Tap Water Safety in Australia

Can you drink the tap water in Australia?

In general, yes.

The US Center for Disease Control’s travel advisory confirms the safety of the tap water in Australia (source). However, it would be best if you take special precautions toward the unregulated water sources in some areas.

Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.

What do people in Australia think about the tap water?

Water is generally drinkable in Australia and is usually signposted if it is not safe.

Wikitravel

All cities and towns in Australia have free public toilets. Many parks, and most beaches have free electric BBQ's as well. Popular beaches have fresh water showers to wash the salt water off after you swim, so for those on a tight budget (or for those that just love waking up at the beach) simply wash in the ocean (please do not pollute the ocean or waterways by using detergents or soaps) and rinse off at the showers. Almost all taps in Australia are drinking water, the ones that aren't will be marked. Service stations (petrol/gas) almost always have taps, so these are a good place to refill the water containers each time you refuel.
If you are caught in a bushfire, most fires will pass over quickly. You need to find shelter that will protect you from the smoke and radiant heat. A house is best, then a car, then a clearing, a cave, or on the beach is the best location. Wet everything what you can. Stay low and cover your mouth. Cover yourself with non-flammable (woolen) clothing or blankets, and reduce the skin directly exposed to the heat. If you have access to a tap gather water early, don't rely on water pressure as the fire front approaches. If your holiday goes no further than cities, major towns, and beaches, this won't really concern you.
The tap water in Australia is almost always safe to drink, and it will be marked on the tap if this is not the case. The taste and hardness of the tap water will vary considerably across the country. Bottled water is also widely available. Carrying water on hot days is a good idea in urban areas, and it is a necessity if hiking or driving out of town. At sites where tap water is untreated, water sterilization tablets may be used as an alternative to boiling.

The most commonly searched cities in Australia are:

For a full list of cities in Australia, scroll to the bottom of this post or click here.

World Health Organization Australia Water Summary

The World Health Organization estimates that 99 percent of Australia have access to drinkable tap water.

In Australia, like in most countries, clean tap water availability is much higher in urban areas than in rural areas, with urban area availability averages at 99%.

World Health Organization's 2017 Australia Water Data

The World Health Organization data on water quality and availability throughout Australia includes the national average, averages for urban population centers, and averages for rural areas.

DataDescription
Safely ManagedA location that safe, drinkable water that is free of biological or chemical contaminants available on premise.
At Least BasicSafe drinkable water is available within 30 minutes from the location
LimitedIt would take more than 30 minutes from the location to access safe, drinkable water.
YearPopulation in 1000sSafely managedAt Least BasicLimited
National
200019066-99%1%
201724451-99%1%
Rural
20003051-99%1%
20173423-99%1%
Urban
20001601598%99%1%
20172102899%99%1%

What Do People In Australia Think About The Tap Water?

Travelers and residents of Australia have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data.

A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.

DescriptionScoreRating
Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility14%Low
Water Pollution29%Low
Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility86%High
Water Quality71%High

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View our tap water report on all cities in Australia