Australia is well-known for its large swaths of land that remain unpopulated. The Outback desert stretches for hundreds of miles with settlements far and few between.
The cities of Australia are a different story. Mostly situated on the beautiful coasts, the country’s urban centers are well known for their favorable weather, livable spaces, and friendly locals. Here are the seven most populated cities in Australia; population figures are based on 2019 estimates.
The only city on this list that is not on the coast is the capital city of all of Australia. As the capital, Canberra has many interesting cultural and historical sites to visit. This includes the striking, modern Australian Parliament House, built in 1988, and the National Gallery of Australia, which is home to the most valuable examples of Aboriginal art ever recovered.
6. Gold Coast
The most populated non-capital city in Australia, Gold Coast is home to nearly 600,000. Gold Coast is a luxurious destination. The city allows access to over 30 miles of coastline and is home to many theme parks, including Wet’n’Wild, Dreamworld, and Warner Bros. Movie World.
Population: 1.2 million
Adelaide is the capital of South Australia, and its population of just over 1.2 million people makes it the fifth largest city in Australia. Cricket fans are in for a treat as the city is home to the Adelaide Oval, which has been called the prettiest cricket field in the world. The Oval seats over 50,000 spectators and is also home to the Bradman Collection, a shrine to the life and career of Dan Bradman, one of the greatest cricket players of all time.
Population: 1.9 million
The largest city on the west coast of Australia, Perth is only slightly smaller than Brisbane, with 1.9 million citizens. While visiting the other coast of Australia, you can stop and visit Kings Park, an urban park larger than New York’s Central Park located in the center of the city.
For a sharable experience, you can travel slightly outside of the city to Rottnet Island. This small island is home to quokkas, a species of marsupial found only in this part of Australia. The quokka has been dubbed the most Instagrammable creature in the world thanks to its mischievous smile.
Population: 2.2 million
The capital of Queensland has made itself a cultural center of Australia. The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art house more than 15,000 works of art and are must-see destinations for art aficionados.
You can also find some of Australia’s finest restaurants in Brisbane, such as Allium or Urbane. Or, sample one of more than 400 whiskies available at Cobbler, a bar in the West End.
Population: 4.2 million
The second most populous city in Australia, Melbourne serves as the capital of the province of Victoria and is home to many memorable destinations. You can find the Royal Botanical Gardens here, which have been tended since 1846. You can also visit Queen Victoria Market, the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere.
Population: 4.6 million
The largest city on the continent — and in all of Oceania — Sydney is a true metropolis with no shortage of things to do. The iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge are great photo opportunities. Famous Bondi Beach is a perfect place to experience the Australian shore. The Taronga Zoo houses over 4,000 animals and is one of the best places to see kangaroos, koalas, and other native Australian wildlife.
Taking a Trip Down Under
No matter what you hope to see on your next trip to Australia, you’ll find a fantastic starting point at these exciting cities. Each offers a unique experience and will help set you off on a memorable adventure.