This paper presents a comprehensive experimental investigation on shrinkage and soil-water retention behaviour at macroscale and microscale of four natural Australian soils upon drying and wetting. Both reconstituted and intact states were tested. First, a comprehensive physicochemical characterization of the four soils was performed to provide a complete picture of the mineralogical composition and surface properties as well as different initial structure associated with reconstituted and intact states. Then, macroscale testing was conducted and complemented by microstructural analyses through mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations. These provided a comprehensive picture of the microfabric evolution of the soils tested along the drying–wetting path. All the experimental results were discussed in a coupled multi-scale manner.