Listed below are pages which I've categorised as 'articles'. This includes things I've written which are hopefully informative, and relate to travel in Australian and New Zealand, but are not about any particular place.
There's a lot to like about Australia. One aspect which endears me to this land down under is the overlooked and understated nature of so many of its great wonders. You can stumble across features which are worthy of world acclaim, yet remain unknown to most of the world.
Taking photos in fine sunny weather is easy, and everybody does it. Bad conditions can be more difficult for the photographer, but can produce the most interesting or dramatic results. Here are some examples of being rewarded for going out with a camera in the sort of weather that keeps most people indoors.
The Bibbulmun Track is one of Australia's great hikes, a magnificent bush trail stretching 963km through the south western corner of WA. I haven't walked it all and am certainly no expert, but over the years I've covered much of it in shorter sections. Dragging a heavy pack long distances over hills and through forests has been a learning experience; here are five things the Bibbulmun has taught me.
Photography and travel go together like cheese and Vegemite. When you visit a scenic beauty-spot it is only natural to take photos; not taking photos just doesn't seem right. Yet there are benefits to going camera-free for some of the time. If you have the luxury of lingering - a good chunk of time at one location, or a few days in one place - then putting the camera away or leaving it behind for even just part of a day can be a rewarding habit.
Listening to favourite music is a great way to make long drives more enjoyable, and scenic drives memorable. However the actual method of playing your own music in rented vehicles is a detail sometimes overlooked when planning a trip. I've tried a few ways, and gadgets, and this is what I've found.
Plenty of people like the idea of cruising through the great outdoors in a campervan - but not in frigid winter weather. Having done a number of winter campervans trips to some of Australia's coldest parts, I've experienced the pros and cons of this mode of travel in conditions that most would consider too cold and inclement. Are campervans and cold weather incompatible? Here I take an honest look at some of the challenges ... and some of the unexpected rewards.
Many people sing the praises of credit cards which earn frequent flyer points. It sounds great on the surface - use a frequent-flyer credit card to pay bills and living expenses, and earn points towards your frequent flyer membership. Get free flights just by spending money that you would have spent anyway ... how can you lose? While some people do well from these schemes, others don't. I am one of those others. Based on my own experiences with Australian credit cards and airlines, here are some reasons why frequent-flyer credit cards may be a waste of time.
Years of bushwalking have taught me a few things. On another page I share some of the lessons specific to the Bibbulmun Track. Here I share some other things I've learned which apply to long hikes in general, regardless of where that happens to be.
If you're thinking of visiting Australia from the northern hemisphere, it might be tempting to visit in January - swapping the cold dark northern winter for the warmth and sunshine of summer down under. While not wanting to discourage anyone, it's only fair to mention some of the downsides of January travel in Australia.
Like many others I've discovered the joys of travelling light, using just a small bag which qualifies as airline carry-on luggage. But what happens if you want to go somewhere cold? Is it possible to enjoy the freedom of a carry-on bag yet have bulky warm clothing to cope with freezing conditions at your destination? That was the challenge I've faced when visiting Tasmania in winter. Here are two ways I've successfully dealt with the contradiction of small luggage and a big pile of cold-weather gear.
If you're serious about landscape and travel photography, it's easy to believe you need a lot of gear to get good photos - DSLR camera, multiple lenses and filters, sturdy tripod, etc. But what if you're also travelling light, and don't have room for all that in a single carry-on bag? Or you just prefer not to carry much? Years of lightweight travel have taught me how little you really need for good photos - allow me to make a few suggestions.
Exploring new places for the first time is one of the joys of travel ... but revisiting old places can be great too! Here I share some of the benefits I've enjoyed from occasionally going back to places I've already been, instead of only exploring new horizons.
Have you ever found an unspoiled beauty spot so special you want to keep quiet about it - so that it remains unspoiled - but because it's so lovely, you want to tell others so they may enjoy it too? I sometimes feel that dilemma: to share a favourite place on this website, or to leave it out? Here are my thoughts on when to publicise or keep it under my hat.
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:
Carrying a lighter load makes travelling better for many reasons, including comfort, mobility, flexibility, security and economy. But how can the average over-packer reduce the burden? Here are the five strategies which best sum up how I've put my own luggage on a successful diet, and made my travels more enjoyable.
Here are some of my favourite quotations which have something to say about travel. Some are specifically about travel, others are more general, but they all contain nuggets of truth which are relevant to travellers. They also sum up things I've learned in my own journeys.
Many people find it strange that I prefer to travel, hike and camp in winter, especially when I seek out places colder than where I live, not warmer. Partly it's because I prefer cooler weather, but there are many other clear advantages of travelling down under in the winter off-season. On this page I list some of them.