Australia’s Best Drinking Water Is In Tasmania And The NT

Australia’s Best Drinking Water Is In Tasmania And The NT

Our post asking where Australia’s worst tap water produced a wide range of candidates. But there was a lot of agreement on the two areas where tap water is really good: Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

Picture by Tim Parkinson

Many commenters pointed out that there are variables other than the city you’re in which influence water quality, including your distance from the nearest treatment plant and the age of the pipes in your house. If there was one dominant message, however, it was that Tasmania and the Northern Territory have excellent supplies. Stove’s comment is pretty typical:

Each time I visit Tasmania, I’m shocked as to how good the tap water tastes. I don’t know how bottled water companies manage to sell anything over there.

That outcome is of course not entirely surprising, as a much lower density of population means less strain on the infrastructure. Nonetheless, I’m tempted to head to Tassie and test a glass or two myself.


  • So after asking us for opinions of the *worst* water, you draw conclusions from the resulting comments on who has the *best*?

    This doesn’t sound like a very well formulated study =D

      • Haha! Back in your place Grim, off you go.

        I used to live in Darwin and the water was second to non, I’m in Townsville now and it’s pretty good. Though I don’t know what the science says about the quality of water here. I’m sure no one really wants to know whats in there water, it just ends in tears.

  • I’m not going to go into a lot of detail regarding this, but I am currently employed in the water industry down in Tassie at the moment, though admittedly; I’m not primarily involved in infrastructure.

    Generally speaking though, water services down here are a bit of a mess, having been managed and neglect by councils for quite some time. As well as major upgrades being required for various pipage, Hobart still remains the only capital city where more than 90% of service properties are yet to receive water meters.

    The fact that Tasmanian water is reputed to be some of the best in Australia is probably more of a testament to the climate and geography down here – there’s no shortage of annual rainfall; and topography state-wide is pretty conducive to building dams (both for water service and hydro-electricity production). Greater volumes of water coming through dams mean healthier less stagnant water and water ecosystems.

    The interesting factor though, is that age, condition and maintenance of water infrastructure were highlighted as being primary causes for bad tasting water; yet Tasmania (and more specifically Hobart’s) water service seems to contradict this claim.

  • I’ve never compared Tassie’s water to another state, but it tastes fine. Anyone else find that water out of the bathroom tap always tastes better than the kitchen tap? Seriously.

    @Sam, you’re not wrong about the Tasmanian water services being a mess. The split of water providers into Southern, Ben Lomond and Cradle Mountain Water is a joke.

    • While having the three corp’s isn’t as big an advantage as a single authority would be, I can confidently say that the change has been for the better. Unfortunately, the capital and investment for upgrades to infrastructure have to be paid from from somewhere, which is why we’re now seeing an increase in rates.

    • “Anyone else find that water out of the bathroom tap always tastes better than the kitchen tap? Seriously”

      I find this too. I don’t know why but it does.

  • The thing i would like to see a study done on what makes drinking water good or bad, its good but opinion just skews results.

    I want to know whats in the water that makes it smell and taste bad.

      • Funny thing you say “look at the facts” there is no pros with adding fluoride to water, you’ve been brainwashed thinking the Govn water supply is all above board…..well its not and the water you drink has multiply chemicals in there fluoride is one of them that effects your brain….. ask your dentist if the fluoride in your toothpaste is enough for your teeth and he’ll tell you “yes”, do you swallow your toothpaste….no you spit it out, so why are you digesting water that is full of fluoride… what else is a pros with fluoride, there must be a list your looking at to come up with the result that the pros outweighs the cons…. “Digesting Fluoride makes you dumb/vage” but don’t let me stop you if you want to drink the tap water…..)

    • there’s always one…. ANYTHING in high enough concentrations is a ‘deadly poison’, the truth is fluoride aids dental health ( look at the dental health stats between Tasmania ( with fluoride) and Queensland (no fluoride)) Scaremongering shows your dark age mentality…

      • Actually your wrong, fluoride is a poison and can effect your brain….do you realise that you get enough fluoride in the toothpaste you use, fluoride should not be digested…..I had to laugh “dark age mentality” isn’t that what your throwing around. In the end each to there own….there is nothing better then rain water that’s not chemically treated…. you would be disgusted what the actually treatment plants use…..all the best with your fluoride intake 🙂

  • I’m heading off to Tas in a month for a short holiday. I will now purposely taste the water down there, and if it doesn’t come up on my list of top ten things to do in Tas, I will be having some very strong words for LifeHacker for giving out such false recommendations

  • I don’t know where in Tasmania these people live. Where ever I lived and I lived in many different places in Tassie, the water was a health threat. Often we were even told that we have to boil it, usually after everyone got sick. Now I am living in a place where the water gets treated and it stinks that bad like chemicals and tastes too, that even after filtering it it is still horrible. All people here drink their rainwater because the tap water is not drinkable.
    I used to work in tourism and oftenn had to warn tourists not to drink unboiled water. You should have seen their faces because they believed the ‘clean green’ myth, sold to the tourists.
    I have been living here for 20n years now and I know that Tasmania has the highest bowel cancer statistic, not only that, it is still on the rise here. Now we are paying horrendous prizes for water we can’t drink. It really is a joke. One can only cringe reading these clean green, pristine poppycock.

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