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(Lonely Planet) ISBN 978-1741043105

Lonely Planet's Australia is a comprehensive 1,100-page travel guide. Refined many times over 30 years, it covers everything a visitor needs to know about Australia: history, festivals and events, itineraries, how to get around, a reading list, a glossary of Australian English words and phrases, climate charts, discount cards, holidays, travel medical resources and top 10 highlights.

Reading this 4 cm (1-5/8 in)-thick guidebook is easy going and conversational, just like travel advice Australians give you when you visit their country.

Walking tours

Each regional chapter or city subsection describes attractions and activities, such as walking tours, city tours, fun things for children to do, entertainment, theatre, cinemas and nightclubs.

Lonely Planet's Australia has several glossaries of Australian words. The Food Glossary defines terms like Chiko roll (spring roll), middy (medium size glass of beer) and Tim Tam (chocolate cookie). The Driving Australia Glossary describes words like snatchem strap (used to pull vehicles when stuck) and road trains (trucks with many trailers).

Road maps

Two inserts, with just over 20 color images each, entice travelers to visit Australia. Fifteen excellent color road maps at the back of the book assist trip planning. There are black and white road maps for major cities, towns and islands. Maps of Australia national parks and wilderness areas feature icons for where to sleep and eat, sights and activities, as well as hiking trails and roads.

Ten Australian highlights, in the front of the travel guide, describe the:

  • ancient, sacred indigenous place, Uluru, in the Northern Territory
  • Hawkesbury River wilderness area 30 km north of Sydney, New South Wales
  • Birrarung Marr, a scenic park in the heart of Melbourne, Victoria
  • Valley of the Giants, site of ancient tingle trees, so big that cars can park in the hollow trunks, Walpole, Western Australia
  • Liffey Valley, with its 1,000 meter bluff and platypuses that swim in the river, Tasmania
  • indigenous arts centers on the Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory
  • Carrickalinga Beach and nearby Mclaren Vale and Southern Vale wineries, South Australia
  • Erub (Darnley Island), idyllic home of indigenous culture, Queensland
  • beautiful, remote and historical drive from Kununurra to Wyndham, Western Australia
  • Overland Track, a seven day hike over varied terrain, Tasmania

Family trips

Itineraries feature an Australian family trip. Kids activities include whale watching in Albany, Werribee open range zoo in Victoria, the West Coast Wilderness Railway in Tasmania, Pioneer Settlement in Swan Hill and gold digging at Sovereign Hill, Ballarat.

Column notes provide facts like: Australia's population is almost 21 million and the coastline of Australia is 25,800 km long with over 7,000 beaches. There are 112,600 Surf Life Savers who spend 1.4 million hours patrolling Australian beaches and rescuing about 10,000 people a year. Readers learn that, each year, Australians eat more than 206,000 tonnes of seafood, drink 430 million liters of Australian wine and export 670 million bottles of wine.

The Gold Fever sidebar reviews the history of Australian gold towns and the gold rush, which made Melbourne Australia's largest city and financial capital.

Touring wine country

An Australia Wine Regions sidebar, in the Food & Drink section, summarizes regions with award winning wines. Among them are Coonawarra, noted for its Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, the Barossa Valley, in South Australia, famous for Shiraz and Hunter Valley, in New South Wales, known for Shiraz, Semillon and Cabernet Sauvignon.

If you're an avid surfer, there is a good summary of swell and break points in the sidebar on Where to Surf in Australia.

Other sidebars cover discount Sydney sightseeing, Sydney's best beaches, gay and lesbian Sydney, Hawkesbury houseboats, safety tips for Outback driving and top food festivals in Australia.

Lonely Planet Australia


  • On the Road
  • Highlights
  • Destination Australia
  • Getting Started
  • Itineraries
  • History
  • The Culture
  • Environment
  • Food and Drink
  • Driving Australia
  • New South Wales
    • Sydney
    • Around Sydney
    • Blue Mountains
    • North Coast
    • Far North Coast Hinterland
    • New England
    • Central West
    • Northwest
    • Lord Howe Island
    • Norfolk Island
    • South Coast
    • Snowy Mountains
    • Southwest and the Murray
    • Outback
  • Australian Capital Territory
    • Canberra
    • Around Canberra
  • Queensland
    • Brisbane
    • Moreton Bay
    • Gold Coast
    • Gold Coast Hinterland
    • Sunshine Coast
    • Darling Downs
    • Fraser Coast
    • Capricorn Coast
    • Outback
    • Whitsunday Coast
    • North Coast
    • Gulf Savannah
    • Far North Queensland
    • Cape York Peninsula
  • Victoria
    • Melbourne
    • Around Melbourne
    • Great Ocean Road
    • Southwest
    • The Wimmera
    • The Mallee
    • The Murray River
    • Goldfields
    • The High Country
    • Goulburn Valley and Hume Freeway Region
    • Gippsland
  • Tasmania
    • Hobart
    • Around Hobart
    • The Southeast
    • Tasman Peninsula
    • Midlands
    • East Coast
    • The Northeast
    • Launceston
    • Around Launceston
    • The North
    • The Northwest
    • The West
    • The Southwest
    • Bass Strait Islands
  • South Australia
    • Adelaide
    • Adelaide Hills
    • Fleurieu Peninsula
    • Kangaroo Island
    • Barossa Valley
    • Mid-North
    • Southeast
    • Murray River
    • Yorke Peninsula
    • Eyre Peninsula and West Coast
    • Flinders Ranges
    • Outback
  • Northern Territory
    • Darwin
    • Around Darwin
    • Kakadu and Arnhem Land
    • Katherine to Alice
    • Alice Springs
    • MacDonnell Ranges
    • South of Alice Springs
    • Uluru-kata Tjuta National Park
  • Western Australia
    • Perth
    • Fremantle
    • Around Perth
    • The Southwest
    • South Coast
    • Southern Outback
    • The Midlands and Wheatbelt
    • Great Northern Highway
    • Central West Coast
    • Coral Coast and Pilbara
    • The Kimberley
  • Directory
    • Transport
    • Getting There and Away
    • Getting Around
  • Health
    • Before You Go
    • In Transit
    • In Australia
The Authors
Behind the Scenes
Map Legend


Justine Vaisutis, Becca Blond, Lindsay Brown, Terry Carter, Lara Dunston, George Dunford, Simone Egger, Katja Gaskell, Rowan McKinnon, Alan Murphy, Charles Rawlings-Way and Sarah Wintle

Justine Vaisutis, coordinating author, is a Melbourne native. This is her twelfth Lonely Planet guide and fifth Australian contribution.

More things to see and do in Australia:

Aboriginal Australian Theatre Sparks Revival of Tjapukai Culture

Sydney Australia Stopover

Sydney Encounter by Lonely Planet

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