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Australia's Culture

Australian culture is founded on stories of battlers, bushrangers and brave soldiers. Of sporting heroes, working heroes and plucky migrants. It's all about a fair go, the great outdoors and a healthy helping of irony. Today Australia also defines itself by its Aboriginal heritage, vibrant mix of cultures, innovative ideas and a thriving arts scene.

Australia's cultural attractions

Australia's cultural attractions

Australia's cultural attractions

From national monuments to boutique galleries and open-air festivals, Australia's cities have a rich and thriving creative culture. Attend a full-scale performance at Sydney's iconic Opera House and discover Canberra's treasure trove of national attractions. Contrast epic exhibitions with laneway art in Melbourne, home to the national opera and ballet companies. Soak up Aboriginal and European culture along Adelaide's North Terrace and browse Aboriginal art or celebrate at an outdoor festival in Darwin. Explore Brisbane's sprawling cultural spaces, from the Queensland Cultural Centre to the futuristic Powerhouse. See a play in Australia's oldest theatre in Hobart and amble from Perth's galleries and museums to Fremantle's seaside art strip.

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The History of Australia

The History of Australia

The History of Australia

Australia’s Aboriginal people were thought to have arrived here by boat from South East Asia during the last Ice Age, at least 50,000 years ago. At the time of European discovery and settlement, up to one million Aboriginal people lived across the continent as hunters and gatherers. They were scattered in 300 clans and spoke 250 languages and 700 dialects. Each clan had a spiritual connection with a specific piece of land. However, they also travelled widely to trade, find water and seasonal produce and for ritual and totemic gatherings.

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Australia's music festivals

Australia's music festivals

Australia's music festivals

Australia has a reputation for producing world-class musical performers. Discover avant-garde and fringe performers at cultural festivals in our major cities. Jazz and blues fans will love Australian Blues Music Festival and Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Indie, alternative and rock music lovers won’t want to miss the Big Day Out or the Future Music festival. Combine great music with camping in lush, rural settings at festivals such as Queensland’s Woodford Folk Festival or Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay. Australia is also a big destination on the international touring calendar with everything from Broadway musicals to stadium rock concerts.

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Australia Day

Australia Day

Australia Day

Across the country, there are thousands of events in cities and town held to mark the country’s annual national day, Australia Day. Celebrations in cities such as Sydney include concerts by the harbour as well as the annual Ferrython ferry race, a fun run and gala ball in Darwin or the parade, concerts and fireworks in Adelaide.

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New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

31 December Sydney Harbour, Sydney, NSW Everyone should treat themselves to at least one New Year’s Eve in Sydney – it’s the perfect party city. Midnight comes earlier to Sydney than almost any other major international city, so cameras from around the world are trained on the city as its dramatic firework extravaganza unfolds. Enjoying it live is infinitely better!

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Australian art

Australian art

Australian art

Learn more about Australian art, from ancient Aboriginal artwork to Australian sculpture and contemporary Australian photography.

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Shopping

Shopping

Shopping

Your Australian holiday wouldn't be complete without shopping for uniquely Australian gifts and souvenirs. Evoke the ancient mystery of Aboriginal culture with an Aboriginal artwork or artefact. Buy a signature piece of jewellery made from opals, our national gemstone, or Australian pearls andYour Australian holiday wouldn't be complete without shopping for uniquely Australian gifts and souvenirs. Evoke the ancient mystery of Aboriginal culture with an Aboriginal artwork or artefact. Buy a signature piece of jewellery made from opals, our national gemstone, or Australian pearls and rare pink diamonds found only in the Kimberley. Let Australia's fashion designers fit you with the greatest of elegance or for the outback, city and beach, or luxuriate in a pair of soft sheepskin boots. Whether it's high end fashion or our city and local markets with their diverse array of stores, Australia has a unique array of artefacts and souvenirs for your shopping pleasure. You'll find high end shopping and shopping precincts across our cities, markets in the cities and local communities. Don't forget to explore the opportunities to shop in Australia.

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Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

20 February – 8 March 2015 Sydney, New South Wales The all-too-fabulous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is the culmination of a month of camp fun and frivolity that includes everything from same-sex dance classes and tug-of-war matches to daytrips around the city and beyond.

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Australia's heritage attractions

Australia's heritage attractions

Australia's heritage attractions

Connect to Australia's history, from ancient Aboriginal traditions through to convict and colonial eras. Learn about Sydney's traditional owners and see the colony's beginnings in historic sites stretching from the harbour to Parramatta. Check out Melbourne's grand gold boom architecture and dine, wine and shop in Brisbane's heritage-listed buildings. See Aboriginal and colonial art in Adelaide, near the historic German village of Hahndorf. Trace the Aboriginal lineage of Kings Park in Perth and walk with the ghosts of convicts, whalers and sailors in Hobart. Read Australia's first constitution in Canberra and learn about Darwin's dramatic World War II history.

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AFL - The Australian Football League

AFL - The Australian Football League

AFL - The Australian Football League

From March to September Australian Rules Football (AFL) teams fight it out to make the top eight and qualify for the final series held in Melbourne in September. AFL is Australia’s most attended sporting league, with passionately-supported teams in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. Close to 95,000 fans pack the stands of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the grand final while millions watch it worldwide on television. There’s nothing like being there for the final series. The entire city takes on a carnival atmosphere as excited fans cheer their teams to victory. It is a truly unique Australian experience.

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Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

27 March – 27 April 2015 Sydney, NSW Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is not just an opera, it’s a complete night’s entertainment under the summer night sky. This unforgettable event includes Sydney’s iconic skyline as its backdrop. Arrive by water taxi, drink and dine in style at the pop-up bars and restaurants, then sit back in the tiered seats to take in the drama.

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Famous Australians

Famous Australians

Famous Australians

Find out more about famous Australian people, whose achievements are spread across categories as diverse as film, sport, music, art, science, literature, politics, invention and exploration. Following is an overview of high-achieving and famous Australians, from ‘The Don' of Australian cricket, Sir Don Bradman, to the Aboriginal artist Queenie McKenzie. Learn about some of the Australian actors who have made it on the world stage, our acclaimed and best-selling Australian writers and the Australian scientists who are Nobel Laureates. Remember this is an introduction, but not an exhaustive list of famous Australians.

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