Louise Southerden

Louise Southerden


The places I love tend to be natural ones. I'm not an adrenalin junkie; I just love being outdoors, in big landscapes. I've got a thing for travelling simply and with as little environmental impact as possible, but I also believe in the power of travel to have a positive impact on the people, animals and places we visit.

My areas of expertise tend to be a bit off-the-tourist-trampled track. Think Madagascar and Tuvalu rather than Madrid or Texas, though I have been known to stay in luxury digs and do venture into big cities occasionally (my current favourite: Berlin). I write mostly for Fairfax Traveller, the travel section of The Sydney Morning Herald and its sister publications, and have won a few awards, including the Australian Society of Travel Writers' big one, Travel Writer of the Year, four times.

So that's me. I look forward to hearing about you and helping you tweak your travel plans.  



Great gourmet guided walks

Tasmania , Victoria , South Australia , Central Australia
Hiking and Trekking

If you're looking for a great, guided walk that will immerse you in Australia's incredible landscapes, check out Great Walks of Australia (greatwalksofaustralia.com.au) a group of the best gourmet guided walks in Australia. For travel advice, I can help. I've done many of them including: 

  • Tasmania: the Overland Track (Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair), Maria Island Walk and Bruny Island Long Weekend. I've also been to Freycinet National Park and the Bay of Fires area in north-eastern Tasmania (locations of other walks).
  • South Australia: the Arkaba Walk
  • Northern Territory: the Larapinta Trail
  • Victoria: Twelve Apostles Lodge Trail.

Ganges River cruise

Kolkata , West Bengal
River Cruising

One of the best ways to see India in all its confronting glory is by river cruise. I did a 9-day Ganges River cruise recently from Farakka downstream to Kolkata, City of Angels. 


Travelling like a local

Budget Travel

Morocco is a dream destination, but travelling around North Morocco on a small-group tour (five people plus our local guide) got us under the skin of the place, to see how locals live and connect with them. It was also a Digital Detox trip - no smartphones, no WiFi - which offered a simple, genuine way of travelling.


WA's Kimberley by land and sea

Broome , The Kimberley
Adventure and Outdoors

I've been to Broome a couple of times, stayed at Cable Beach Club Resort most recently, have cruised up the Kimberley coast on a small boat (16 passengers) and on this trip also flew to the north-east Kimberley to stay at remote Berkeley River Lodge north of Kununurra.


How to experience Uluru

Uluru NP
Adventure and Outdoors , Indigenous Culture

I've been to Uluru a couple of times, and believe it's one of the most powerful places in Australia, and the world. There's so much to do there, and plenty of opportunities to quietly connect with the place and learn about Anangu culture.


Exploring Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Exmouth , Coral Bay , Ningaloo , Western Australia
Beaches , Budget Travel , Diving and Snorkelling

I spent a few days on Ningaloo Reef, which is in Ningaloo Marine Park about halfway between Perth and Broome in northwest Western Australia, staying in motel-style accomm in Exmouth & Coral Bay and doing day-trips out to the reef to snorkel with humpbacks (a new experience, though the whales were a bit elusive), manta rays, turtles and sharks.


Beyond Byron Bay

Byron Bay
Beaches , Longboarding , Health and Wellness , Adventure and Outdoors

Northern NSW is one of Australia's beauty spots: perfect beaches, scenic drives, beautiful spots to swim or surf, great cafes and restaurants featuring mostly local produce with a big dose of sustainable, green living. I've been living just south of Byron Bay for two years and would love to share with you some of the area's local secrets.


Trekking in Jordan, and other adventures

Petra , Jordan Valley
Adventure and Outdoors , Hiking and Trekking , Eco-tourism and Sustainable travel

The Middle East is an exciting new adventure destination and Jordan is the ideal place to start: it's safe, politically stable and has a landscape that shouts "come and explore me!" There are lots of adventure activities on offer. I did the 6-day Dana to Petra Trek with Experience Jordan; it's part of the newly opened Jordan Trail. I also stayed at the Dead Sea for a couple of days.