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Are you planning to visit Australia or possibly even move to Australia? I don’t know about you but I love finding out as much as possible about a place before I visit. As well as reading blogs and travel guides I also enjoy reading fictional works associated with the country.
If Australia is a destination on your bucket list these are some of the books I highly recommend adding to your reading list!
This is my list of books about Australia to read before you visit but if you know of anything I have missed do let me know in the comments below!
Books to read before you visit Australia
Non-fiction books to read about Australia
In a Sunburned Country
I love reading Bill Bryson's writing and this book is no exception. I read it before we moved over and laughed and laughed at his experiences. And also learnt quite a bit too. I am looking forward to visiting Canberra to see if it is exactly as he describes!
If there is one book to read before arriving in Australia this in the one!
The United States of Australia: An Aussie Bloke Explains Australia to Americans
A must read for any Americans out there planning to visit Australia! The United States of Australia is a fabulous (and funny) introduction to Australia and its quirky inhabitants. This book examines the relationship between Australia and the U.S., including how Australians view their American cousins.
Topics include Blokes and Sheilas, Bloody Foster’s, Dangerous Creatures, Talking to Dogs, The GAFA, Speaking Strail-yun and Working for the Queen. Confused? You won’t be after reading this book!
A Traveller's History of Australia
Find out about the history of this vast country from the arrival of the earliest Aborigines some fifty or sixty thousand years ago to the present.
Learn all about the ancient Aboriginal way of life, the arrival of European settlers and the emergence of a 21st century Australia.
Travelers' Tales Australia: True Stories
This volume of Travelers' Tales provides a vibrant introduction to the country of Australia and its people.
Visit well-known sites like Bondi Beach and Uluru, get lost in the outback, forage for platypuses, slog through billabongs, walk along ancient song lines, and land on a deserted island for a Robinson Crusoe adventure that will make you think twice about leaving home.
Australia's Most Unbelievable True Stories
I bet you didn't know that in 1932 the Australian army was called out to wage war on an invading army of 20,000… emus! Or that the first royal personage to arrive in Australia was the King of Iceland and he came as a convict?
From Jim Haynes, one of Australia's most successful and prolific tellers of yarns and bush tales, comes this ultimate collection of unbelievable true Australian stories: the unknown, the forgotten, the surprising, the truly weird and the completely inexplicable.
Australia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
Good to learn about the customs and culture of Australia before you go! Australia is different—a vast island-continent with distances so great that the capital of Western Australia is actually closer to Singapore in Asia than it is to Sydney.
Australia with magnificent tropical rainforests and deserts the size of several European states has a lifestyle the envy of the world.
Find out everything you need to know about its culture and customs. Learn the difference between a quokka and a gallah and have a fabulous time!
Australia's Dangerous Animals: A Folding Pocket Guide to Potentially Harmful Species
And there are enough of them!!! Read up about all those crazy spiders, snakes, stingers and others that can kill you in the Land Down Under!!!
Fodor's Essential Australia
Written by local writers Fodors have been producing excellent travel guides for over 80 years.
National Geographic Australia
The National Geographic Traveler guidebooks are in tune with the growing trend toward experiential travel.
Each book provides inspiring photography, insider tips, and expert advice for a more authentic, enriching experience of the destination.
Fiction books to read before you visit Australia
The Shepherd's Hut: A Novel
Tim Winton is one of Australia’s most decorated and beloved novelists. In this novel the author tells the story of a young man on a journey of self-discovery in one of the harshest climates on Earth.
Picnic at Hanging Rock (Penguin Classics)
Picnic at Hanging Rock is an historical fiction novel written by Joan Lindsay. The novel is set in 1900 and revolves around the disappearance of a group of students from an Australian girls' boarding school when they are visiting Hanging Rock on Valentine's Day.
It is regarded by critics to be one of the best Australian novels.
The Spare Room
The Spare Room revolves around the friendship between two women - one dying and the other who cares for her. This book consistently receives excellent reviews and the author Helen Garner is a well respected Australian author.
Carpentaria: A Novel
Written by the indigenous Australian author Alexis Wright. It met with widespread critical acclaim when it was published in mid-2006, and went on to win Australia's premier literary prize, the Miles Franklin Award, in mid-2007.
Set in the sparsely populated town of Desperance in northern Queensland the story revolves around a powerful local family and Aboriginal families in dispute with the white officials of neighbouring towns.
The Kookaburra Creek Café
One small town. Three lost women. And a lifetime of secrets.
Daughter of Australia
An epic novel that follows the life of Leonora. Found abandoned as a small child in the desert of western Australia to a life in America before returning to her roots this love story will enthral you from beginning to end!
Set in an outback town gripped in a two year drought this murder mystery is a page-turner.
The Lost Man
Brothers Nathan and Bub Bright meet for the first time in months at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches in the lonely outback.
Their third brother, Cameron, lies dead at their feet.
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Enjoyed our selection of books about Australia? More to read below!
I have further recommendations for books relating to Australian animals (including a selection of books about Australian animals to share with children)
Watch these other Netflix shows set around the world