Australia consistently ranks highly when it comes to the world’s safest cities. In 2023, Australia was listed as the 22nd safest country in the world by the Global Peace Index, beating out other safe destinations like Norway, Italy, the United Kingdom, and South Korea.
The Global Peace Index measures the overall peacefulness of each nation by taking into account “the level of societal safety and security,” “the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict,” and “the degree of militarization.” On these fronts, Australia is an incredibly safe and secure country.
Consequently, many of the biggest cities in Australia are considered safe by world standards. Having traveled to all of the cities that have made our list of safest cities in Australia, I can confirm that you are likely to feel safe when visiting.
Despite what the rest of the world may assume, spiders and snakes aren’t typically huge issues in any of the Australian cities on this list. Instead, you can increase your (already strong) chances of staying safe by being aware of your surroundings, taking care of your belongings, and avoiding areas and situations that are known to be dangerous.
Below you’ll find the safest cities in Australia that you should definitely consider visiting if you haven’t already!
The 9 Safest Cities in Australia
Sydney isn’t just one of the safest cities in Australia—it’s also one of the safest cities in the world. The New South Wales capital, which also happens to be one of the biggest tourist destinations in Australia, is ranked as the 5th safest city on the planet, beating out other popular cities like Copenhagen and Seoul.
Female travelers in particular are also considered to be generally safe in Sydney, though there is a medium risk of natural disaster and running into problems relating to transport.
Transport-related issues you might face in Sydney include being charged unfairly by your cab driver or being harassed on trains and buses late at night. The latter is more likely to take place in the most dangerous areas of Sydney—the CBD, Redfern, Surry Hills, Mount Druitt, and Claymore. However, even the most dangerous areas of Sydney may feel fairly safe by global standards.
Suggested Reading: Sydney or Melbourne: An Honest Comparison
Like Sydney, Melbourne also appears on the 2023 list of Safest Cities in the World published by World Population Review, coming in at number 10. This makes it the second safest city in Australia, which is definitely good news for those who want to travel to this iconic Australian destination.
Despite being an incredibly safe destination, there are still a few risks to watch out for. Study Melbourne warns that one of the biggest dangers is the weather, with extreme heat sometimes hitting the city during summer.
Though early Melbourne summers are typically mild, January and February can see spells of up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Some suburbs of Melbourne are safer than others, with the safest being The Patch, Park Orchards, Ferny Creek, and Selby. Conversely, the most dangerous areas of Melbourne include St Albans, Frankston, Sunshine West, and Caroline Springs Estate.
Though Melbourne is statistically safe, it’s still important to practice vigilance when visiting, especially when walking alone at night. In recent years, the murders of several young women who were attacked while walking home late at night made national headlines.
The Age reports that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed that the onus should be on men, not women, to “change their behavior,” in response to the murder of aspiring Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon.
While cases like Dixon’s rightfully sparked outrage and garnered attention, they don’t change the fact that Melbourne is still a safe destination overall.
According to data gathered by Numbeo, the Queensland capital of Brisbane is another one of the safest cities in Australia. Known for its sunshine and relaxed atmosphere, Brisbane has a relatively low crime index of 36.19.
Although crime has increased over the past three years, residents rarely worry about violent crime, physical hate crimes, and theft.
Statistics also show that most people in Brisbane feel safe walking around the city during the day, while there are moderate worries about walking around Brisbane at night.
Brisbane is safe for all kinds of travelers, from solo female travelers to those traveling in groups. Progressive local attitudes also mean that Brisbane is an LGBT-friendly destination.
The biggest risks that tourists can expect in Brisbane are scams and pickpocketing, but these can often be avoided by keeping a close eye on your belongings and double-checking information before purchasing anything, including people claiming to sell cheap tickets for attractions on the nearby Gold Coast.
The safest suburbs you’ll find in Brisbane include Seven Hills, Holland Park West, and Norman Park. Suburbs that you should avoid include Bowen Hills, Dunwich, and Heatley.
Fortitude Valley is also listed as a potentially dangerous Brisbane suburb, however, as Brisbane’s most famous nightlife district, it’s better advice for tourists to practice caution when visiting this area rather than avoid it altogether.
Suggested Reading: Melbourne or Brisbane: An Locals Comparison
Situated on the coast of Western Australia, Perth is also listed as one of the safest cities in Australia by Numbeo. As Western Australia is known for its booming mining industry, Perth has an air of affluence and opportunity about it that makes it feel very safe.
There is little risk of mugging and pickpocketing in Perth, though there is a slightly larger risk of terrorism and natural disasters. Overall, most people feel safe walking around the city during the day, though it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings when walking by yourself at night.
If you are traveling to Perth during the summer, it’s important to practice beach and sun safety. As Perth faces the open Indian Ocean, the local beaches can feature rough currents and large waves. Winds can also be very strong. If you aren’t a strong swimmer, avoid venturing into deep water.
Though relatively rare, shark attacks do happen in Perth. In early 2023, a teenage girl was killed by a shark after she jumped into the Swan River in Fremantle, near Perth.
Out of the 20 or so shark attacks that Australia records every year, most occur in New South Wales and Western Australia. Always practice caution before swimming in any public body of water.
The capital of South Australia is considered to be another one of Australia’s safest cities, as reported by Numbeo. Though technically a prospering city, Adelaide has a small-town feel at times, which may contribute to the overall safe atmosphere.
Perhaps partly due to the CCTV network operating around Adelaide city, it has relatively low crime rates and often appears on “most liveable cities” lists.
Though the CBD has some of the highest crime rates in the city, that is largely due to the presence of nightclubs and nightlife strips, where things can get rowdy late at night. Otherwise, the most statistically dangerous suburbs of Adelaide, including Lonsdale, Noarlunga, Elizabeth, and Lightsview, are far beyond where you’re likely to travel as a tourist.
Among Australians, Adelaide sometimes has a negative reputation as a dangerous city due to several notorious crimes that took place here between the 1960s and the 1990s.
From the disappearance of the Beaumont children to the Truro Murders to the Family Murders to the Snowtown Murders, Adelaide has had its share of bizarre and gruesome crimes. But beyond these few occurrences, it remains a statistically safe place.
In addition to being one of the safest cities in Australia, Adelaide is also one of the most affordable cities and is close to world-class wine regions.
Canberra is Australia’s capital city and also one of the safest cities to live in and is categorized as a safe city overall with a low risk of crime. There is a slightly higher risk of pickpocketing, terrorism, scams, and natural disasters, but crimes like mugging are unlikely.
Bus stops in Canberra are known to be particularly likely locations for pickpocketing, so be extra vigilant when using public transport. The threat of terrorism is slightly higher in Canberra than it is in other Australian cities as it’s the destination of the most political importance.
Located off the mainland in Tasmania, Hobart often flies under the radar of tourists visiting Australia. But this peaceful hidden gem is definitely worth visiting and also happens to be one of the safest cities in Australia, per the list published by Numbeo.
Travel Ladies explains that Hobart has a reputation for being a safe city with a low crime rate which is a particularly good choice for solo female travelers.
Of course, the usual advice applies to avoid walking alone at night and remain aware, but generally, the locals in Hobart are friendly and welcoming of travelers. This may also be because the city isn’t overrun with tourists, so residents aren’t fed up with crowds.
Though the city is small, one of the best ways to get around is by bus, and the public transport system is known for being safe and trustworthy.
8. Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is one of the most popular travel destinations in Australia. A beach location associated with surfer’s waves, skyrise resorts, theme parks, and lively nightlife, the Gold Coast is only an hour away from Brisbane and should definitely be on your Australian bucket list.
Despite the nightlife in the Gold Coast, which can attract higher crime rates, the area is considered to be fairly safe. With several theme parks in the region, it’s a popular family-friendly destination, so you can feel safe bringing your kids here.
To avoid trouble, it’s a good idea to stay away from nightlife strips late at night, where things can get rowdy. The Gold Coast may also not be the safest (or most peaceful) destination in late November and early December when it serves as one of Australia’s main Schoolies locations.
Along with other destinations, like Byron Bay and Phillip Island, the Gold Coast receives thousands of school leavers every year as they celebrate the end of exams. The ongoing party can get chaotic, so it’s best to avoid the Gold Coast at this time.
Another city that is often left off the itinerary by foreign tourists is Newcastle. The quiet and laid-back New South Wales coastal city is home to scenic views and a rich history. The diverse population consists of only 550,000 people, making it all the more likely that visitors will feel welcomed and at home.
Newcastle is one of the top places to raise children, partly because there are great healthcare services, including a children’s hospital, and childcare options. According to Numbeo, most people feel safe walking around Newcastle during the day.