7 Books To Read Before Travelling To Oceania

The geographic region that includes Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia is referred to as Oceania. And, it’s such a vast, diverse region that it’s hard to decide just where to visit if you’re headed to that side of the world.

Literary travel is a new trend in which travellers immerse themselves in a world of travel destinations through the country’s literature first. This allows you to gain helpful insight into the country’s past, present, and culture. 

CarRentals.com even did a study regarding how literature plays a role in modern-day adventure. And, they found that while travel guides like ours exist, there are few better ways to immerse yourself in the local culture than by diving straight into one of the country’s most famous books. So, check out the seven books that you should read before travelling to Oceania.

For more literary travel recommendations, check out the full list and map of World Travel Through Literature.

Books To Read Before Travelling To OceaniaHow do these rankings work?

1. A Good Keen Man

Best to read before travelling to: New Zealand

What it’s about: “A humorous take on rural New Zealand life. The story is set in the rugged backcountry and tells the tale of a young man’s journey towards mastering the art of deer culling and becoming and good bushman.”

Best Books To Read Before Travelling To Oceania

2. The Thorn Birds

Best to read before travelling to: Australia

What it’s about: “A family saga spanning fifty-four years set in the Australian Outback.”

Best Books To Read Before Travelling To Australia

3. Maiba

Best to read before travelling to: Papua New Guinea

What it’s about: “The only child of the last chief of Makawana village, Maiba struggles to hold her people together in the face of the polarizing forces of convention and modernization.”

Best Books To Read Before Travelling To Papua New Guinea

4. On Fiji Islands

Best to read before travelling to: Fiji

What it’s about: “Author Ronald Wright, who is equal parts world-class author and experienced anthropologist, details a sojourn on the island of Fiji. The book spins a classic tale across the island, from cocktail bars to cane field, while intertwining true historical tales and cultural insights not found in other books of the century.”

Best Books To Read Before Travelling To Fiji

5. Tales from the Torrid Zone: Travels in the Deep Tropics

Best to read before travelling to: Vanuatu

What it’s about: “Written by one of the most celebrated travel writers of our time, this novel recounts a lifetime’s worth of travel between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The author explores nearly every single one of the eighty-eight countries in the region and recounts every detail with vivid imagery.”

6. The Adventures of Vela

Best to read before travelling to: Samoa

What it’s about: “Dive straight into Samoan culture through the  immortal Vela, the Samoan song maker, poet, and storyteller. Regarded as one of the Pacific’s most prolific epic novels, this will take you through hundreds of years of history before merging with present-day storytelling and Western poetry.”

Best Books To Read Before Travelling To Samoa

7. Cloudstreet

Best to read before travelling to: Australia

What it’s about: “Two rural Australian families flee from separate catastrophes. They head to the city and find themselves sharing a great, breathing, shuddering joint called Cloudstreet. It’s there where they begin their lives again from scratch.”

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Elizabeth Thorn
Elizabeth Thorn

Elizabeth has lived and worked in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, all of which have contributed to her passion for travel writing. When she's not writing, you can find her exploring little hideouts in Colombia or watching photography tutorials on YouTube.

Contact: [email protected]

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Charli Smith

I spent 2 weeks last year hitching around Ireland and a week and a half this year driving around Ireland.