Steve Irwin's heartbreaking letter uncovered

The Last Crocodile Hunter cover (Allen & Unwin)
The Last Crocodile Hunter cover (Allen & Unwin)

A touching letter written by Australian wildlife expert Steve Irwin for his parents, Lyn and Bob, has been uncovered.

"Probably one of the most unfortunate things in a 'Bloke's Life' is that it takes over 30 years to realise how essential you have been to build my character, my ethics and, most importantly, my HAPPINESS," wrote Mr Irwin.

"At 32, I am finally starting to figure it out. In good times and in bad, you were there. Your strength and endurance to raise me will not go unrewarded. My love for you is my strength!

"For the rest of my life I will reflect on the unbelievably GREAT times we've shared and will continue to share. You're my best friends!"

Mr Irwin was famous for his conservation work, as he spearheaded efforts to bring awareness to the importance of wildlife.

He died in 2006 after a stingray tail pierced his heart.

The unopened letter was only discovered by his father as he was researching for his memoir, The Last Crocodile Hunter: A Father and Son Legacy, which has been published on the 10th anniversary of Mr Irwin's death.