Australia is a land of sports enthusiasts, and there’s no denying that. From world-class cricket matches to adrenaline-pumping rugby games, Australia has it all! With so many popular sports in the country, it can be hard for newcomers to keep track of what’s hot and happening.

So we’ve put together a list of the top 10 most popular sport in Australia that you simply cannot miss out on! Get ready to dive into the exciting world of Aussie sports and discover your next favourite pastime!

Australia is a country for which sport has been an integral part of the history and it all dates back to the colonial period.  The Australian rules football,  Association football,  Rugby League and the rugby union and cricket are some of the earliest played sports in the country and hold an important part in developing the sports Union of the country till date. 

Sports have shaped Australia’s National identity with the Melbourne Cup as well as the America’s cup.  Australia also has a record for the highest attendance in a rugby Union match when 110,000 fans were present to watch the Wallabies play against the All Blacks in the year 2000.

There are a number of professional sport leagues in Australia, including the Australian Football League (AFL) and AFL Women’s (Australian rules football), National Rugby League (NRL) and NRL Women’s (rugby league), Super Rugby Pacific for Rugby Union, the National Basketball League and the Women’s National Basketball League, A-League for Men and A-League for Women (soccer), the Australian Baseball League (baseball), the Big Bash League for men (cricket), Women’s Big Bash League (cricket), The Ashes (cricket) and Sheffield Shield (cricket), Suncorp Super Netball and the Supercars Championship (touring car racing). 

Attendance for the AFL in 2019 attracted more than 7.5 million people to games, while the NRL draws just over 3 million people in a single season. Australia has been a part of a number of Sports even around the world which includes the Olympic as well as the paralympics.  Australia has also hosted the summer Olympics twice,  once in Melbourne and once in Sydney and have also hosted the Commonwealth Games five times to promote sports in the country.


Soccer, or football as it’s known in most parts of the world, is undoubtedly one of the most popular sports in Australia. The country boasts a strong soccer culture and has produced many talented players over the years.

The national team, affectionately known as the Socceroos, have made their mark on the international stage with appearances at four consecutive FIFA World Cups. However, it’s not just about watching games; Australians love to play soccer too! It’s played locally all around Australia from grassroots level up to professional leagues.

In recent years, A-League teams like Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC have built passionate fanbases that pack out stadiums each week. Soccer also attracts global audiences with English Premier League games broadcasted live across Australian TV screens.

Soccer is an integral part of Australian sporting culture. It brings together people from diverse backgrounds and cultures who share a common passion for this beautiful game.


Rugby is one of the most beloved sports in Australia. It’s a contact sport that requires strength, skill and strategy. The game of rugby is played with two teams of 15 players each, and the objective is to score more points than your opponent by carrying or kicking the ball over their goal line.

In Australia, there are two forms of rugby: Rugby Union and Rugby League. Rugby Union is the most popular form, with national and international competitions such as Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship drawing huge crowds.

Rugby has a rich history in Australia dating back to the late 1800s when it was first introduced by British colonizers. Today, rugby remains an integral part of Australian culture with many young children playing it at school level before progressing to higher levels.

What makes rugby so special in Australia? Perhaps it’s the physicality of the sport or its emphasis on teamwork and camaraderie among players. Whatever it may be, watching a live game of rugby in Australia is an experience unlike any other.

Aussie Rules Football

Aussie Rules Football, also known as Australian Football or simply “footy”, is one of the most popular sports in Australia. It originated in Melbourne in the mid-1800s and has since spread throughout the country.

The game is played on a large oval-shaped field with four posts at either end, similar to a rugby pitch but much larger. The objective of the game is to score goals by kicking the ball through the middle two posts or behinds by kicking it between any of the other two posts.

One unique aspect of Aussie Rules Football is that players can run with the ball for up to 15 meters before they must bounce it on the ground or handball it to another player. This requires quick thinking and good coordination from players.

Another exciting feature of Aussie Rules Football is its physicality – players wear no protective gear and are allowed to tackle each other aggressively, making for some spectacular collisions during games.

Aussie Rules Football captures Australians’ passion for sport and their love of fast-paced action. Its unique rules and high levels of physicality make it a thrilling spectator sport that continues to attract fans both nationally and internationally.


Cricket is undoubtedly one of the most popular sports in Australia. It is played by people of all ages and has a rich history in the country. The game originated in England but quickly spread to other parts of the world, including Australia.

The popularity of cricket can be attributed to its unique rules and gameplay. The sport requires both physical fitness and mental agility, making it challenging yet rewarding for players.

In Australia, cricket is played at various levels ranging from school competitions to professional leagues. Many talented cricketers have emerged from the country over the years and gone on to play for national teams around the world.

One significant event that put Australian cricket on the map was when they won their first-ever ICC Cricket World Cup in 1987. Since then, Australian cricketers like David Warner and Steve Smith have continued to dominate international matches with their exceptional skills and teamwork.

Cricket remains an essential part of Australian culture as it brings together communities and instills values such as discipline, perseverance, and sportsmanship among players.


Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Australia and has been enjoyed by players of all ages for decades. This fast-paced game is perfect for those who love competition and want to improve their physical fitness while having fun.

In recent years, basketball has become increasingly popular among young Australians due to the sport’s focus on teamwork, quick thinking and agility. With a strong emphasis on strategy, players are required to work together as they aim for victory.

Australia’s national basketball team, commonly known as the Boomers, has also gained international recognition thanks to its impressive performances in competitions such as the FIBA World Cup and Olympic Games.

For those looking to get involved with basketball at a grassroots level, there are numerous local clubs across Australia that offer opportunities for both beginners and experienced players. From weekend social games to competitive leagues, there’s something for everyone.

Whether you’re playing competitively or just shooting hoops with friends at your local park or rec center, basketball is an exciting sport that offers countless benefits both physically and mentally. It’s no wonder it remains a favorite amongst Aussies!


Swimming has always been a popular sport in Australia, with many of the country’s top athletes competing on the world stage. It is also one of the best forms of exercise for overall fitness.

One reason why swimming is so popular in Australia is that it allows people to escape from the heat during summer months. The country’s many beaches and swimming pools provide ample opportunities for people to cool off while enjoying this fun activity.

Another great thing about swimming is that it can be done by people of all ages and fitness levels. Whether you are looking to improve your cardiovascular health or just want to relax after a long day at work, swimming offers something for everyone.

In addition, there are many competitive opportunities available for those who excel at swimming. From local swim meets to national championships, there are plenty of chances for swimmers to test their skills against others and potentially earn recognition as an elite athlete.

Whether you enjoy swimming competitively or simply want a fun way to stay active and healthy, this beloved sport continues to be a favorite among Australians of all ages and backgrounds.


Netball is a popular sport in Australia, especially among women. It’s similar to basketball but has its own unique set of rules and regulations.

The game is played with two teams of seven players, each player having a specific position on the court. The aim of the game is for one team to score goals by shooting the ball through their designated goal ring while defending their own goal ring from the opposing team.

Netball requires speed, agility, coordination and teamwork skills which are important not only on the court but also in everyday life. It’s often seen as a great way to boost confidence levels and build strong relationships with teammates.

Many schools and local communities have netball clubs where people can join at any skill level or age group. Netball competitions are held year-round with state-level tournaments leading up to national championships.

Netball continues to grow in popularity across Australia as an exciting and challenging sport for women of all ages.


Running has become one of the most popular sports in Australia for a variety of reasons. It’s a relatively low-cost sport that can be done almost anywhere and at any time. All you need is a pair of running shoes and some comfortable clothes, making it accessible to people from all walks of life.

Additionally, running provides an excellent way to stay fit and healthy. It can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer while also improving cardiovascular health and mental wellbeing.

For many Australians, running has also become a social activity. Joining local running groups or participating in events like marathons or fun runs allows individuals to connect with others who share their passion for this sport.

There’s something about the feeling of freedom that comes with running outdoors that keeps people coming back for more. Whether it’s exploring new trails or simply taking in the scenery on your daily jog around the neighborhood, there are endless ways to enjoy this simple yet rewarding sport.


Cycling is a popular sport in Australia, attracting both enthusiasts and professional athletes alike. The country has hosted many international cycling events, including the Tour Down Under, which is part of the UCI WorldTour.

One reason for its popularity is that it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. Cycling offers a great way to explore the outdoors while also providing an excellent form of exercise. Whether you prefer road or off-road biking, there are plenty of scenic routes throughout Australia.

Another factor that makes cycling attractive is its low-impact nature compared to other sports like running or basketball. It puts less stress on your joints and muscles while still providing an intense workout.

In recent years, cycling has become more accessible with bike-sharing programs popping up in major cities across the country. These initiatives make it easier than ever for people who don’t own a bike to participate in this sport.

Professional cyclists such as Cadel Evans have inspired young Australians to take up cycling as their profession or hobby. With so much support from fans and sponsors alike, we can expect even more exciting developments within Australian cycling in the future!


In Australia, golf is another popular sport that attracts a significant number of players and spectators. It is estimated that over 1.2 million Australians play golf regularly, making it one of the most widely played sports in the country.

The sport has seen increased popularity thanks to successful Australian golfers such as Adam Scott and Jason Day who have won major international tournaments. Golf courses are also common in many parts of the country and attract both locals and tourists alike.

There are numerous sports enjoyed by Australians from all walks of life. From team sports like soccer, rugby, AFL and netball to individual pursuits such as swimming, running, cycling, basketball and golf – there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to participate or just enjoy watching from the sidelines, these top ten most popular sports offer plenty of opportunities for fun and excitement!

Also check out the Most Popular Sports in Japan.