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.
Immerse yourself in Australia's Aboriginal experiences, places and journeys. Aboriginal people of Australia have a rich, living culture stretching back at least 50,000 years. Get a snapshot of the diverse experiences on offer when you immerse yourself in Aboriginal Australia.
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.
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.
National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award
Celebrate the best of contemporary Indigenous art in Australia as 100 finalists exhibit their works before the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.
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, and your Australian holiday wouldn't be complete without shopping for uniquely Australian gifts and souvenirs.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is a three-week festival featuring more than 100 events that culminate in the world-famous Mardi Gras parade on the first Saturday of March. Each year, the festival attracts more than 200,000 people. Here’s how to get among the festivities.
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.
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.
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.
Take a look at what's happening around Australia right now