Australian rock group Powderfinger, the country's biggest band of the 2000s, is calling it quits. But not before an extensive farewell tour.

The five members -- Bernard Fanning, Jon Coghill, John Collins, Ian Haug and Darren Middleton -- used a press conference this morning in Sydney to confirm they would disband later this year, drawing curtains on a celebrated career that has generated more than 2.5 million album sales and 16 ARIA Awards.

Frontman Fanning broke the news by way of reading from a prepared statement. "With the completion of our last album, 'Golden Rule', we feel that we have said all that we want to say as a musical group. We firmly believe that it is our most complete and satisfying album and can't think of a better way to farewell our fans than with music that we all believe in and also with, hopefully, our best tour to date," he said.

Powerfinger's appropriately-titled "Sunsets" tour will visit every main city in the country over a seven-week period, beginning Sept. 1 at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre. Aussie alternative rockers the Vines are booked as support on the first three shows of the 21-date run, while Jet will warm the house on all subsequent concerts.

"Sunsets" will wave goodbye to a hugely popular homegrown band who claim unprecedented distinction of having won three successive ARIA Awards for album of the year, with "for Internationalist" in 1999, for "Odyssey Number Five" in 2001 and "Vulture Street" in 2003.

The most recent, seventh studio album "Golden Rule" debuted on the ARIA albums chart last November at No. 1, one of five Powderfinger sets to achieve the feat.

Clearly they walk among giants at home, but Powerfinger's radio-friendly rock never quite translated to mainstream international audiences despite regular incursions abroad, where the band members often found themselves playing to packed houses of largely ex-pat antipodeans.

At today's media gathering, Fanning also alluded to the forthcoming issue of a greatest-hits album, noting "there'll be further releases made from Powderfinger in the future as there are obligations to fulfil to our friends at Universal who have essentially been our label since the beginning of our recording career."

Powderfinger will play a string of dates in the U.K. and Ireland later this month, and there's talk of a concert in South Africa mid-year as part of the country's World Cup celebrations.