Michael Moran has led a varied and adventurous life. Born and educated in Australia and Europe, he spent his twenties wandering the islands of Polynesia and Melanesia. He finally settled among the descendants of the Bounty mutiny on Norfolk Island off the eastern Australian coast. As the Broadcasting Officer for the Administration, he established the radio station.

Subsequently pursuing a career in music, he studied the piano and harpsichord professionally in London for many years, facilitated by his academic work as an English teacher. He has lectured on a variety of subjects, ranging from the music of Fryderyk Chopin and François Couperin to British art and architecture and the colonial history and culture of the South Pacific region. His historical novel, Point Venus, set in the former British penal settlement on Norfolk Island, was successfully published in Australia (Brandl & Schlesinger, Sydney 1998).

Posted for some years to Poland shortly after the fall of communism, he was drawn by a lifelong fascination with Melanesia to the work of the enigmatic Polish anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski. This encounter and an abiding interest in the German Pacific Empire precipitated his latest return to the South Seas. Beyond the Coral Sea: Travels in the Old Empires of the South-West Pacific was the fruit of this expedition through the island provinces of Papua New Guinea (HarperCollins, London 2003 and Flamingo 2004). The book was shortlisted for the 2004 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award.

He has written a memoir and residence book entitled  A Country in the Moon : Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland. The book was published by Granta in London in 2008 and in Polish translation in 2010 by Wydawnictwo Czarne. It was broadcast in instalments on Polish Radio 3 (Trójka). This cultural odyssey and residence book chronicles his adventures in Poland immediately following the fall of communism and the sometimes entertaining transition to the market economy. It was widely reviewed and remains popular, becoming the classic introduction to the country for the intelligent general reader. In April 2017 he was awarded a Distinguished Achievement Award in Travel Literature for this work jointly by the University of Florida and the Eric Friedheim Foundation in New York.

In 2011 Moran was awarded a generous literary grant by the Australia Council (the cultural wing of the Australian government) to write the biography of his grand uncle, the once glamorous and internationally famous but now forgotten Australian concert pianist Edward Cahill (1885-1975). The biography took almost six years to complete and is entitled The Pocket Paderewski: The Beguiling Life of the Australian Concert Pianist Edward Cahill. It was published in November 2016 by Australian Scholarly Publishing (ASP) and has garnered excellent reviews. The book has been presented by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) and a specialist Polish Radio 2 (Dwojka) broadcast featuring the music of Fryderyk Chopin. Historic recordings of Chopin and Liszt made by Cahill in the 1930s are available through an internet link published in the preliminaries of the book. He has entered this book  for the 2017 Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize.

A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a lecturer there and an incessant traveller, Michael Moran lives and works in Warsaw, Sydney and London.