The Differences Between Southern and Northern Australia

The Differences Between Southern and Northern Australia

If you were to walk from the northernmost end of Australia to its southernmost counterpart, you’d walk for 3700 kilometers. That’s the equivalent of walking from London to Cairo (assuming you had the capacity to walk on water). But let’s not digress; the point is that a lot of variation can be found in a landmass of such plentiful dimensions. So let’s compare its two polar extremes – the southern and the northern regions to see how they are different.


Australia is known for beaches galore. Ten thousand of them, in fact! You could visit a different one every single day of your life if you wanted to. For some reason, the white-sand beaches of northern Australia look and feel completely different compared to what you can find in the south. We could go as far as to say that the northern beach vibes are reminiscent of what you can expect to find along the Spanish coastline. Given how hassle-free of an experience it is to grab a Sim card for Spain with plentiful data plans nowadays, you’ll have an easy time sharing the photos you’ve snapped with your friends online for a nice back-to-back beach comparison.

Australian Coastline

These colors can only mean one thing – Australian beaches.


You’ve got to watch out for them crocodiles, they say! And how right they are, especially if you find yourself situated to the north of Australia. Here is also where you’ll find cassowaries, a very unique life form, not to mention clownfish. For the iconic wildlife that most people associate with Australia (think kangaroos, koalas, and emus), you’re going to need to venture down south. There’s even such a thing as Kangaroo Island (no joke).

Australian Kangaroos

Kangaroos even have a whole island named after their kind.

Food culture

Australia isn’t exactly known for having an impressive number of inhabitants. However, they’ve got some refined taste to make up for it! The northernmost part of Australia is heavy on seafood, and the same can be said for tropical fruits of all kinds. Bananas, avocados, mangos… these are all a fundamental component of a northern Australian plate. The southern parts of Australia are colder in comparison, which affects the cuisine as well. For instance, you will much more commonly spot an Aussie drinking red wine there while nibbling on some soft cheese, all of which are seen as classier and not as wild as what’s often on the menu in the northern parts of the country.


If anyone’s known for their iconic slang and accent, it’s got to be the peeps from Australia! What many people don’t realize, however, is that there can be significant differences between the words you’ll commonly hear in its southern and northernmost parts. Here’s a quick dictionary:

corner shop = milk bar
cossies = bathers
potato cake = scallop

Can you guess which words belong to which group? The next time you visit one of these regions, try saying one of these in public and see if you get any weird looks or raised eyebrows.

Density of the population

Believe it or not, but the northern parts of Australia are nowhere near as densely populated as the ones to the south. In fact, the difference is almost tenfold. Considering how molten hot it can get in the north, not to mention all the dangerous critters running about, it’s no wonder. Furthermore, it’s the southern areas that house the vast majority of the country’s major cities like Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, and others. Fun fact: population-wise, the biggest town in northern Australia is Townsville, and it only has a modest number of 195,000 inhabitants.


Further adding to the differences between Australia’s polar opposite regions is the intensity of sports fandom that’s quite characteristic of the north. To them, it doesn’t matter if it’s boiling hot outside, they will still be cheering for their favorite rugby team at the stadium. The southern population is more refined and arguably even classier. While the northern population might opt for the beer to be their drink of choice, the southern inhabitants much prefer their glass of wine and all the fancy vocabulary that goes along with it. If we were to simplify, it’s definitely much more wild up north, and it’s not just the animals!


We’ve given you a broad overview of what it means to live either in the country’s northern or southern areas. With that being said, the true essence of living in Australia can only be experienced in person as no words can ever hope to do it justice. Hopefully you’ve learned something new today and may your adventures be safe and fulfilling!

Posted By SamanthaW

Updated : 6th May 2023 | Words : 771 | Views : 972

RSS Twitter Facebook
The Differences Between Southern and Northern Australia
Australian Coastline