20 Best Australian Fiction Audiobooks

20 Best Australian Fiction Audiobooks

Some of the best Australian fiction out there at the moment? It’s a big call, we know. But this collection of Audible listens has something special about them, something worth celebrating. Whether that’s a gripping protagonist, a tragic situation born out of adversity, beautiful descriptions of the world around us or a narrative ready for the silver screen, these are a selection of the best of the best right now. They’ve received the awards and may have a movie adaptation in the works, but the most important thing is their ability to tell a story. Time to sink your teeth — or your ears — into them.
Product list
    • By: Dervla McTiernan
    • Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
    • Series: The Cormac Reilly Series, Book 1
    • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
    • Release date: 14-03-2018
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 6,220 ratings
    • Dervia McTiernan is one to watch, if this debut crime thriller is to go off. The Ruin is the first title in McTiernan’s series based around Young Garda — or Irish police officer — Cormac Reilly, and how two cases stretching 20 years are somehow related to one another. This work of fiction is made all the more engrossing with the narration of Irish actor Aoife McMahon, transporting you directly to the scene of the crime and the icy waters of the River Corrib. What really did happen, and can you truly rely on the protection of authorities? Well, you’ll have to listen to find out.

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    • Don Tillman, Book 1
    • By: Graeme Simsion
    • Narrated by: Dan O'Grady
    • Series: Don Tillman, Book 1
    • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
    • Release date: 25-09-2014
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4,621 ratings
    • Love is not a science nor a survey to fill out; it’s something that’s unexplainable and unsearchable. It finds you. Well that’s news to Don Tillman, who with his vast intelligence and social quirks thinks he’s cracked the case. However, as writer Graeme Simsion and the comforting and gruff narration of Dan O’Grady explain, nothing is that simple. Take a journey down a path of science and social struggles to love, finding out there’s no equation or set of rules that can guarantee success in love. Winner of Book of the Year for 2014, and with two more editions to accompany it in its trilogy, it’s no wonder this title features in a number of Audible's Best lists.

    Non-member price: $23.99 or 1 Credit

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    • By: Tara June Winch
    • Narrated by: Tony Briggs
    • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
    • Release date: 03-09-2019
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 510 ratings
    • The yield in English is the reaping, the things that man can take from the land. In the language of the Indigenous Wiradjuri peoples, yield is the things you give to, the movement, the space between things. Tara June Winch’s The Yield is a celebration and reclamation of Indigenous language, storytelling and identity, spanning almost 200 years of history. Following shared experiences of inter-generational grief, racism and abuse, The Yield is an essential title to further understand an Aboriginal perspective of Australia. This performance is accompanied with written reference material to provide further context to the listen.

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    • The International Bestseller
    • By: Trent Dalton
    • Narrated by: Stig Wemyss
    • Length: 16 hrs and 42 mins
    • Release date: 20-06-2018
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 6,086 ratings
    • 'Your end is a dead blue wren. Boy swallows universe. Caitlyn spies.' These are the answers. The answers to the questions. It may make no sense now, but after listening to narrator Stig Wemyss tell the tale of young boy Eli and his life surrounded by drugs, prisoners and a mute brother, you’ll understand the importance of these three thoughts. writer Trent Dalton draws on his troubled youth in working class Brisbane to tell a story of violent crime alongside unrelenting love. Critically acclaimed with an epic list of Australian literary awards, Boy Swallows Universe is set to become a classic in its own right.

    Non-member price: $33.99 or 1 Credit

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    • By: Timothy Conigrave
    • Narrated by: Stephen Phillips
    • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
    • Release date: 31-05-2016
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 144 ratings
    • You know when a book gets a movie adaptation that you’re onto a winner. But a film, stage play and documentary? You’ve hit a jackpot. Writer Timothy Conigrave’s memoir details the life of finding love on — or beside — the football field at an all-boys Catholic school. Stephen Phillips’ brings a natural and unassuming performance to Congriave’s words, detailing the struggles and pain of a gay relationship in mid-70s Australia, not without a strong love and deep commitment to each other. ‘Holding the Man’ may be an ode to an Aussie Rules football offence, but what transpires in this title shows it as something so much more poignant for these two men.

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    • By: Kate Morton
    • Narrated by: Joanne Froggatt
    • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
    • Release date: 12-09-2018
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 865 ratings
    • It’s unsurprising that international best-selling writer Kate Morton would feature in some of Australia’s best fiction of today. Morton’s ability to build atmosphere and a haunting memory around a title character, and the shadowy circumstances each find themselves in, amount to some entertaining narratives. Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is no exception. Young artists in rural Oxfordshire, missing heirlooms, a death and a disappearance, and a leather satchel found 150 years later that holds the key. Woven effortlessly, engaging and poetic, Morton’s latest venture is not to be missed.

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    • By: Chris Hammer
    • Narrated by: Dorje Swallow
    • Series: A Martin Scarsden Thriller, Book 1
    • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
    • Release date: 01-08-2018
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 5,374 ratings
    • An Australian drought conjures up memories from almost all who grew up on the land, but when an isolated country town is brought to its knees by a church shooting, the community is shattered and broken. Scrublands follows troubled journalist Martin Scarsden a year on from this horrific event, but the stories he hears now do not line up with what was reported then. Darker and more complex as you listen on, writer Chris Hammer alongside narrator Dorje Swallow goes into great observational detail of the world around, and the people that make this tragedy not what it may seem. It may be complicated, but its authenticity of rural Australia and the unexpected twists that follow make it exciting listening.

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    • By: Fiona McIntosh
    • Narrated by: Katy Sobey
    • Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
    • Release date: 29-10-2018
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 651 ratings
    • Through Czechia’s snowy woodlands and Paris’ Tuileries to the moors of Yorkshire comes a confronting and heart-stopping novel that questions if hope and love can ever triumph over atrocity in times of war. Fiona McIntosh’s words are brought to life with the poise and clarity of narrator Katy Sobey in a gripping performance threaded with reminders of a recent history. The Pearl Thief explores in great detail a damaged woman hiding behind a chic French façade, a frenzied hunt joined with Mossad involved, and the opulence of a precious antique jewellery collection. This is definitely a gem of historical fiction.

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    • By: Jane Harper
    • Narrated by: Steve Shanahan
    • Series: Aaron Falk, Book 1
    • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
    • Release date: 07-07-2016
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 8,307 ratings
    • Centred on the horrific circumstances of Kiewarra’s Hadler family, this fictional Aussie crime thriller spells out some of the deep-seated prejudices in Australian small-town country life. While federal investigator Aaron Falk returns to his childhood home to learn the mystery around a family he once knew, he now has to face up to a township that rejected him in a situation that may have been thought of as simple, but is far from it. Having sold over one million copies worldwide, in the Audible book iteration the novel is further enhanced by the gripping storytelling of Steve Shanahan. Let Shanahan’s performance keep you guessing until the very last moment, so you don’t spoil it by reading a line ahead.

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    • By: Markus Zusak
    • Narrated by: Dennis Olsen
    • Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
    • Release date: 15-06-2012
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,174 ratings
    • Set in Nazi-era Germany, protagonist Liesel had a thirst for reading and a yearning for knowledge. But war was all around and death was always knocking. Australian writer Markus Zusak takes a unique perspective of narration to highlight a love affair with books in a time where the world is in ruin. Add an excellent animated narration delivered by Dennis Olsen, this is one title worthy of a listen — The Book Thief explores how mortality is present in all who live in these conditions, and how love can spawn from the simplest of things, even in the midst of war, death and genocide.

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    • By: Tony Birch
    • Narrated by: Shareena Clanton
    • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
    • Release date: 04-06-2019
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 582 ratings
    • Miles Franklin short-listed writer and indigenous storyteller Tony Birch details the brutal realities and devastating impacts of Australian government policy in the 1960s and to what lengths some people will go in order to save their children from being stolen from their families. Renowned actor Shareena Claton portrays protagonist Odette in her narration as powerful and gutsy, risking everything to save what she loves. A necessary listen, understand the truths of stolen generations and the historical strength and powerful resistance of indigenous communities in times of such cruelty.

    Non-member price: $21.99 or 1 Credit

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    • Tomorrow Series #1
    • By: John Marsden
    • Narrated by: Suzi Dougherty
    • Series: Tomorrow, Book 1
    • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
    • Release date: 16-03-2006
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 641 ratings
    • The first of John Marsden’s highly popular Tomorrow series, Tomorrow, When The War Began sees a group of friends venture ‘deep bush’, and during their time isolated, the world around them has changed. Narrator Suzi Dougherty takes to character Ellie’s first-person recount with grace and heart, guiding you deep into Australian bushland with all the courage and initiative that ensues. Not just for young adults, this classic Aussie teen drama has been a staple for the bookshelf for years, and what we like to call a ‘binge listen’ — the Audible book equivalent of a page-turner.

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    • By: J. P. Pomare
    • Narrated by: Aimee Horne
    • Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
    • Release date: 05-03-2020
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 5,254 ratings
    • Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies — this fast-paced psychological thriller available only on Audible compels you to keep listening until the last moment. Narrator Aimee Horne’s engaging performance elevates this fresh and exciting take on the genre, based on psychologist Margot Scott and her chance encounter with a client on a busy train platform. She may have the perfect life before this moment — the house in the ‘burbs, a husband and two wonderful children — but what occurs next spins Scott’s life into a spiral of misfortune and confusion on who to trust. A relatively short and easy listen, this story is the perfect introduction to J P Pomare’s style and clever pace to his work.

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    • By: Sarah A. Denzil, Anni Taylor
    • Narrated by: Aimee Horne
    • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
    • Release date: 08-08-2019
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 201 ratings
    • Young backpackers in Outback Australia — you may think that you’ve heard it all, but think again. From best-selling writers Sarah A Denzil and Anni Taylor, Poison Orchids explores two backpacker’s stay at a remote fruit farm in the Northern Territory and how they end up bloodied and bruised on a dark highway. Narrator Aimee Horne recounts with spirit an edge-of-your-seat thriller that challenges your thinking every step of the way, wondering how these young backpackers ended up on this path, and who they should confide in along the way. Which series of events is the truth, and what is being covered up? Your guess is as good as ours.

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    • A Novel
    • By: M L Stedman
    • Narrated by: Noah Taylor
    • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
    • Release date: 25-11-2014
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 726 ratings
    • In such a remote location amid such a tragic situation, what would you — as a mother — do? The Light Between Oceans details the life of returning soldier Tom Sherborne and loving wife, Isabel, who find themselves desperately yearning for a child when stationed as a lighthouse keeper on a far-flung island. Steadman’s heart-wrenching novel with considerate narration by Noah Taylor dives deep into how so many in this world are scarred by the misfortunes that the world throws our way. Isabel may hold onto hope and seize this one opportunity to raise a child in her life, but at what consequence? Only time, and listening, will tell.

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    • By: Heather Rose
    • Narrated by: Zoe Carides
    • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
    • Release date: 01-10-2019
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 545 ratings
    • Bruny is written by celebrated Tasmanian writer Heather Rose and asks the simple question: what would you do to protect the place you love? Revolving around a fictional Bruny bridge connecting the sleepy island of the same name to the mainland of Tasmania, this title delivers the perfect combination of love, loyalty, satire and jaw-dropping twists. It may be a story based around family in local Tasmania, but the sense of place and large political issues it deals with extends the story far beyond the southern state’s borders. With gripping narration from Australian actress Zoe Carides, the genre is a perfect balance between political and social thriller, earning itself a place in some of Australia’s best new fiction.

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    • By: Natasha Lester
    • Narrated by: Penny Rawlins, Melle Stewart
    • Length: 15 hrs and 33 mins
    • Release date: 31-03-2020
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 504 ratings
    • From the New York Times best-selling writer comes The Paris Secret—a tale of enduring love, Dior gowns and World War II female pilots. With meticulous attention to detail and a bond between characters that can never falter, this listen takes you between airplane and fashion runways in an era of history often forgotten. Actors Penny Rawlins and Melle Stewart lend their voices and intertwine their narration seamlessly to illuminate how far women will go to protect one another, and what a secret wardrobe has to do with the atrocities of war. Australian writer Natasha Lester’s career and love for Paris spans far beyond her authorship, providing such glamorous context to the works she creates.

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    • By: Michael Robotham
    • Narrated by: Joe Jameson
    • Series: Cyrus Haven, Book 1
    • Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
    • Release date: 23-07-2019
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 2,643 ratings
    • The girl with no past, and the boy who survived. This is another feather in celebrated crime writer Michael Robotham’s cap — a wonderfully thrilling and unnerving account of enigmatic Evie Cormac, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven and the consequences of not telling the truth. Good Girl, Bad Girl is paired with an enthralling performance from Joe Jameson, who meets the writer’’s pace with spirit and sophistication. There’s a reason Robotham is touted as one of Australia’s best crime fiction writers — you’ll be jumping straight to the next listen in this series after completing Good Girl, Bad Girl.

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    • By: Richard Flanagan
    • Narrated by: Richard Flanagan
    • Length: 15 hrs and 5 mins
    • Release date: 01-11-2013
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 343 ratings
    • Said to be ‘one of the most exciting novelists working anywhere, full stop’, Richard Flanagan continues to impress with a tale of the cruelty of war and the impossibility of love. Man Booker prize-winning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North centres around a Japanese prisoner of war camp on the Thai-Burma death railway and the yearning of one man whose greatest battle may not be what surrounds him, but what he discovers he has lost. Narrated by Flanagan himself, listen and you’ll gain an insight into a flawed hero trapped in a time that is day-by-day survival, infected with thoughts that haunt for a lifetime.

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Audiobook lists are hand-picked by Audible editors; inclusion is based on a number of factors including
listener ratings, narrator performances, presence on Audible best seller lists and cultural relevance.


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