Australia's museums provide the background reading to an astonishing continent. Australia's history, its plants and animals and its people are just some of the elements that make it unique, and Australia's museums turn the microscope on the richness and grandeur of the island continent.
Every city in Australia boasts a major art gallery. Along with an appreciation for the visual arts of Europe and Asia - seen in the major touring exhibitions - Australia has a world-class tradition of its own in the art of its Aboriginal people, which has undergone a renaissance in the last 30 years.
Australia's contemporary architecture shows all the richness and complexity of a truly multicultural society in its ability to take the best of architecture and design from the wider world and adapt it to meet the special needs of the Australian environment - with a result that is distinctly Australian.
Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Paul Hogan, Geoffrey Rush - Australian actors have been beating a path to Hollywood ever since Tasmanian-born Errol Flynn bared his manly chest in the 1935 epic Captain Blood. At the root of their success is a powerful, vibrant Australian theatrical tradition that has produced many talented writers and directors as well as performers.
EXHIBITIONS AND FESTIVALS
Australians are a nation of festival-goers, always keen to celebrate the nation's comedy and arts, food and wine, music and culture, sport and heritage.
Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra each boast major arts festivals which spotlight the best in dance, jazz, theatre, opera and more.
Discover our unique sense of humour at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival or experience Canberra's National Folk Festival. Indulge yourself with our food and wine at festivals in our Barossa or Hunter wine regions. Let music sooth your ears at our annual blues or jazz events, or set your feet tapping at the Carlton Country Music Festival in Tamworth.
Let your hair down at one of the biggest and brightest events - the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, or discover our indigenous heritage at the Festival of the Bogong Moth. If that sounds unusual, try taking part in the annual Stroud International Brick Throwing Contest or the Northern Territory's Beer Can Regatta.