In 1981, the year of the International Botanical Congress in Sydney, a remarkably large number of publications on the vegetation and flora of Australia appeared, including several major works. For many botanists this congress was a welcome occasion to visit Australia for the first time and for some of them it will have stimulated a lasting interest in this fascinating continent. In this context the following remarks on past and present vegetation research in Australia may be useful. A selective list of publications has been added. The first major book to appear specifically on Australian vegetation was a work in the German-Swiss phytogeographical tradition (Diels 1906). It was the result of a travel from 1900-1902. It focusses on the physiognomy of large vegetation units (“formations”) which correspond with major climatic areas. It is well illustrated, well written, still worth reading, and easily available, since a reprint edition appeared in 1976.