11 books directly related to Australian Outbacks 📚

All 11 Australian Outback books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Horses of the Fire

By Leanne Owens,

Book cover of Horses of the Fire

Why this book?

Teenagers will love The Outback Riders series by Leanne Owens. An Australian author, Leanne is an English/History teacher who also writes freelance for horse magazines. Her experience with horses growing up in the outback is combined with stories about teenagers in her very popular Outback Riders series. She has also written the Dimity Horse Mysteries for readers who like mysteries, crime, romance, and horses. 

Horses of the Fire

By Leanne Owens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Horses of the Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The outback is burning and the Sunhaven teens risk everything to try and stop the arsonist. Between the fires, the mysterious white dog that appears out of nowhere, Amy's childhood friend who resembles the rock star adored by Lani, and organising a two hundred kilometre Longreach to Winton fund-raising ride, their holidays are jam-packed with excitement and discovery.

The teens of Sunhaven in outback Queensland are a year older and are home for the school holidays to face a wild ride of adventures. The outback has been burning and they are determined to find the arsonist, but the mystery becomes…

Bitter Wash Road

By Garry Disher,

Book cover of Bitter Wash Road

Why this book?

Tiverton, the setting for this book, is a typical outback small town—derelict houses, one pub, a harsh landscape, and a policeman back in uniform after a corruption scandal back in the big city. Hirsch’s patrol area is huge and he’s often as much a social worker as a police officer. He’s an outcast in all senses of the word, but his dogged determination to do his job right leads him into all sorts of trouble. I love the setting, the endless roads, the eccentricities of people living in the back of nowhere, and the murder mystery that takes you where you (and Hirsch) least expect it.

Bitter Wash Road

By Garry Disher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bitter Wash Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Disher shows that he is a top-class writer' - THE TIMES

'Vivid and visceral, combined with Disher's usual deft plotting' - GUARDIAN

'One of Australia's most admired novelists' - SUNDAY TIMES
________________________________________

ONE DEAD-END POSTING. ONE DEAD BODY.
A TRAGIC ACCIDENT? THAT'S WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO THINK...

Constable Paul 'Hirsch' Hirschhausen is a whistle-blower. Formerly a promising metropolitan detective, now hated and despised, he's been exiled to a one-cop station in South Australia's wheatbelt. So when he heads up Bitter Wash Road to investigate gunfire and finds himself cut off without backup, there are two possibilities. Either he's found…

Book cover of Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback

Why this book?

I read this book in my twenties and then again in my forties and loved it just as much the second time. With her four camels and dog, Robyn Davidson trekked from Alice Springs westward across Australia’s desert all the way to the ocean. Her eight-month journey was often gruelling but just as often it was joyous and exhilarating. She endured sweltering heat, lecherous men, poisonous snakes, and more than once, her camels vanished in the night and she’d spend days searching for them. As she walks, she contemplates life while immersed in the staggering beauty of her surroundings. This is the kind of transformational odyssey that compels you to explore this planet before it’s too late.  

Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback

By Robyn Davidson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tracks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A revised, reissued fortieth anniversary edition of this prize-winning, bestselling account of one woman's solo journey across 1,700 miles of Australian Outback 'I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there's no going back.' So begins Robyn Davidson's perilous journey across 1,700 miles of hostile Australian desert to the sea with only four camels and a dog for company. Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous…

Book cover of Ultimate Road Trips Australia

Why this book?

Australians love a road-trip – the longer, the better. This book, by one of Australia’s top driving holiday experts, is jam-packed with information and advice to make yours as easy as possible. Driving is definitely the best way to see our vast continent, and the route maps and distance lists are hugely useful. It’s a great resource on where to stay – everything from swank hotels to camping spots – and what to do. Want to know the best time of year to visit a certain place? That’s covered too.

Ultimate Road Trips Australia

By Lee Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ultimate Road Trips Australia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Ultimate Road Trips: Australia,author Lee Atkinson highlights 40 of the best driving holidays around Australia.

Each chapter includes information on things to see and do, detailed route maps and a handy list of distances to help you plan your trip, as well as lots of useful advice on family-friendly attractions, where to eat and the best hotels, guesthouses, caravan parks and camping spots. You'll also find details on the best time of year to visit, driving tips and a guide to surviving a road trip with a back seat full of kids.

Keep this book in the car for…

Book cover of Australian Geographic Outback Queensland

Why this book?

The Australian Outback is a must for anyone who wants to see this country in all its diversity. Far from being just desert, the Outback is varied and fascinating. While this book only covers Queensland, it is a rich introduction to what the Outback offers. Photojournalist Danielle Lancaster knows it well, and the large-format images bring the scenery, wildlife, history, and towns of Queensland’s Outback to life. Whether you are interested in National Parks, dinosaur fossils, desert dunes, stunning gorges, or history, there’s plenty of interest here. As well as an introduction to places you may want to see, it’s also a beautiful souvenir.

Australian Geographic Outback Queensland

By Danielle Lancaster,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Australian Geographic Outback Queensland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Of Wolves and Men

By Barry Lopez,

Book cover of Of Wolves and Men

Why this book?

Lyrical and personal, this breathtaking book leads you on a journey to discover sides of the wolf you might never have expected would exist. The way a deer signals to the wolf that it will give in to the chase, to become the wolf’s prey, and the wolf’s ‘reply.’ Lopez gets into the head of wolves and the social systems of wolf packs. Years ago, travelling through rural Washington State, USA, I met the endangered buffalo timberwolves close-up. I carried Lopez’s thoughts in my head to calm my nerves. After reading this book, I longed to learn as much about killer whales such that we could have this same intimate relationship with them, learning about their ways, understanding their signs. It took time but eventually, we did just that.

Of Wolves and Men

By Barry Lopez,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Of Wolves and Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Synopsis coming soon.......

The Thorn Birds

By Colleen McCullough,

Book cover of The Thorn Birds

Why this book?

The first book that will take you to another world is McCullough’s The Thorn Birds. I read this book when I was in my teens, and it made such an impression that I can still vividly remember details to this day. The rich sense of setting in rural Australia, the hardships of the family, the forbidden love between Meg and Father Ralph, it all remains burned in my mind. I love a sweeping saga that involves family, and The Thorn Birds does not disappoint. The reader invests in these characters, and struggles beside them, and to me, that is the mark of a great story. 

The Thorn Birds

By Colleen McCullough,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Thorn Birds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A phenomenal worldwide bestseller since 1977 THE THORN BIRDS is a robust, romantic saga of three generations. It begins in the early years of this century when Paddy Cleary moves his wife and seven children to Drogheda, an Australian sheep station, owned by his autocratic and childless older sister. For more than half a century we follow their fates, particularly those of Meggie, the only Cleary daughter, and the one man she truly loves, Ralph de Bricassart - stunningly handsome, ambitious, and a priest. As background to the Cleary family's lives there is the land itself: relentless in its demands,…


Australian Aboriginal art

By Ronald Berndt,

Book cover of Australian Aboriginal art

Why this book?

I have a deep admiration for the art of indigenous Australians with their connection to nature and mother earth. I grew up in outback Australia near a pre-historic sacred site with an awe-inspiring cave drawing of a giant serpent. This book, written by several scholars, is a comprehensive resource on Aboriginal art. The illustrations cover traditional bark paintings and cave drawings, some dating back more than 30,000 years. The authors’ analysis of symbols is informative. I consider Aboriginal artists to be the first anatomists. Long before Leonardo, they were drawing the inner structures and organs of humans and animals. 

Australian Aboriginal art

By Ronald Berndt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Australian Aboriginal art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Riddle of Tanglewood Manor

Why this book?

I loved the title of this book, it had me intrigued from the start. I like writing clues and riddles into my own adventure stories, so I found this one irresistible. The story starts in Sydney where I grew up and leads us to a typical outback country town in Australia. Instead of a place I wish I could travel to, this one is very familiar to me. Its setting is similar to my own adventures, based on childhood holidays and memories. Instead of taking me on an adventure to a different country, this book travels back in time to the early 1920s. I found I was desperate to solve each riddle before the main character and unravel the mystery to safely bring the kids home, back to their own reality. 

The Riddle of Tanglewood Manor

By Tracey Hawkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Riddle of Tanglewood Manor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Shark Net: Memories and Murder

Why this book?

This is a memoir by a great Australian writer of literary fiction. Set in Perth in the late 40s, the 50s, and early 60s, this book is not fiction, but it’s as profoundly satisfying as a fine novel, and the author uses, with great artistry and authority, certain conventions of fiction. It’s coming-of-age interwoven with the chilling true-crime story of a lurking serial killer, who turns out to have close ties to the author’s own family; one of the victims is a boy the author knew. Perth, on the southwest coast of Australia, bordered by the Indian Ocean on one side and the vast Australian outback on the other, is often called the most isolated city in the world. It’s known for being a bland, safe place with a low crime rate, making it the perfect sundrenched-but-sinister setting for scandal, murder, and awakening sexuality. Drewe is a powerful writer, and he has fashioned a masterpiece.

The Shark Net: Memories and Murder

By Robert Drewe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shark Net as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Robert Drew has written a moving and unpretentious memoir of a precocious youth, a bittersweet tribute to youth's optimism."-Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books

A "spiced and savory memoir" (The New York Times) of the dark life hidden in a sunny seaside Australian community.

Written with the same lyrical intensity and spellbinding prose that has won Robert Drewe's fiction international acclaim, The Shark Net is set in a city haunted by the menace of an elusive serial killer. Drewe's middle class youth in the seaside suburbs of Perth, Australia-often described as the most isolated city in the…

Book cover of Around the World Mazes

Why this book?

Here’s another maze book by Usborne, Around the World Mazes by Sam Smith (as I mentioned previously, Usborne publishes great children’s books!). Unlike The Big Maze book this book has an overarching theme linking all the mazes, ‘places around the world’, also, each maze covers the entire double-page spread, so there are fewer mazes but with greater visual impact. While the delightfully illustrated mazes will appeal more to younger children, they do playfully bring to life the different locations they depict, whether that be the Australian Outback or coast of Vancouver, and so provide educational content along with oodles of fun!

Around the World Mazes

By Sam Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Around the World Mazes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Travel from the Amazon and the Antarctic to the Himalayas and Hollywood with this entertaining selection of mazes from across the globe. Each maze is more challenging than the last, from taking a ramble in Rio de Janeiro to touring the Norwegian fjiords or finding your way in a Moroccan market. All the answers are at the back of the book.