I have a confession to make: I’m a total book addict. I love to read books, especially books about travel planning and books about Australia. I LOVE to turn over the corner of pages and scribble notes in the margins (sorry to those of you who hate the idea of defacing books – to me, a marked up and battered book is a sign of a well-loved book!) I do sometimes read e-books but you can’t beat a real hard copy book because I ALWAYS read books with a highlighter pen to mark my favourite sections (that’s not weird, right?).
Moving to Australia is HUGE. The process of migrating to Australia is a long one, and it can be filled with worries and uncertainty. I personally found it really helped to read about the country as it spurred me on and kept reminding me why we were going to all of the effort and expense of migrating to Australia! During our migration, I went to town and bought a whole load of Australia books to help my family and I through the journey, so I wanted to share some of those (and some that I’ve discovered since I moved) with you now…
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Australia guide books to help you plan your travels
Even if you don’t have plans to do much travelling initially, you should still aim to buy a couple of Australia travel guide books as they are packed with useful information and over time you will use them as you get settled and start to take holidays. Something that will always come in handy is travel books. Australia is a vast country and there are so many incredible places to go and reading about them is a great first step.
My two favourite Australia travel books are Lonely Planet Australia and Rough Guide to Australia.
My Rough Guide is actually in many pieces now because I’ve had so much use out of it over the last few years. I think it’s time I treated myself to a shiny new one!
If you already know which part of the country you’re moving to, you could buy a more specific regional book like the Lonely Planet East Coast Australia. This can help you plan day trips or short weekend breaks when you arrive – it’s important to make sure you get out and explore your surroundings!
A great map like the Lonely Planet Australia Planning Map is handy as it helps you get your bearings and is useful for showing your kids where your new home is in relation to the rest of the country. It’s also a good idea if you might be considering some big trips in future!
Books for planning your move to Australia
Living and Working in Australia is a classic migration handbook that walks you through the process of moving to Australia and getting settled. I found it handy as a reference so I could look up different stages rather than reading it cover to cover (as I found it all a bit overwhelming!).
If you’re looking for a planner to help with your move, my Ultimate Emigration Checklist is here to to help you keep on top of your tasks.
Real life stories about moving to Australia
Didgeridoos and Didgeridon’ts: a Brit’s guide to moving your life down under is a really fun and easy read plus it is packed with useful information. It helped reaffirm to me that moving abroad wasn’t crazy and that our dream life really was waiting for us and other families like ours had done it before and succeeded!
Another good one was Jump Down Under: True Stories of Relocating. I love reading stories from real people in their own words (I used to always flick to the real life stories in Australia and New Zealand magazine!), so this was a great read while planning our move.
Australian children’s books
Check out my recommendations below, and also hop over to this post which lists more books about wildlife in Australia for kids to help educate them for the move.
Australia ABCs: A book about the People and Places of Australia is a picture book to introduce your kids to their future home.
Australia Not for Parents Australia: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (Lonely Planet Not for Parents) is a fun read for over eights. It’s full of interesting little facts and gives kids the chance to do some of their own research and feel like they have some control over things without parents getting involved.
Our personal favourite is There’s an Ouch in my Pouch!. We read it to our four-year-old twins on repeat before we moved. If you enjoy rhyming stories like The Gruffalo, then you will love this (my husband and I often burst into recitals of this at random moments as it has become such huge part of our lives!)
The Kids’ Travel Guide – Australia is another illustrated guide that tells your kids everything they need to know about their new home and it has lots of tasks to get involved in too like colouring and quizzes (so it’s handy for the plane journey too!).
Finally, another series that is worth checking out for your little ones is the Hairy Maclary 10 Books Collection. It’s written by a New Zealand author so technically isn’t Australia-related but it is popular in kindys and daycares over here so if you get your kids into the series before you move then it will be another familiar thing when they’re getting settled over here.
We’ve recently bought The Upside History of Down Under and my boys (aged 10) absolutely LOVE it! It’s a great way to get your kids up to speed with the last 200 million years of Australia’s history! I’ve really enjoyed reading this with them, too. It’s a lot of fun with lots of little cartoons and drawings to keep it engaging. I highly recommend it!
Another book that we’ve just started reading is The Australia Survival Guide. It’s a really fun book that shares Australia’s dangers in a really funny (not scary) way. This is one for kids with a sense of humour who enjoy things like Horrible Histories (it’s probably not for those who find wildlife scary). I’ve really loved what I’ve read so far. It’s fun and laid out in a really engaging and easy to read way.
Books for safety in Australia
Everyone knows Australia is home to some dangerous wildlife (this post is worth checking out about first aid for snake bites). It’s not something that should stop you from moving here or from travelling off the beaten track, but it is important that you and your kids know what to look out for.
It’s a good idea to invest in a small guide like Australia’s Dangerous Animals: A Folding Pocket Guide to Potentially Harmful Species. It’s a useful thing to keep on your bookshelf.
Australia’s Dangerous Creatures for Dummies is another handy book to own.
>> Buy Australia’s Dangerous Creatures for Dummies from Amazon UK
>> Buy Australia’s Dangerous Creatures for Dummies from Amazon US
>> Buy Australia’s Dangerous Creatures for Dummies from Amazon Australia
My twin boys were four when we moved here and although in the UK they picked up EVERY bug or creature they could get their hands on, reading things like these helped them to understand that things were different in Australia and they needed to take care around the wildlife.
Books to help with your financial planning in Australia
The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need is something all new arrivals should buy. It goes through getting your finances in order and covers everything from choosing the best super fund and health insurance for your needs to how to organise your debt and pay off your mortgage faster. I LOVE this book. It’s so easy to read and it makes sense of complicated information. It’s a great thing to read before you get here so you can hit the ground running (it means you’ll be organising your accounts in the right way from the beginning)
Australia books to help you unwind
If you want a way to de-stress during the move, this Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relief Coloring Book Colors of Australia might be a good option.
There are heaps of Australia travel journals to choose from on Amazon.
Get yourself in the mood for life in Australia by buying an Australian cookbook!
And finally, everyone moving to Australia should read Bill Bryson’s Down Under: Travels in a Sunburned Country. Just because.
Be inspired by these Australian books
Whether you’re looking for inspiration about planning your move to Australia, you’re looking for Australian kids’ books, Australia travel books or just books set in Australia, hopefully this list has introduced you to some new books to add to your bookshelves.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to also check out this gift guide for people who are moving to Australia. It contains books and lots more!
Did you find this list of Australia books helpful? Do you have any favourites that I missed off? If so, please scroll down the page and add them to the comments box below!