Australia has a long history with sport that began with the early colonial era. Among the first organised sports in Australia were tennis, cricket, rugby league, rugby union, association football, and Australian rules football. These are some of the most popular sports in Australia.

Sport has influenced Australia’s national identity, particularly through the America’s Cup and the Melbourne Cup. When the Wallabies played the All Blacks in 2000, about 110,000 people watched the game, setting a record for the highest attendance for a rugby union match.

Renowned as the “sporting capital of the world,” Melbourne is well-known for its big sporting events. The Melbourne Cricket Ground, one of its stadiums, serves as the home of Australian Rules football and one of the best cricket grounds in the world. Australia is regarded as one of the top sports nations in the world, right after the United States, which appears to be the best sports nation in the world.


1. Cricket

In Australia, cricket is firmly rooted in the national sport, with a devoted following spanning multiple generations. It is played and viewed in a variety of formats, including thrilling T20 games and Test matches.

The Sheffield Shield and the Big Bash League are two of the most watched cricket leagues in the nation. Being regarded as one of the all-time great batsmen, Sir Donald Bradman is still revered in Australian cricket.

Cricket is still a popular sport in Australia, thanks to their multiple World Cup victories and Ashes victories against England.

2. Australian Rules Football

In Australia, Australian Rules Football is a distinct and iconic sport that is set in the national identity. It has a large fanbase and captivates fans of all ages with its combination of talent, athleticism, and strategy.

The top league in the sport is the Australian Football League (AFL). Fans electrify every match with their fervent support of their clubs. One of the most well-known AFL players, Gary Ablett Jr., has won multiple awards and experienced tremendous success in the league.

The Australian Football League (AFL) holds great relevance in the country’s sports scene, as it cultivates strong bonds between supporters, athletes, and teams. The sport is known for its iconic moments and intense rivalries.

3. Tennis

In Australia, tennis is one of the most popular sports for both recreational and professional players. Its sophisticated, competitive style, which welcomes a wide range of players, appeals to Australian supporters.

One of the four Grand Slam competitions, the Australian Open, is held in Melbourne each year and attracts top-tier talent as well as considerable international media coverage. Legendary tennis players from Australia include Rod Laver, the only player to win two Grand Slams in a calendar year.

Tennis continues to hold a prominent place in Australia’s sports landscape, thanks to its rich history and bright future.

4. Cycling

In the sporting culture of Australia, cycling has a special place. Cycling is a sport that keeps gaining popularity because of its varied appeal, whether one chooses to compete or just enjoy leisurely rides.

Professional riders from all over the world come to Australia for the Tour Down Under. It is one of the most popular cycling sports races in Australia. An iconic personality in Australian cycling, Cadel Evans became the first Australian to win the Tour de France in 2011.

Across the nation, there are numerous local and national efforts that support cycling. Australia is known for its love of cycling. It goes beyond the racecourse to include well-kept paths and well-attended events that millions of people attend.

5. Swimming

Australia’s sporting culture is largely dependent on swimming due to its stunning coasts and pleasant environment. Swimming is welcomed as a recreational pastime and a competitive sport in Australia because of the country’s strong ties to the water.

Popular swimming contests, such as the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and the , have a long history of occurring in Australia. One of Australia’s most popular swimmers, Ian Thorpe, has won multiple gold medals at the Olympics and set countless world records.

Swimming is still a growing sport in Australia, producing gifted swimmers and encouraging a passion for the water among the populace.

6. Football (Soccer)

Naturally, Australians love traditional football, popularly called “soccer” in the country, as it is the most popular sport in the world.

Despite the lacklustre past performance of their national team, Australian football is still one of the most popular sports in Australia, producing many outstanding players, such as Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka.

7. Rugby League

Since its inception in 1908, rugby league has grown to be one of Australia’s most popular sports. The National Rugby League (NRL) is the top league in the nation, and both New South Wales and Queensland are big fans of the sport. The most popular football code in the winter is rugby league. With over 137 million viewers, rugby league rose to the top of the Australian TV sports ratings in 2022.

8. Basketball

Australia’s basketball scene is booming, and the National Basketball Competition (NBL) is the best professional competition there. More than 300,000 children play basketball at the moment. Three Australians are now in the top 10 and the third pick in the 2021/22 NBA draft. In 2021–2022, seven Australian men competed in the NBA, and nine women in the WNBA.

9. Netball

Australia has an extremely popular sport called netball. It’s especially for women because it’s a combination of strategy, athletics, and collaboration. The game is apparently an essential component of Australian sports culture and has a long history there.

The top domestic competition, the Suncorp Super Netball League, showcases the abilities of gifted players from all around the country. Liz Ellis, a former Australian netball player who captained the national team and won numerous awards, is a household name in the sport.

The constant victories of Australia’s national netball team, the Diamonds, in international competitions are proof of the sport’s popularity and prosperity.

10. Surfing

For many Australians, surfing is a way of life rather than merely a sport. The nation is famous across the world as a surfing haven because it boasts some of the most beautiful coasts.

Australia is home to several well-known surfing contests, such as the Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro and the Rip Curl Pro. Three-time world surfing champion Mick Fanning is popular and held in great regard within the Australian surfing community.

Australia is known for its love of surfing, from big-wave competitions to local beaches where locals meet to share their love of the water and catch the ideal wave.

There you have it! A list of Australia’s most popular sports. Australia has participated in numerous international competitions, such as the Olympics and Paralympics, as a nation. Additionally, it has hosted the Commonwealth Games five times and the Summer Olympics twice, in Melbourne (1956) and Sydney (2000). In 2032, Brisbane will host the third Olympics, and in 2026, rural Victoria State will host the sixth Commonwealth Games.

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