Great Literature to Read as you Travel in Australia

Reading wonderful literature about the place you are travelling to or are currently in, is a wonderful way to learn and enhance your enjoyment of that place. The following is a list of books which our family have read and enjoyed as we travel, or books which come highly recommended to us from other sources. We trust that you and your family will enjoy them too!

We have provided suggested ages for most literature, but please use your discretion as you select books for your unique family. (For instance, some 4 year olds will be happy to listen to books suggested for much older children).

Click here for practical suggestions on including reading in your travels or for ideas on teaching your child to read.

Great Literature to Read - By Location

Australia or Multiple States

Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?
By Alison Lester

A family tows a van on a three-month trip around Australia. Enjoy the narration by eight year old Grace as she describes the landmarks and activities they enjoy. Appealing and engaging illustrations. Ages 5-9.


The Camel Who Crossed Australia (Animal Stars)

The Camel Who Crossed Australia (Animal Stars)
By Jackie French

The story of the famous Burke and Wills expedition...as it has never been told before. The humans called him Bell Sing, but to the other camels he is known as 'He Who Spits Further Than the Wind'. Transported from the mountains and deserts of the Northwest Frontier (present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan), Bell Sing accompanies explorers Burke and Wills as they try to cross Australia from south to north. Bell Sing has never had a high opinion of humans - or horses. And this expedition is the worst managed caravan he's even been in. Camel handler Dost Mahomet and soldier John King are also beginning to wonder if their leader is competent, or crazy. Bell Sing can smell water over the sandhills on the horizon...and freedom too. Can the expedition succeed? And who, if anyone, will survive? This is the gritty and true story of one of the most extraordinary and iconic events in Australia's history. Age 9-13.


mr-stuarts-track-john-bailey Mr Stuart's Track - John Bailey (Age 14-Adult)
A vivid and compelling account of one of Australia's greatest explorers, John McDouall Stuart, as he races to cross the continent.






Western Australia

Outback

A Fortunate Life



A Fortunate Life
By A.B. Facey (Age 10-17yrs)









Broome
white-divers-of-broome-john-bailey White Divers of Broome - John Bailey
The true story of a fatal pearl diving experiment. (Age 14-Adult)








Ningaloo Reef

The Fishy Field Trip



The Fishy Field Trip - A Magic Schoolbus Chapter Book
By Martin Schwabacher and Hope Gangloff

Coral reefs and the fish that inhabit them. (Age 5-12yrs)







Kimberley

Kings in Grass Castles



Kings in Grass Castles
By Mary Durack









Queensland

Great Barrier Reef

The Fishy Field Trip



The Fishy Field Trip - A Magic Schoolbus Chapter Book
By Martin Schwabacher and Hope Gangloff

Coral reefs and the fish that inhabit them. (Age 5-12yrs)







Victoria



New South Wales

The Snowy

Snowy: The Story of EVA Fischer, Cabramurra, 1958 (My Story S.)



The Snowy, Cabramurra 1958: The Story of Eva Fischer (My Story Series.)
By Siobhan McHugh

Eva Fischer has moved to the top of the world - Cabramurra, the highest town in Australia. The Snowy Mountains Scheme is under way, huge dams have been built, tunnels constructed, homes abandoned, and people lost. This is a tale about life amongst post-war migrants working on the scheme. (Age 10 and up.)



The Goldfields

The Goldseekers



The Goldseekers
By Greg Bastian

A fascinating story of the goldfields, the hardships, injustices and triumphs of the human spirit. Ages 10-14.






South Australia

Coorong

Storm Boy



Storm Boy
By Colin Thiele

A classic Australian story, illustrated with paintings by renowned artist Robert Ingpen that capture the wave-beaten shore and the windswept sandhills of the Coorong in South Australia, home of Storm Boy and the pelican, Mr Percival. Ages 8+.



Coorong Captive - Colin Thiele (Age 7-14yrs)


Flinders Ranges

Outback: The Diary of Jimmy Porter (My Australian Story)



Outback: The Diary of Jimmy Porter (My Australian Story)
By Christine Harris

Jimmy Porter has moved to stay with relatives in central Australia. Outback life in 1927 is tough and communication with anywhere else is nonexistent. Jimmy gradually begins to appreciate the beauty of the outback and the resilient people living there and when disaster strikes he witnesses the importance of the Flying Doctor. Ages 10+.



Tasmania



Northern Territory

Darwin

The Bombing of Darwin (My story)



The Bombing of Darwin. WWII, Darwin 1942. (My Story Series)
By Alan Tucker

When fourteen-year-old Tom moves to Darwin with his family, he hardly guesses that tragedy will soon change his life forever. Although he helps dig slit trenches, and the Japanese edge closer through Malaya and Singapore, the war seems far away. Ages 10+.



Cyclone Tracy (My Australian Story)



Cyclone Tracy, Darwin 1974 (My Australian Story)
By Alan Tucker

Ryan and his best friend Nev, both love fishing. They spend all their spare time at the wharf or out on Darwin Harbour, fishing for barra, and keeping an eye on the weather. But when Ryan makes a new friend, his Dad is not pleased. But troubles with Dad are nothing compared with what lies ahead, when Cyclone Tracy hits. Ages 10+.



Red Centre

Outback: The Diary of Jimmy Porter (My Australian Story)



Outback: The Diary of Jimmy Porter (My Australian Story)
By Christine Harris

Jimmy Porter has moved to stay with relatives in central Australia. Outback life in 1927 is tough and communication with anywhere else is nonexistent. Jimmy gradually begins to appreciate the beauty of the outback and the resilient people living there and when disaster strikes he witnesses the importance of the Flying Doctor. Ages 10+.



Mataranka

We of the Never-Never



We of the Never-Never
By Mrs Aeneas Gunn

At the turn of the century Australia was still a very young country, in a land as old as time. Few had ventured far from the growing cities and towns of the coast, into that vast heart of Australia the great Outback.

We of the Never Never, an Australian classic novel, tells of Jeannie and Aeneas Gunn, a man and his bride who trek to a place where wives are seldom seen, and even less accepted. Enduring hardships and battling against the sexist and racial prejudice of the Australian outback environment this extraordinary woman strives to win the friendship and respect of those about her.


Australian Capital Territory


Great Literature to Read - By Subject

Plants and Animals

The Wonderland of Nature - Nuri Mass
Insects and other small animals, plants, the seashore. Opal and other treasures in Australia, rocks, weather, and remarkable everyday things (such as electricity, light, sound and magnetism). Highly recommended.


Fish & Coral

The Fishy Field Trip



The Fishy Field Trip - A Magic Schoolbus science chapter book
By Martin Schwabacher and Hope Gangloff

Coral reefs and the fish that inhabit them. (Age 5-12yrs)







Bats

The Truth about Bats (A magic school bus science chapter book)



The Truth about Bats (A magic school bus science chapter book)
By Eva Moore, Joanna Cole, Ted Enik (Age 5-12yrs)









Insects

Insect Invaders



Insect Invaders (A magic school bus science chapter book)
By Anne Capeci and John Speirs

When Wanda brings her new ladybugs to school, she just wants Ms. Frizzle to give her some hints on caring for her insect pets, but instead, the whole class gets a field trip to learn about different insects. Original. (Age 5-12yrs)


Various Australian animals
Expedition Down Under - The Magic School Bus chapter book. (Age 5-12yrs)

Food Chain Frenzy



Food Chain Frenzy (A magic school bus science chapter book)
By Anne Capeci and John Speirs

Arnold and the rest of Ms. Frizzle's class know they are heading for an exciting food chain field trip when their teacher arrives at school wearing a dress covered with plants and animals. (Age 5-12yrs)


Other Science eg, Astronomy & Geology

Storms

Electric Storm (The magic school bus)



Electric Storm (The magic school bus science chapter book)
By Anne Capeci and Hope Gangloff (illustrations)

Keesha and the rest of Ms. Frizzle's class, after a boring lesson about weather, are gearing up for an exciting trip through the world of electricity when they collectively become a bolt of lightning.


Space

Space Explorers



Space Explorers (The magic school bus science chapter book)
By Joanna Cole, Eva Moore, Ted Enik (Age 5-12yrs)







Geology
Rocky Road Trip - The Magic School Bus chapter book. (Age 5-12yrs)

Aboriginals

walkabout-james-vance-marshall

Walkabout - James Vance Marshall (Age 10-Adult)The classic bestseller about survival in the outback.







Australia's History

Exploration

Goat Who Sailed the World

The Goat Who Sailed The World
By Jackie French

Captain Cook's goat had already sailed around the world before it went on its first voyage with Cook, and helped save everyone on board the ship from scurvy. As well as telling the story of this less-than- famous goat, the book looks at the great sea explorations of the eighteenth century, including Cook's voyage to Australia. Age 9-13.


Poetry

Author: Philip R. Rush

  • Australian Outback Poems
  • Australian Wildlife Poems
  • Australian Poems That Would Baffle a Bandicoot
    • (and several others by the same author)

the-man-from-snowy-river-banjo-patterson The Man From Snowy River - Banjo Patterson








Audio

Oodnadatta Track
The Living Oodnadatta Track - Northern Regional Developoment Board, South Australian Tourism Commission and Malcolm McKinnon, 2007.

The Oodnadatta Track in South Australia's far north is one of Australia's most significant heritage routes. It's a land of stories, built up over time and layered one upon another. This audio guide offers insights into the heritage, culture and ecology of the places and country along the Track. Mostly, you'll hear the voices of people who actually live and work along the Track. Enjoy listening to these stories as you travel and develop a deeper appreciation of the life and land to be found along the Oodnadatta Track.

We purchased this CD at Hawker Motors, a service station in Hawker, SA, just south of the Oodnadatta Track. Cost $9.95. We also saw copies available in the Pink Roadhouse at Oodnadatta.




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