Top 10 Best Australian Travel Books

Essential Books in Australian Culture

Lose yourself in an Australian Travel book with I Heart Melbourne Tours

A good book is an essential item in any traveller’s suitcase. Whether it be to guide you on your destination and finalise itineraries; to while away some time in an airport lounge; or to unwind after a rewarding day out.

What better way to spend it diving into Australia’s history, people and culture, to help you understand the country that you’re driving through? Here are our 10 best Australian travel books that get you even more stoked about Melbourne and the Land Down Under.

For adults:

1. Down Under: Travels in a Sunburned Country

Written by Bill Bryson

When you love to increase your knowledge about…almost everything, pick up a book by Bill Bryson. This one takes you on an exciting, educational, humorous and inspiring journey from east to west Australia. A must for involving yourself in Australian culture.

Bill Bryson - Down Under - A great Australian Travel Book

2. Tracks: One Woman’s Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback

Written by Robyn Davidson

If you like Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, then you will love this one. An incredible story about a woman’s personal journey through the Australian Outback that proves anything is possible. This marks a new age for reading in Australia.

3. The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s Founding

Written by Robert Hughes

One of the best books to delve into the history and birth of Australia, complete with illustrations and maps. This is one of the best Australian travel books and provides an insight into Australian culture.

4. Australia: A Biography of a Nation

Written by Phillip Knightley

A popular history book to learn more about the events that shaped a one-time British colony into the Australia of today.

5. Rabbit-Proof Fence

Written by Doris Pilkington Garimara

A classic and a must-read for every traveller heading Down Under. It tells the true story of three aboriginal girls who escape after being forcibly taken from their families. This is a confronting book of the stolen generation – a blemish on Australia’s culture.

6. Is that Bike Diesel, Mate?: One Man, One Bike and the First Lap Around Australia on Used Cooking Oil

Written by Paul Carter

An adventurer’s road trip through Australia. Travelling on a motorbike that runs on biofuel, Paul Carter’s story is one mad rollercoaster of surprises.

7. Breath

Written by Tim Winton

A novel, written by one of Australia’s most popular and respected authors. Two Western Australian adolescents take up surfing as a way to escape their mundane lives and come to know it not only as a sport but also as a spiritual path. “As if dancing on water was the best and bravest thing a man could do.”

Melbourne Book Store - Tour Melbourne with I Heart Tours Melbourne

Something for the kids:

8. Possum Magic

Written by Mem Fox

A picture book about two possums, Grandma Poss and Hush, who lived in the Australian Bush. Grandma Poss uses her magic to make Hush invisible. When Hush wants to see herself again, they take a culinary tour of Australia to find specific Aussie food that will undo the spell. This is a must read when visiting Australia.

9. Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

Written by May Gibbs

A classic series of books written by Australian author May Gibbs. The stories centre around two midgets, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, and their adventures. Some of the characters are based on the plants found in the bushland of Harvey, Western Australia.

10. Lockie Leonard: Legend

Written by Tim Winton

Welcome to the weird life of a 14-year-old living in Australia. “Life’s good, life’s cool and finally everything is under control – not!”

That wraps up our 10 best Australian travel books. Are there some titles in there that you need to read? If so, let us know here or here.

Don’t forget to give one of the independent bookshops in Melbourne a visit during your trip. It’s a lovely way to spend the day browsing through bookshops.

Here’s some help:

Best Melbourne Bookshops

If magazines are your want, you must try here:

Happy reading!