Can an American drink water in Australia?

So my brother went to Toronto, Canada a week ago(we live in Texas) and when he drank the water there he got extremely sick. Nauseated sick.

I was looking online a bit to see. But I was just wondering, is it safe to drink/bathe/brush teeth in Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast and Perth? I’ll be going to those places over the course of three weeks starting this Saturday.

Thanks in advance!

21 Answers

  • Dani, firstly, the effect of water on your brother in Toronto, is a load of garbage. I have two guys over here on my team that come from the GTA, and Skype with their wives almost every second night like I do with my wife. There has been no mention of any water restrictions or Boil water orders mentioned. Please do not put other cities down. I can put a lot of places in the states down for their water quality.

    As for water in Australia, I can even tell you it has the best tested water quality of the world. Are you sure your not mistaken with the Dominican Republic?

    Correction: I have just been informed there are areas way outside the GTA, that are on bore water, and the water needs to have an additive added every six months directly to the well, and water not drawn from the well for at least 48 hours.

    Well of course if you go to the outback NSW also, they have wells they draw water from, and I can tell you I did drink from these wells, and it was some of the sweetest water I have ever tried.

    It doesn’t have the sulphur smell like in some places of the USA.

    @ Courtney, thank you!!!!!

  • The drinking age is indeed 21, even in Australia. I have been on an Australian cruise, so this is how I know. People are mistaken about international waters and such. Except for some European cruises, the drinking age on a cruise is still 21. Do not listen to those who mention international waters as that has NOTHING to do with it.

  • Australia is a civilised first world country with very high standards for water supply. Tap water is safe all over the country. There is plenty of bottled water available as well, much of it comes from Australian sources and is far cleaner than any imported water including big name brands like Evian.

    In some country areas and in some circumstances water is not as good as it should be and such sources are usually labelled. For instance, a caravan park near me uses river water for the showers, toilets, laundry and gardens but has rain water for drinking and cooking. The potable water taps are clearly marked and pointed out to visitors.

  • YES!!!! I have have drunk and bathed in tap water from all of those states.

    I’m an Australian who lives in LA and when I’m at home in LA I filter my water in a Brita jug for taste but when I’m out I opt for tap water. I buy bottles if I need to.

    In Australia I drink tap water or buy bottled depending on the taste. Sometimes it tastes gross or rather I’m not use to the taste. It has never made me sick.

    I’ve travelled all over the world and drunk a lot of water. In developing 3rd world countries I never drink the tap water and ask for drinks without ice. I usually brush my teeth with tap water cause I don’t swallow nor do I use a lot. I have never been sick just by brushing my teeth.

    It is extremely odd that your brother was sick by only drinking Canadian city water (did it have a lot of whiskey in it by chance??!?!) unless it was from a tainted source.

  • Australia is a civilised country with excellent water treatment facilities.

    The water will definitely taste slightly different to what you’re used to, but drinking it straight out of the tap is perfectly safe. The source of water in different states is different, and different states also add varying amounts of fluoride to help with dental development in children.

    Even when I go on a vacation insterstate, the water tastes slightly different.

    Some areas have what is called “hard water” and “soft water”. Again, they are both safe to drink, but soft water is terrific for washing your hair.

    If you’re truly worried about it, then boil the water and refrigerate it before drinking it, or just buy bottled water. One of the biggest causes of becoming sick from drinking water in Australia is refilling a water bottle repeatedly. Bacteria forms in the bottle and might cause a stomache upset.


    The legal drink age on all cruise ships is age 21 and it does not change when you are in international waters or docked in a foreign port. Its still age 21 and older. And all of the cruise lines DO enforce it. The only exception to this is if you cruise from a European or South American port WITH your parents AND your parents sign a waiver for you to have alcoholic beverages. Otherwise always no. This is from the Royal Caribbean web site: ” : Effective as of all sailings commencing on or after July 28, 2006, the minimum drinking age for all alcoholic beverages on all Royal Caribbean International ships is 21. On cruises departing from European and South American countries, where the legal drinking age is typically lower than 21, a parent who is sailing with his or her son(s) and/or daughter(s) who is between the ages of 18 to 20, may sign a waiver allowing the 18 to 20 year old to consume alcoholic beverages. Please note: Waivers will be provided to parents upon check-in. ” I just cruised around Australia on Celebrity Cruise line and their policy is the same: ” On cruises embarking in a country where the legal drinking age is lower than twenty-one (21), a parent who is sailing with his or her eighteen (18) to twenty (20) year old minor son or daughter, may be permitted to sign a waiver allowing the minor to consume alcoholic beverages. The authorizing parent and the minor must agree to be responsible for ensuring the minor will consume alcohol responsibly and otherwise comply with the Guest Conduct Policy, including among other things, not providing alcoholic beverages to any other person, regardless of age. ” BUT, when you get off the ship in ports in Australia you can drink all you want in the clubs, bars and restaurants because the drinking age is age 18 and older. Then you cannot bring alcohol back on board the ship either as it will be confiscated by the cruise line.

  • Well, what do you think – that we ban Americans from having access to water or something? Mostly, our water is drinkable from the tap. Every once in a while there’s some sort of scare and we have to boil it, but that hasn’t happened for a few years now.

    I’d be more careful if you are going to the country where they use bore water. In the cities, you’re pretty right.

  • As an Australian I wouldn’t hesitate to use water fro brushing teeth, showering, cooking in the places you are going to. If I were you I would buy bottled water from the supermarket. Toss the bottle in the recycling and don’t refill. Above all else DON’T use the water fountain on the aircraft on the way here.

  • Nola Guy is right about travel insurance. Keep your insurance paperwork with you at all times when in Australia and when you buy bottled water or beer you can get a discount as a tourist if you show your passport and proof of up to date travel insurance.

  • Yes. Australia’s water quality is some of the best in the world.

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