Who doesn’t love a good podcast? We’ve seen podcasts explode in popularity in recent years, and with good reason. They’re a great way to learn new habits, get educated about the world, and inspire yourself while studying.
Perhaps you’re on the lookout for the best podcasts for students, or maybe you want to keep yourself entertained while exercising or on public transport. Whatever your motivation, we’ve compiled some of the best Australian podcasts (plus a few from further abroad) for your listening.
The Zest is History
Genre: Australian history and culture
The Zest is History presents some of Australia’s ‘wildest yarns’ (craziest stories). Full of playful Aussie lingo and banter (and some swearing), The Zest is History is a casual chat between friends, Melissa Mason and Josie Rozenberg-Clarke, as they uncover many weird and wonderful tales. The hour-long episodes cover topics as varied as the Beaconsfield Mine collapse, Schapelle Corby, and the life of the iconic ‘Crocodile Hunter’, Steve Irwin.
One way of engaging with Indigenous Australia is to immerse yourself in the diverse languages of Australia’s First Nations with the podcast, Word Up. In each episode, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples share a word from their local language and explain its meaning. The super-short runtime (around five minutes) makes this podcast an easy and accessible way of learning more about the rich heritage of Australia’s First Nations.
Genre: True crime
Casefile thinks truth is stranger than fiction. Do you have what it takes to enter the chilling world of true crime? This podcast delves into the circumstances, investigations, and trials of cases from across the globe, including infamous Australian examples like The Somerton Man and the Port Arthur massacre. Episodes are categorised depending on the type of crime, from abduction to arson, historical to serial killer. Be aware this podcast presents some serious and distressing content, so it might not be for everyone.
The Pineapple Project
Genre: Finance and budgeting
Living frugally is something many students, international and Australian alike, aim to achieve. The Pineapple Project, hosted by comedian Nazeem Hussain, is all about saving money. This podcast will help you learn how to save money on things like food, clothing, fitness, and holidays – while also looking at why we buy things in the first place. Hopefully, by listening to this podcast, we’ll all live a more frugal and fulfilling life!
Dr Karl Podcast
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is a well-known science communicator (and Aussie icon!) with a talent for making science interesting for people of all ages. His ‘science hour’ on triple j is the radio station’s longest-running segment. On the Dr Karl Podcast, Dr Karl solves the mysteries of the world with science. This includes anything about the human body, the natural world, space and time, and, yes, even COVID-19! Get ready to learn a lot and come away fascinated by phenomena you might not have known about beforehand.
Genre: Australian culture
The ABC radio show, Conversations, has been running for fifteen years. Each weekday, presenters, Richard Fidler and Sarah Kanowski, interview an Aussie — either well-known or a regular local — who has done ‘amazing things’ and has a story to share. The fifty-minute podcast is intimate, eye-opening and, like all the entries on this list, free to listen to.
Hamish and Andy
Hamish and Andy are a popular Australian comedy duo who have entertained audiences on radio and television since 2003. Their podcast is an opportunity for light entertainment at the end of a busy day. Like The Zest is History, Hamish and Andy’s podcast is full of Australian lingo, allowing you to ‘switch off’ your ears and brain, and listen to some easy-going banter between two good mates.
Genre: Language and education
There are lots of educational podcasts for students out there that can help you with your studies, such as Grammar Girl. This isn’t an Australian podcast (so be careful, because some of the advice will be about American English, not Australian English), but it’s full of tips and tricks for international students. Grammar Girl (real name Mignon Fogarty) is your ‘friendly guide to the English language’, providing tips on punctuation, spelling and style — for both native English speakers and second language learners. Episodes run from 10 to 20 minutes and are released weekly.
Some tertiary institutions in Australia produce international student podcasts, so keep an eye out for those. For even more listening suggestions, check out this list.
Has this list got you thinking about making your own podcast? If you have an idea that excites you, our advice would be to go for it! After all, anyone can start up their own podcast for free – and you could be educating or entertaining listeners in no time.