Get us in your inbox

Hot air balloon in countryside.
Photograph: Tianlei Sun via Unsplash

Looking for fresh, clean air? Australia is the place to be

Six of the top ten cities around the world with the most ‘good air days’ are in Australia

Melissa Woodley
Written by
Melissa Woodley

Ah, there’s truly nothing more satisfying than inhaling your first breath of crisp morning air. You can breathe a little deeper too, knowing that Australia is home to some of the cleanest and freshest air in the world, as revealed by a new global analysis.

The 2023 study by HouseFresh found that six out of the nine cities experiencing 365 ‘good air days’ a year were in Australia, with Perth claiming the second-top spot. NSW was home to three of these top-ranking cities, including Wollongong at number four, Sydney in fifth place and Newcastle ranking seventh. Adelaide and Canberra also snuck into the top ten. 

HouseFresh compiled the global rankings by analysing pollution data from the World Air Quality Index. They defined a ‘good air day’ as one with low levels of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 in the atmosphere, while days with high levels of PM 2.5 were categorised as ‘bad air days’. 

Joining the top ten cities with the most ‘good air days’ was gold-medallist Zürich in Switzerland, along with Iceland’s Reykjavík in third place. Only one city in the US can claim to have ‘good air days’ year-round, and that was Honolulu in Hawaii in the sixth spot.

Towards the murkier end of the spectrum, four of India’s major cities experience one day or less of ‘good air’ each year. These findings are somewhat alarming considering that poor air quality from particulate matter is the sixth leading cause of global excess deaths annually, as reported by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. That’s one in five excess deaths each year, according to another study from Harvard University.

If you’re on the lookout for your next travel destination, then you might want to check out the full rankings here. And, if you’re looking for a new city to live in, then it seems Australia is the best place to start.  

Here are the top rankings of ‘good air days’ in Australian cities:

  1. Perth: 365 days
  2. Wollongong: 365 
  3. Sydney: 365
  4. Newcastle: 365
  5. Adelaide: 365
  6. Canberra: 364
  7. Brisbane: 362
  8. Hobart: 360
  9. Launceston: 353
  10. Melbourne: 353
  11. Darwin: 297


Australia is one of the world’s best countries, according to half a million travellers

New Zealand has been dethroned as Australia’s top travel destination for the first time in history

The world’s biggest fish has been spotted in Australia's World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef

You may also like
You may also like