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, especially my travel books about Australia (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 Australia 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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The best Australia travel 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 few 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.
The two best Australia travel books (in my opinion!) are Lonely Planet Australia and Rough Guide to Australia.
My Rough Guide to Australia travel book is actually in many pieces now because I’ve read it so many times over the last decade. I think it’s time I treated myself to a shiny new copy! I think both books are amazingly useful Australia travel guide books.
If you already know which part of the country you’re moving to, you could buy a more specific regional Australia travel book too like the Lonely Planet East Coast Australia guide book. Australian travel books covering more specific areas like 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! Reading Australian travel guide books like this can really help you find your feet and get your bearings about what to see and do in your new home.
A great Australia map comes in handy for planning your adventures 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 as a map is a useful addition to your travel books on Australia so you can plot your journeys!
If you really want to explore Australia, Hema Maps has so many incredible resources to help you plan your travels. Their best Australian travel books, maps and guides are especially useful if you want to get off the beaten track, go off-road and explore the outback – you can find.
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!). It’s not only a useful moving to Australia book – it’s also a great resource about living in Australia too.
If you’re looking for a planner to help with your move, don’t forget: my Ultimate Emigration Checklist is here 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! If you’ve been wondering: ‘is moving to Australia a good idea?’ you should read this funny guide to moving to Australia.
Another good book to read if you’ve been wondering why should I move to Australia 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 to Australia.
Australian children’s books
Check out my recommendations below about the best books about Australia for kids, and also hop over to this post which lists more books about wildlife in Australia for kids to help educate them for the move.
When you’re relocating to Australia with kids, it’s natural to be concerned about how they’re going to settle in. We found it really helped to buy lots of books about Australia for kids, or books set in Australia so the kids could get to learn about the wildlife, culture and language.
Australia ABCs: A book about the People and Places of Australia is a picture book to introduce your kids to their future home. It’s a colourful Australia book for little ones to get them interested in their new 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. I think when it comes to kids, it’s so helpful giving them some control over things and giving them books about moving abroad or about travelling in Australia like this so they feel like they have some control over things.
Our personal favourite kids book about Australia 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’ll 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 over the last eight years! The kids may have outgrown it now, but it will always be one of the most important books on Australia that we bought before we moved!
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!).
Another Australia book 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. It’s less of a travel book and more of a cultural icon!
We bought The Upside History of Down Under for our twins when they were 10 and they absolutely LOVED 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 (as there is so much about Australia’s history that I don’t know!). It’s a lot of fun with lots of little cartoons and drawings to keep it engaging. I highly recommend it! Terry Denton is an Australian illustrator and author with many famous books to his name (the most famous being the Treehouse series).
Another book that my boys loved 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 as there are jokes about the dangerous wildlife in Australia). It’s fun and laid out in a really engaging and easy to read way. It got a big thumbs up from my kids.
Australia wildlife books
Everyone knows Australia is home to some dangerous wildlife. 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, and I think it’s really valuable to talk about it and prepare them for their new life Down Under.
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. I love the books for dummies, so this Australia version is really handy.
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 books like these helped them to understand that things were different in Australia and they needed to take care around the Australian 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.
If you prefer to write than colour, there are heaps of Australia travel journals to choose from on Amazon. You can get a specific Australia travel journal, or you can buy a blank travel journal and go wild with your thoughts.
Get yourself in the mood for life in Australia by buying an Australian cookbook and cooking up some traditional Aussie food!
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, the best guidebooks on Australia 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!