Welcome to Roaming Down Under, an independent hobby website where I share some of the great locations and activities I've enjoyed on my travels in Australia and New Zealand.
My main focus is on places of natural beauty which are quiet, out of the way, or just a little overlooked. Although I do cover well known places too (preferably out of season). The cooler southern parts of "down under" which I write about are:
- Mainly Tasmania, the south of Western Australia, and the south island of New Zealand
- Some parts of Victoria and southern New South Wales.
The About page has a bit more about this website and its author.
Finding your way around
There are more than 150 pages on this site, with original photos and some videos. Ways to explore them include:
Most places I've written about
are also on my Google map
- Explore by location - pages grouped by state or region (WA south coast, etc).
- Explore by category - pages grouped by subject (beaches, scenic drives, etc).
- Browse the Articles - my opinions and tips on travel, photography, hiking, packing, etc.
- Watch the videos - some of my pages are illustrated with a video; the Videos pages gather them together.
- Otherwise, there is a Sitemap which lists every page, or the search box (top) if you're looking for something specific.
Minor back roads are generally more scenic than main highways ... but there are exceptions to that rule, such as this delightful section of Highway 1 in Western Australia's deep south. It may be a main road, but the curvy undulating route through magnificent forest is as enjoyable as many scenic drives you need to detour for.
When visiting cities or large towns, many tourists prefer staying in central locations. The convenience makes a lot of sense, so why would you want to stay out in the suburbs, or out of town? Here are some of my reasons.
If you're a birdwatcher and you're in Albany, Lake Seppings is the place to go for sightings of hoary headed grebes or spotless crakes. For anyone else, the lake is a pleasant spot for a walk along the 2.7km path which encircles it. The sights and sounds of native birds in a wetland habitat can be enjoyed by anyone, even those with no idea what a yellow-billed spoonbill looks like.
Tucked away in the far south of Tasmania is a railway notable for two reasons ... it is Australia's most southerly, and is the last remaining bush tramway in the country. The two hour return ride is a pleasant way to taste the area's scenery and history, and access a remote beach walk.
The 16km return walk to South Cape Bay is the most southerly day-walk you can do in Australia. The mostly gentle slopes, beautiful Tasmanian bush and birdlife, and wild beach at the end make it a delightful wilderness walk for anyone able to cover the distance.
Waterfall afficionados will enjoy the way this Central Tasmanian waterfall plunges over a cliff into empty space - a fine sight even when water flow is low. Visitors may be scarce, but Tarraleah Falls is not far from the main road across the middle of Tasmania, and accessible to anyone who can spare an hour to walk through beautiful forest to get there.
Bronze sculptures on a circle of stone blocks - not what you might expect in an isolated patch of bush in Tasmania’s highlands. But there they are, with a historic homestead nearby. Both make for an interesting and probably unexpected stop for travellers on the high road across central Tasmania.
How far south can you go in Australia, and what's it like there? On my first visit to Tasmania, this curiosity led me to drive south until I ran out of road. The landscapes and coast I found there have lured me back to Tasmania's far south on all visits since.
If a power station museum doesn't sound like a must-see sightseeing attraction, then a visit to the Waddamana Power Station Museum might change your thinking. It's not like a museum, because it's a real hydroelectric power station - Tasmania's first - preserved as it was on the day it closed down. For a gadget lover who is curious about how things work, it can be surprisingly enchanting.
Cold, wet, miserable ... words used by some people to express their reluctance to visit Western Australia's south coast in winter. But is it really that bad? I don’t think so. With words and pictures I illustrate some of the positive things about winter on the WA south coast.