King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima to pay a state visit to Australia from Monday, 31 October, to Friday, 4 November, and New Zealand from Monday, 7 November to Wednesday, 9 November.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima at Wassenaar, 8 July 2016. Source: RVD
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima at Wassenaar, 8 July 2016. Source: RVD


Australia’s Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) has invited King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima to pay a state visit to Australia from Monday, 31 October, to Friday, 4 November.

The Dutch King and Queen will visit Perth, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, before flying to New Zealand.

Foreign minister Bert Koenders will accompany the Royal Couple as the visit will focus on strengthening bilateral ties between Australia and the Netherlands, focusing on trade and the military.

Australia and the Netherlands have a shared history from the 17th Century when the first Dutchman, VOC (Dutch East India Company) trader Willem Janszoon, set foot on Australian soil in 1606.

Ten years later, Dirk Hartog and the VOC ship, Eendract, landed at Shark Bay in Western Australia, on what is now known as Dirk Hartog Island, and nailed a pewter plate to a pole to mark his visit.

Western Australia, especially the World Heritage area of Shark Bay, will be celebrating the 400th Anniversary of his landing in October 2016.

Perth – 31 October to 1 November

  • Welcome to Australia at Government House, including a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony, and meet with Governor Kerry Sanderson AC.
  • Visit Fremantle to walk along the Welcome Walls and the Western Australian Maritime Museum where the King and the Queen will unveil a pewter plate on loan from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
  • Attend a talk about the future of energy generation.
  • Visit Curtin University for the presentation of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope project and hear how data is converted into 3D images for scientific research.
  • Ascot Racecourse in Perth (including watching the Melbourne Cup on TV screens)

Canberra – 2 November 2016

  • Lay a wreath at the Australian War Memorial, and meet with Australian and Dutch veterans from World War II and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan.
  • Meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull MP and his wife Lucy.
  • Visit the MH17 Monument and meet Australian officials who provided assistance in response to the MH17 crash.
  • Attend lunch at Government House with the Governor-General.
  • Meeting Australians of Dutch descent at the National Archives of Australia.

Sydney – 2-3 November

  • Hosting a Concert at the Sydney Opera House to thank the Governor-General and his wife for their hospitality during their state visit, with performances by Dutch pianists Lucas and Arthur Jussen and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
  • Attend a meeting of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency regarding potential Australian investments.
  • Meeting with NSW Governor David Hurley AC DSC (Retd).
  • A tour of research projects by Australian and Dutch students at the University of Sydney and Foreign Minster Bert Koenders will present the New Holland Scholarship Australia which aims to expand academic collaboration between the two countries.
  • The King will attend a meeting between Dutch and Australian CEOs whilst the Queen attends a meeting on smart cities.
  • Catch the ferry to Cockatoo Island to attend a meeting agriculturally and horticultural innovations, and to be shown around FoodBytes.

Brisbane – 4 November

  • Meeting with Queensland Governor, Paul de Jersey at Government House.
  • Visit Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to hear about water management partnership between Australia and the Netherlands.
  • Travel aboard a boat trip on the Brisbane River to learn about flood management.
  • Visit the Queensland Art Gallery to view an exhibition of modern Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

New Zealand

Dutchman Abel Tasman was the first European who discovered New Zealand and Tasmania in 1642. The Netherlands and New Zealand will be celebrating 375 of international relations in 2017.

Prime Minister John Key says the visit is a reflection of the strong ties, shared values and interests between the two countries.

I look forward to welcoming King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima to New Zealand. I am sure they will have a wonderful time and New Zealanders will make them feel very welcome.

Wellington – 7 November

Christchurch – 8 November

  • Visit Willowbank Wildlife Reserve to see endangered Kiwi.
  • Meet with Maoris of the Ngāi Tahu Iwi tribe at their marae (communal meeting place) and their economic headquarters to discuss sustainable and innovative agriculture.
  • Visit areas affected by the 2011 Earthquake, including reconstruction and redevelopment of the city.

Auckland – 9 November

  • Visit the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki to view exhibits celebrating the Netherlands and New Zealand’s shared history, including two etchings portraying the meeting between Abel Tasman and the Maori in 1642.
  • Attend an economic conference on the future of food.
  • Visit the training vessel, Spirit of New Zealand.

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