Must-Read Books for an Australian Trip – Perfect as a Gift

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Are you planning your Australian adventure or do you know someone who is traveling to Australia soon? We have picked the best books about Australia, which are entertaining and ideal as a travel preparation on Australia. You will immediately want to go to Australia with these readings!

These books are perfect as a gift idea for Christmas, birthdays or as farewell presents. The books are handy and fit into every travel bag.

Update: We are asked which book we can recommend the most. We find all of them are great readings and you can get them as a present without any worries. On Amazon they also have top ratings! But you have to make the choice yourself. 🙂

1. Book Suggestion: Down Under by Bill Bryson

by Bill Bryson

This is a super funny book by the bestselling author Bill Bryson. Sometimes it makes you really laugh out loud, especially if you can connect to the author’s dry humor and self-irony. At the same time the reader gets to know a lot of background information on the history, inhabitants, and the dangerous flora and fauna of Australia.

When reading Bill Bryson’s Down Under you have the impression that you can end up practically every day as a meal of an animal (spiders, jellyfish, sharks, crocodiles and snakes are saying hi), or that you have had unbelievable luck to survive Australia, If you were already there. Bryson describes the places well off the classic tourist paths and you get a very good impression about the continent.

With respect to Aborigines, the author is also very straight forward towards the Australian society and shows how much the integration of the native people has failed. The reader also gets a hint of what it means to travel around the outback.

The book is not only suitable as a travel preparation, but also to refresh the past memories of Australia. Even those who have absolutely no intention of traveling to Australia will find it great. Many people claim that this book is the best of Bill Bryson.

This reading is probably the most familiar in this list. We read it during our trip in Australia and it made us laugh countless times. It was always fun to read it at camp fires, where of course Goon was not missed, and sometimes we challenged certain situations, because we wanted to experience them ourselves just as in the book.

Conclusion: Down Under is very entertainingly written and yet you can learn so much about the red continent. Anyone who is too afraid of toxic and dangerous animals may lose the desire to travel to Australia for a while. If this fear is not too big, you want to make your way to Australia and its adventure. Bill Bryson managed to capture Australia’s way of life in a unique way.

Price: £11.85 on Amazon

2. Book Suggestion: Australian Language & Culture (Loney Planet)

by Lonely Planet

You think that nothing in Australia will surprise you? That you can just continue speaking your every day English? Well, sometimes the language seems as far away as England and the Australian continent. Australians are proud of their Aussie slang and you will encounter it on every corner.

This guide is not only about the Australian language, but also about the Aussie traditions an culture. You will get an insight about the Australian humor and common expressions. The book will prepare you for the most commonly used slang words and phrases which you will definitely come across when traveling through Australia.

Conclusion: We find the book to be very funny and entertaining. It also shows some interesting facts abut the red continent. It is a nice read and can help to kill your time on the airplane to Australia.

Price: £3.99 on Amazon

3. Book Suggestion: Steve & Me – My Life with Steve Irwin

by Terri Irwin

This book is written by the wife of the world famous Steve Irwin, alias Crocodile Hunter. His documentaries and love towards animals amazed many people around the world.

Terri Irwin wrote the book after his death in 20016, when he died near Port Douglas while shooting a documentary. Unfortunately he got stung by a sting ray right in his heart. His wife perfectly describes how she met Steve during a trip in Australia, when she first visited his parent’s zoo.

The book gives a deep insight about the Irwin family’s commitment to save not only crocodiles, but all endangered animals in the world. It captures the feelings oft the Crocodile Hunter was always known as a fun person to watch on TV, but this read gives a look behind the scene of the Irwin family.

We read the book before we visited the Australia Zoo, which was founded by the parents of Steve Irwin and he took over. Now Terri Irwin continues his legacy. By having read this book before our visit at the Australia Zoo, it was even more interesting to see the places and animals, which are described in the book. It made wandering around the zoo even more special with a better connection to the place.

Conclusion: We recommend to read this book about one of the most famous Australian person. Sometimes it will make you laugh out loud and sometimes give you goose bumbs – if push tears into your eyes. Terri Irwin is opening up and the reader gets a very close and emotional look on the Irwin family. Make sure to read this book if you are planning to visit the Australia Zoo.

Price: £3.95 on Amazon

4. Book Suggestion: Lonely Planet Australia (Travel Guide)

by Lonely Planet

The classic Lonely Planet guide for Australia is obviously not written in a Roman form, but it provides all travelers in Australia extensive information regarding planning the trip, as well as local insider tips during the trip.

Practically every imaginable place is mentioned in the book, providing tips on accommodation, food and drink, sightseeing, nightlife etc., including opening hours, contact data, etc. The authors also researched for job searches for backpackers. The 1,200-strong book also contains a language guide and is particularly suitable for backpackers and individual tourists.

Our point of criticism is that the thick book is very heavy and takes up a lot of space or weight. Often the book is too extensive, because you don’t even need most information. There are sometimes even too much information, so you can see the most important ones.

On our journey through Australia, we literally tore the Lonely Planet into the corresponding chapters, so that we can, for example, Only held the pages over Queensland in our hands when we were in Queensland and not the entire book.

Conclusion: A very comprehensive travel guide to Australia. The book is accordingly thick and heavy. The information is partly structured. Some backpackers swear by it, some swap it quickly in a hostel against another book. Much of the information can be found online, of course, if you always have mobile internet.

5. Book Suggestion: Travel Journal Australia

by VPjournals


This travel journal is actually not a real book, but it makes a perfect gift for someone who is planning to backpack in Australia. We therefore decided to list it here as well.

The journal has a nice nice, so it will fit in every backpack. We find it to be a great way to collect special memories during the trip of your life-time. You can individually fill the pages “on the road” – whether on the flight, bus or during a quiet moment in a hostel.

The less creative among us will also find it easy to physically collect memories and experiences, so you are happy to show them around after your trip. You can for example stick your flight tickets or hostel/restaurant receipts in it.

Especially useful are the tips regarding places to visit in Australia, restaurant suggestions, tips regarding planning your trip, including packing list and more.

Conclusion: Not everyone wants to write a classic diary during the trip. This travel journal is a great mix between a travel journal and memories collection. It is perfect as a gift for someone who is planning to travel in Australia. We have personally not used this dairy ourselves, but we have given it away to one of our travel gods, who was very happy about it (and hopefully still is).

Preis: £7.99 on Amazon

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