Journeys to Australia

Immigration is a vital feature of Australia's history and national identity. Since 1788, millions have made the long journey across the oceans to Australia seeking fortune, opportunity and freedom. They came by clipper, steamer and liner until the aeroplane became established as the main means of long distance travel in the 1970s.

These journeys were accompanied by feelings of sadness, excitement, fear and hope. They ended at a number of ports around Australia, in particular Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

World map

This website and the online exhibition Station Pier: Gateway to a New Life celebrate the journeys that changed Australia forever.

Explore the journey through immigrants' stories. Discover the changing routes and travelling conditions experienced over the decades 1850s–70s, 1900s–20s, 1940s–60s and 1970s–2000s. Find out what departure and arrival meant for those seeking a home in this distant land.

Students and teachers may choose to use the activities and other resources as part of a unit of work incorporating an excursion to the Immigration Museum, Melbourne.