My dad brought a book on Australia with him and was kind of enough to let me read it in parallel. I really wish I had read it before I went there since Bryson does a good job of explaining why Australia rocks. You learn a lot of cool stuff and he has some funny stories to share. He comes across as an ugly American a few times in the first half of the book and quite a bit in the end, but it's not too distracting.
I highly recommend this book.