique character. One distinctive town is Waratah in the north west of Tasmania - an old mining town on the edge of the Tarkine wilderness.
This little town near Beechworth in north east Victoria oozes history and charm. It can be a pleasant place to stay while exploring the region, especially if you like quiet heritage-listed towns which have good coffee and a bakery.