Travel books from the best in the business

CHRISTMAS is around the corner and what better gift than one that inspires, immerses and guides us through experience and words – travel books.

Six of the latest travel books to hit the market have been written by members of the Australian Society of Travel Writers and cover both far-flung destinations and those in our very backyard of Australia; including the recent award-winning “Go Your Own Way” written by Ben Groundwater.

The book collected “Best Travel Book” award at the ASTW Awards for Excellence in Cairns this year and is a perfect guide for solo travellers with tips on preparation, planning and safety, as well as anecdotal stories from his own experiences.

For a thought-invoking tale through the rugged landscapes of New Zealand, Laura Waters “Bewildered” will show how travel can do more than physically take you somewhere but change your very core.

Author and journalist Penny Watson has created a book on how to reconnect to the world at your own pace. “Slow Travel” is a beautifully designed and practical compendium of places, activities, tours and experiences.

For those looking for stories and advice on all things Australian, the following books and authors will have you searching for your next holiday close to home; Lee Atkinson’s “The Definitive Bucket List”- the ultimate guide to travel in your golden years; Melanie Ball has released an updated version of “Top Walks in Victoria“; and Danielle Lancaster’s latest release that just hit the shelves a week ago “Outback Queensland”.

For more information visit or check out your favourite online bookshop.

Best Travel Books

Go Your Own Way

Hacks, tips and tricks to travel the world solo.

By Ben Groundwater

Go Your Own Way will help you take your first bold steps into solo travel, with tips on preparation, planning and safety, as well as funny and useful stories from travel writer Ben Groundwater’s own experiences.

You’ll find details on all the best travel destinations for solo travellers, including the 10 best cities to visit, the 5 most amazing journeys, and also a few places that you may want to avoid on your own.

This guide will help you meet people and make friends, but it will also enable you to do all the things you love, in your own company.

Tropical Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef

By Danielle Lancaster

From Australian Geographic, this 62-page book is full of brilliant photography and facts from one of Australia’s leading travel writers. Includes sections on geography, wildlife and plant life, culture, and destinations such as Cape York, The Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef, Cairns and Kuranda and others.

RRP: $19.99. Individual copies available from Booktopia
For wholesale prices, personalised signed copies and copies for reviews please email

Outback Queensland

By Danielle Lancaster

From Australian Geographic, this 64-page book is full of vibrant photography and is accompanied by a concise but fascinating commentary from one of Australia’s leading travel writers. Travellers and children will pick it up time and again to whet their appetites. plan their own visits or relive their last visit. Includes sections on geography, wildlife and plant life, culture, and destinations such as Mount Isa, Birdsville, Longreach, Charleville, Winton and the Bulloo and Barcoo Shires and others.

RRP: $19.99
Individual copies available from Booktopia
For wholesale prices, personalised signed copies and copies for reviews please email

The Definitive Bucket List

Travel experiences in Australia and New Zealand.

By Lee Atkinson

Adventure before dementia. Spending the kids’ inheritance. Growing old disgracefully. Life begins at 50. 60 is the new 40. You see these catchy phrases on bumper stickers, tea towels and even t-shirts, but all jokes aside there is one thing we all know – no matter how old our driver’s license says we are, we all feel much younger at heart.  The Definitive Bucket List is the ultimate guide to travel in your golden years.

Travel keeps the memory sharp, the body fit and is a wonderful way to meet like-minded people, and this book shows how to get the most out of the best years of your life with hundreds of holiday experiences across Australia and New Zealand including insider tips, handy hints, special events and once-in-a-lifetime dream destinations for special occasions and family get-togethers.

There’s something for every kind of traveller, be it RV holidays in New Zealand or road trips around Australia to gourmet adventures, wildlife encounters, train trips, guided walks and cycling holidays.

Published by Hardie Grant Travel, hardcover, rrp $45

Australia’s Best Nature Escapes

A Curated Guide to Australia’s Best Wild-at-heart Getaways.

By Lee Atkinson

Getting back to nature doesn’t have to mean roughing it, not with this collection of 100 of Australia’s best nature-based holidays. There’s something for every kind of nature-lover in this beautiful book, from camping to glamping and six-star luxury lodges to rustic cabins in national parks, family-friendly holiday parks, great value holiday homes, luxe beachside resorts, rainforest retreats, hotels, island escapes, country hideaways, boathouses, houseboats and even a treehouse.

However you like to travel, from guided walks to cruising, safaris, to 4WD adventures and bareboat charters, you’ll find inspiration for your next holiday with more than 100 of Australia’s Best Nature Escapes. Whatever your budget, however, you like to go wild, you’ll find it here.

Published by Hardie Grant Travel, paperback, rrp $39.99


Leaving everything behind for 3,000km in the wilds of New Zealand (travel memoir).

By Laura Waters

What would move you to ditch your life and take off into the wild for five months? For Laura Waters, it took the implosion of a toxic relationship and a crippling bout of anxiety. Armed with maps, a compass and her life in a bag on her back, she set out to walk the untamed landscapes of the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand, 3000 kilometres of raw, wild, mountainous trail winding from the top of the North Island to the frosty tip of the South Island. But when her walking partner dropped out on the second day, she was faced with a choice: abandon the journey, or face her fears and continue on alone? She chose to walk on.

For five months, Laura battled not only treacherous terrain and elements, but also the demons of self-doubt and anxiety. As the kilometres fell behind her, nature did its work, stripping away her identity and guiding her towards a new way of being. At the end of Te Araroa, it was the hard-earned insights into the power of nature, emotional wellbeing and fulfilling relationships – with others as well as with herself – that were Laura’s greatest accomplishments. She emerged ‘rewilded’, and it transformed her life.

Top Walks in Victoria 2nd Edition

Victoria offers a jaw-dropping diversity of bushwalks through areas rich in natural wonders and colourful human history. Find a leg stretch for every weekend of the year and all levels of experience and fitness among the 69 walks in this pack-size guide.

The book divides the state into 12 regions and each walk is described in detail, mapped and illustrated with beautiful colour photographs. There are also tips on what to take and wear and how hikers can limit their environmental impact.

Walks included in the 1st edition (2014) have been fully updated and several new routes added.

Published by Hardie Grant Publishing; RRP: $34.99

Individual copies available through Booktopia. Other stockists are listed on the Hardie Grant Publishing website. For editors’ copies contact Hardie Grant Publishing.

London Pocket Precincts

A shopping, eating, drinking and cultural guide to the city

By Penny Watson

London is one of the world’s grandest cities, retaining many of those English traditions that are steeped in the culture – just like a good pot of tea. But at the same time, the city is an ever-evolving and multicultural melting pot where you’ll find cutting edge art and bohemian fashions. From hip Bermondsey with its markets and wine bars to affluent Knightsbridge’s grand department stores, this book covers the must-see attractions and also encourages you to wander off the main streets to find places that fly under the radar.

London Pocket Precincts is your curated guide to the city’s best cultural; shopping, eating and drinking experiences. As well as detailed reviews and maps for major attractions through to hidden gems, this guide includes a selection of field trips encouraging you to venture further afield to Greenwich, Bath, Henley ad Brighton.

Published by Hardie Grant Travel, RRP $19.99. Individual copies are available through Hardie Grant.

Slow Travel

Reconnecting with the world at your own pace.

By Penny Watson

It can be challenging to travel in the modern world, easily lured by the temptations of fast planes, cheap airlines, last-minute tickets, quick-fix travel apps and overzealous tour operators. To actually take a back seat, and allow time to embrace the ebb and flow of travel, requires a more thoughtful and philosophical way of journeying.

Slow Travel is a beautifully designed and practical compendium of places, activities, tours and experiences. In these pages, you’ll find a how-to guide of helpful tips, from planning for slow travel to what music to listen to in the slow zone, insightful interviews with the ultimate slow travellers, and ways to slow down your adventures in urban and far-flung locations. Be inspired to get on the road in your own time and on your own terms.

Published by Hardie Grant Travel, RRP $50. Individual copies are available online from Hardie Grant.

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