The Shiralee is the debut full-length novel by D'Arcy Niland published in 1955.[1] It was adapted into a movie in 1957 and a mini series in 1987.

The Shiralee
First UK edition
AuthorD'Arcy Niland
PublisherAngus & Robertson (Australia/UK)
William Sloane Associates (USA)
Publication date
Publication placeAustralia
Pages223 pp
Preceded by– 
Followed byCall Me When the Cross Turns Over 



The swagman Macauley takes his young daughter Buster on the road with him.



It sold more than 90,000 copies in Australia.[2]

The Argus called it a "great Australian novel".[3]

The New York Times called it a "fine story" which Niland "told well... Mr Niland's approach is honest as it is refreshing... one wants to hear more from him".[4]



Film rights were sold in 1955 for a reported £10,000.[5]

In 1957 a British film was made by Ealing Studios, directed by Leslie Norman.

A second adaptation was made in 1987. It was an Australian TV film directed by George Ogilvie, starring Bryan Brown and Noni Hazelhurst.


  • Dedication: This book is for my Mother / Barbara Lucy Niland[1]
  • Epigraph: Consists of an extract from a poem 'The Ballad of the Shiralee', by Ruth Park.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Austlit - The Shiralee by D'Arcy Niland
  2. ^ Australia. Department of Education.; Australia. Department of Education and Science.; Australia. Commonwealth Office of Education. (February 1960) [1957], "THE BOOKS AUSTRALIANS READ", Section v. : ill. (some col.) ; 28 cm., Hemisphere, 4 (2), North Sydney, N.S.W: Dept. of Education and Science, ISSN 0018-0300, nla.obj-3135886198, retrieved 1 June 2023 – via Trove
  3. ^ "NOVELS An Australian couple give us rare reading". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 24 September 1955. p. 6 Supplement: The Argus WEEKENDER. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Dinkum Cobbers: THE SHIRALEE. By D'Arcy Niland. 250 pp. New York. William Sloane Associates. $3.50." Cobb, Jane. New York Times 25 Sep 1955: BR32
  5. ^ "Darcy hits the jackpot". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 25 July 1955. p. 4. Retrieved 28 May 2014.