Book Review: Tony Wheeler's Islands of Australia

Head off on a journey of discovery with a new photographic travel/history book by travel guru Tony Wheeler

Book Reviews
Tony Wheeler's new book.

Tony Wheeler's new book.


Australia has more than 8000 islands - go behind the tourist brochures and discover their secrets in Tony Wheeler's new book.


AUSTRALIA is not just an island continent; it's a continent of more than 8000 islands - more than the entire Caribbean.

Lonely Planet co-founder and travel guru Tony Wheeler's new book takes readers on a fabulous journey around the Australian coast and beyond to discover the studding natural features, unique wildlife and chequered histories of our remarkably diverse islets, atolls and archipelagos.

Islands of Australia: Travels through Time is part travel and nature guide, part history and part personal reflection.

Packed with fascinating information and hundreds of glorious photos of Australia's island gems, this book will have you itching to leave the mainland to explore our off shore treasures.

In more than 240 pages the book takes readers on a visual journey around the coast from eco-resorts, pristine beaches and dive sites to guano mines, prisons and subantarctic volcanoes.

Reader discover why the Whitsundays should have been called the Whitmondays, encounter Australia's only known pirate, learn about mutiny and murder on the Bounty and Batavia, meet giant lizards and cute quokkas and discover rich Indigenous cultures.

Many are high islands, submerged hills and mountains emerging from the sea. Others are coral cays, low lying usually sandy islands perched atop coral reefs.... - Tony Wheeler in Islands of Australia

Nearly half of Australia's 8000 plus islands are off the coast of Western Australia from the much-loved holiday destination of Rottnest to the Houtman Abrolhos and the site of Australia's first nuclear test.

Queensland has 1955 islands from large sand islands like North Stradbroke, Moreton and Fraser to coral islands like Lady Musgrave Island, Heron Island and the Witsundays and stunning mangrove to mountains offerings like Hinchinbrook, Dunk and Bedarra. New South Wales has only 103 islands while Victoria has 184, Northern Territory 887 and SA 346.

Tasmania is Australia's biggest island after the continent itself and it is surrounded by a thousand more.

The book heads further afield to Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands and Australia's Antarctic base at Macquarie Island with its population of Royal Penguins - the island is the only place on earth where they come to breed.

Since the sale of travel publisher Lonely Planet, Tony Wheeler has been involved with Melbourne's Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, London Business School's Wheeler Institute for Business and Development and the Planet Wheeler Foundation's developing world projects.

Published by NLA Publishing, Islands of Australia was released today, October 1, 2019. RRP $39.99