What are the Most Popular Sports in Australia? Our Top 10 


For many Australians, both watching and playing sports are familiar activities. The country is well known for its success in many different sports. Here’s a little more information on which sports in Australia are taking the lead with audiences and players alike, as well as the ones that Australians don’t get behind quite as much.

What Is Australia’s National Sport?

two cricket players

While there are plenty of different sports in Australia to enjoy, only one can be considered the national sport.

Cricket typically holds the honour of this title, mostly due to the fact that there are just so many people who pick it up during the hotter months of the year. Also, many fans tune in to the big events. Not only is it incredibly fun to play with friends and family in your backyard, but the professional matches are a hive of entertainment.

Are There Any Games That Australians Aren’t Fond Of?

Just because most Australians love sport, it doesn’t mean that they will love all of them. There are certainly more sought-after games, but there are also quite a few that many local fans won’t be going out of their way to join in with. Golf, for example, is undoubtedly one of the least popular sports in Australia. Around 67% of citizens agreeing that they find it pretty boring.

Another example of a less interesting sport is cycling. However, while this isn’t necessarily a spectacular sport as many locals reported, there are still a number of people who ride for fun.

Can You Bet on Sports in Australia?

Since so many Australians are sports fans, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that plenty of individuals like to place bets on their favourite sports and teams. The amount that people spend on sports betting sites In Australia is reported to be around $580 million annually, nationwide. This equates to about $1,050 a year per bettor, on average.

There are plenty of sports that you can bet on in Australia. Of course, with a lot more options for the better-known games and events and as you may guess.  There are generally fewer offers for less popular ones, like golf.

The 10 Most Popular Sports in Australia

Australia loves this pastime so much that it’s often considered to be the sporting nation. But out of the many sports types that Australians favour, what ones have the biggest reach? Let’s take a look!

  • Australian Football League. The sport that tends to get the most attention in the country is the AFL. The annual attendance rate is around 16%. It’s one of the most played and watched activities throughout Australia. There are over 1.5 million people both tuning in and participating regularly. The AFL’s following only continues to grow with each year that passes.
  • Basketball. If you pay attention to international basketball news, you may already know that quite a few Australian basketball players have been making names for themselves in the big leagues of the U.S. This is one of the main reasons why basketball has significantly increased in fame recently. Right now, children are turning to basketball, with over 1 million young players signing up to teams across the country.
  • Cricket. Another perfect summer sport that’s renowned in this part of the world is Cricket. In fact, it’s one of the most popular sports in Australia to watch and play both casually and competitively. Especially during the warmer months of the year. Over 300,000 adults and twice as many children play cricket on a regular basis.
  • National Rugby League. The NRL has around 170,000 registered players. When compared to the 770,000 individuals who play different versions of the sport, however, this number may seem quite a bit smaller. Despite this, and with the high volume of people who play rugby overall, it still stands firm as one of the country’s more popular pastimes.
  • Rugby Union. The other main rugby sporting event in Australia is the Rugby Union. Not to be confused with the NRL, Australia’s Rugby Union is just as prominent as the national league. During the competition, you can see the national team (the Wallabies) play against New Zealand and South Africa in the Tri-Nations Series.
  • Netball. Netball has had a place in the hearts of Australians since the early 1900s and is mostly played by women and children of all ages. The Diamonds, the country’s international team, has won 10 out of the 14 Netball World Tournaments that have been held since 1962, which goes to show how dedicated the players are to their craft.
  • Soccer. Soccer has been enjoyed in Australia since the 1800’s and today, there are over 2 million people playing it here. Not only is it one of the most popular sports in Australia to watch, but it’s also another sport that many children nationwide participate in.
  • Swimming. With over 3 million people regularly involved in swimming, it’s not hard to see why it deserves a spot on this list.
  • Tennis. Around one hundred thousand individuals in Australia play tennis, both as a social sport and competitively. There are many Australians who partake in the game, and millions of people also engage on a spectator level. In fact, many individuals often consider it the most exciting sport to watch.
  •  Car racing. While quite different from the other events and games on this list, there’s no doubt that many Australians are passionate about car racing. There are quite a few events held here on a yearly basis.

The Sporting Nation Title is Well-Deserved

As you can see, there are quite a few sports in Australia that locals enjoy both participating in as well as watching. With many different events happening across the country, you’ll find that there’s always something to watch, bet upon or get involved in.