William and Kate left rain-soaked New Zealand and flew to sunny Sydney for a 10-day visit that will see them travel across the nation visiting famous sites, honouring its war dead and recognising the achievements of individuals.
The royal couple arrived as a political scandal broke which forced one of Australia's senior figures to pull out of the official greeting party.
Barry O'Farrell resigned as premier of New South Wales a few hours before the couple arrived after a document emerged contradicting evidence he gave to an anti-corruption inquiry yesterday.
The politician had insisted he did not receive a £1,600 bottle of wine from the former chief executive of Australian Water Holdings, a water infrastructure company at the centre of the investigation, but a thank you note he wrote for the wine has emerged.
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, laugh as their son Prince George shakes the hand of Lynne Cosgrove, wife of the Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove, after arriving in Sydney, April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Mr O'Farrell was due to greet the royal couple on the tarmac, and later at a visit to Sydney Opera House, but did not attend the welcome ceremony on at the airport and was not replaced by another official.
Those who met the royal pair included prime minister Tony Abbott and governor-general Sir Peter Cosgrove, their spouses and other figures.
Britain's Prince William carries his son Prince George as he arrives with his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, at Sydney airport April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble
William and Kate appeared at the top of the steps pushed against the Royal Australian Air Force plane after it had taxied along the tarmac at Kingsford Smith Airport for a few minutes.
The Duchess was wearing a yellow dress by Roksanda Ilincic and carried George in her left arm.
At the bottom of the steps were the gathered dignitaries and the royal couple moved along the line shaking hands and saying hello.
The governor-general's wife Lynne shared a light moment with George shaking the eight-month-old's hand.
Britain's Prince William reacts while carrying his son Prince George as he arrives with his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, at Sydney airport April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Waiting at the end was Joscelyn Sweeney, 22, who has Down's syndrome and was holding a posy to present to the Duchess.
Kate handed George to William as she accepted the blooms and the Duke held his son out in front and jiggled him up and down.
George, wearing a white cotton babygrow with a row of ships on the front, looked lively waving his arms about.