Immunisation statistics exposes Australia’s top anti-vax places

Is your suburb safe? The anti-vax capitals of Australia where nearly 15% of children aren’t immunised are revealed – and it makes chilling reading for parents

  • Gold Coast Hinterland shown to have lowest immunisation rate in Australia
  • 2018 Australian Immunisation Register statistics show rates around the country
  • Richmond Valley scored the lowest in NSW, then Sydney’s ritzy eastern suburbs
  • Northern Territory immunisation rates remained above 90 even in lowest figure 

Queensland’s Gold Coast hinterland has been outed as the anti-vaccination capital of Australia.

Nearly 15 per cent of children who live in the sleepy holiday region haven’t been immunised and aren’t protected against potentially deadly diseases.    

North Richmond in rural NSW was the second worst offender on the list, which used new data compiled by the 2018 Australian Immunisation Register.

The data, funded by the federal health department, compared the vaccination rates of five-year-old children between January and December last year. 

Queensland’s Gold Coast hinterland has been outed as the anti-vaccination capital of Australia (pictured, a graphic depiction of the rates of the top 10 hotspots of anti-vaccinations in the country)

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland rated the second-highest anti-vaccination rate in the state at 11.13, followed by Surfers Paradise on 11.07 per cent, Inner Brisbane on 10.36 per cent and Maroochydore on 10.12 per cent. 

Richmond Valley in northern NSW scored the highest anti-vaccination rate in the state with only 12.72 per cent.

In the northern part of Sydney’s east, which includes ritzy suburbs like Bondi and Vaucluse, 11.35 per cent of children did not get a vaccination.

Well-heeled north Sydney suburb Mosman followed closely on 11 per cent. 

Inner Sydney scored a high of 10.54 per cent while the southern part of the eastern suburbs, like Maroubra and Coogee clocked in at 10.5 per cent.

The western part of Stonnington in Melbourne, scored the highest rate in Victoria with only 10.24 per cent.

Top 10 anti-vaccination hotspots in Australia 

1. Gold Coast Hinterland, QLD (13.33%)

2. Richmond Valley, NSW (12.72%)

3. Sydney Eastern Suburbs, NSW (11.35%)

4. Sunshine Coast Hinterland, QLD (11.13%)

5. Surfers Paradise, QLD (11.07%)

6. North Sydney – Mosman, NSW (11%)

7. South Perth, WA (10.84)

8. Inner Sydney, NSW (10.54)

9. Brisbane, QLD (10.36)

10. Stonnington – west, VIC (10.24) 

Source: 2018 Australian Immunisation Register 


Melbourne city came in next with 10.24 per cent, then Port Phillip on 8.79 per cent, Manningham West on 7.49 per cent and Creswick-Daylesford and Ballan on 6.4. 

The Northern Territory managed to do relatively better, with its highest rate still below the 10 percentile.

Darwin City recorded a rate of 9.17 per cent; Alice Springs followed on 7.6 per; then Palmerston on 7.06 per cent. 

University of Sydney associate professor Julie Leask reiterated the importance of getting vaccinated.

‘It is vitally important that children are fully vaccinated on time and it’s important that adults get vaccines as well,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

Ms Leask explained that two contributing factors could explain immunisation rates in the country.

‘There are areas where more people actively reject some or all of the vaccines, and there are areas where people are not able to get to their vaccination appointment on time, because of practical or logistical factors.’

‘Parents might have an alternative belief system that might not be compatible with vaccinations.

‘Other parents are just trying to be intensive in the upbringing of their children, and you do see that in more wealthy and regionally alternative areas.’

She said to increase immunisation rates, experts needed to look at the topic as a whole picture.  

‘While there are people who actively refuse, there are other factors that need to be looked at. When you have two or more children, there’s a likelihood you won’t be up to date with all your children just because of time constraints.’ 

University of Sydney associate professor Julie Leask reiterated the importance of getting vaccinated (stock image)

University of Sydney associate professor Julie Leask reiterated the importance of getting vaccinated (stock image)

Rates of anti-vaccination by state and territories

New South Wales 

1. Richmond Valley (12.72)

2. Eastern Suburbs – north (11.35%)

3. North Sydney – Mosman (11%)

4. Sydney Inner City (10.54%)

5. Eastern suburbs – south (10.5%) 


1. Gold Coast Hinterland (13.33%) 

2. Sunshine Coast Hinterland (11.13%)

3. Surfers Paradise (11.07%)

4. Brisbane Inner (10.36%)

5. Maroochydore (10.12%) 

Western Australia 

1. South Perth (10.84%)

2. Fremantle (9.88%%)

3. Belmont Victoria Park (9.43%)

4. Mundaring (9.18%)

5. Perth city (9.15%) 

Northern Territory 

1. Darwin City (9.17%)

2. Alice Springs (7.6%)

3. Palmerston (7.06%)

4. Not mapped (6.8%)

5. Darwin suburbs (6.44%) 


1. Stonnington – west (10.24%)

2. Melbourne City (10.24%)

3. Port Phillip (8.79%)

4. Manningham – west (7.49%)

5. Creswick-Daylesford-Ballan (6.74%) 

South Australia

1. Norwood-Payneham-St Peters (8.96%)

2. West Forrens (7.23%)

3. Adelaide Hills (7.17%)

4. Charles Sturt (7.09%)

5. Mictham (6.66%) 

Australian Capital Territory

1. Not mapped (9.41%)

2. South Canberra (8.96%)

3. North Canberra (8.09%)

4. Woden (6.5%)

5. Weston Creek (5.13%) 


1. Hobart Inner (7.09%)

2. Hobart – south and west (6.14%)

3. Huon – Bruny Island (5.85%)

4. Launceston (5.56%)

5. North East (5.12%)