THE Duke of Cambridge has praised Australians and their nation as a "beacon of confidence" as thousands of Aussies turned out to greet their royal visitor and his wife.

William and Kate were cheered by well-wishers during a visit to Sydney's iconic Opera House for a reception to mark the start of their 10-day tour of Australia.

They went on a walkabout around the steps of the famous building, greeting the crowds. The royal couple had flown to the city after completing a tour of New Zealand with baby George.

Loading article content

Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty