Roaming Down Under

Reasons to seek out the least promoted areas

Being less popular and less advertised doesn't necessarily mean less for the visitor to enjoy

When researching a holiday, you might notice that some areas are far more heavily promoted and visited than others. Usually it is because these places are worth visiting - but that doesn't mean that the less popular and less advertised places have nothing to offer. On the contrary, if you have the flexibility to choose your own route, you might uncover hidden gems if you identify the areas least promoted in tourist literature - then go there.

While it's true that lack of appeal to visitors can be one reason for a lack of promotion, other common reasons include:

  1. The area may lack the accommodation, roads and other facilities required to support large numbers of visitors. Tour companies may bypass the area for this reason alone.
  2. There may not be enough businesses or commercial attractions in the area to fund the sort of advertising that can compete with the big tourist areas.
  3. The area may be "geographically inconvenient" and not fit easily into typical touring routes. While not preventing visitors, this may inhibit their numbers.
  4. The residents may not want the sort of growth that mass-market tourism brings.

Road across Liawenee Moor, Tasmania

The road past Great Lake in Tasmania is no tourist hot-spot, but it leads to some fine sights

Lack of promotion to tourists doesn't necessarily mean there is nothing to see. If you make the effort to explore a less promoted region, any attractions you find can be enjoyed with fewer crowds, a more relaxed atmosphere, and the accommodation will probably be cheaper thanks to less demand.

The Maniototo region of New Zealand is a fine example. While this area does promote itself, such promotion is minuscule compared to that of the more popular areas, and it is not on the mainstream tourist itineraries. Because of this, I went there - and found a gorgeous region made more beautiful, in my mind, by the absence of mass tourism.

Another example is the central plateau of Tasmania around Great Lake and Arthur's Lake, which doesn't conveniently fit into the traditional tourist loop of Tasmania. With no significant tourist sites and limited accommodation, one travel guide described it as a bleak area with poor roads, of interest only to hardy trout fishermen. This only encouraged me to go there and see what others are missing - a landscape that is unique in Australia, with a subtle beauty defying the superficial bleakness. And because of the lack of publicity, I was able to enjoy it all without crowds.

If you're fortunate enough to be planning a holiday, why not check a map and work out which areas are least promoted or not part of the popular touring routes. You never know what unexploited treasures may be hidden there.

North Dunstan Mountains from Maniototo, New Zealand

The Maniototo region of New Zealand - not promoted much, but not crowded and not without charm