Passenger arrival records can be a treasure trove of family history. These records tell us how people moved into and out of Australia.
Before 1948, every passenger ship or aircraft captain provided a list of passengers on their vessel when they arrived.
From 1948, air travel passengers filled in their own cards. Passenger lists on ships continued until 1965, when cards completely replaced lists for both air and sea travel.
You can search these arrival records in our collection.
What kind of passenger records do we hold?
The National Archives holds detailed passenger records for arrivals and departures at all Australian ports from 1924. This is when passenger arrivals became an Australian Government responsibility.
We hold a few passenger records from before 1924, but only for ports in Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. Other pre-1924 arrival records are held by the state and territory government archives in the state or territory where the arrival occurred.
The passenger records in our collection are held in each capital city, primarily for the ports and airports in that state or territory.