Bush poetry has always played a dominant part in Australian writing since the unique landscape was one of the things that most distinguished the new country from the migrants' homes. Many earlier Australian poets wrote bush poetry, with bush ballads being especially popular in the last decades of the nineteenth century. Much old bush poetry circulated orally and its authors are now unknown, though bush songs such as 'Nine Miles from Gundagai' and 'Springtime it Brings on the Shearing' remain popular. Among the best-known and widely published Australian bush poets are Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson, though many others wrote in this vein. Two of the most famous examples of bush poetry are Paterson's 'The Man from Snowy River' and 'Clancy of the Overflow'. It is often forgotten that Paterson also wrote the words of Australia's unofficial national anthem, 'Waltzing Matilda'. As well Paterson was responsible for many funny bush poems such as 'A Bush Christening'.
Australian poets continued to write bush poetry in the twentieth century. One of the most famous Australian poems is 'My Country' by Dorothea Mackellar, which begins by contrasting the English landscape praised by English poets with that of Australian bush. Its second stanza opens with the well-known line: ' I love a sunburnt country'.
Among modern Australian poets, Judith Wright is especially known for her bush poetry, especially poems about the New England countryside where she grew up, such as 'South of My Days'. Others with a bush background who frequently write bush poetry are David Campbell, who writes about the Monaro area, and Les Murray, who writes about northern New South Wales. While leading contemporary poets rarely use the traditional ballad forms for their bush poetry, others continue to write in this mode, and competition are still being held for the best examples.