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The Best Australian Soap Operas 

Ranker TV
Updated November 22, 2019 519 votes 74 voters 4.3k views 47 items

List Rules Vote up the best soaps from Australia

Heightened drama and ridiculously long feuds keep viewers coming back for more in the best Australian soap operas. The top Australian soap opera shows tell ongoing stories about characters who would do anything for each other - and others who would betray their own families to get ahead. This is a list of the best Australian soap operas, including everything from Home and Away to Sons and Daughters.

What series will you find on this list of Australian soap operas? Neighbours first broadcast on Seven Network 1985 before being scooped up by Ten a year later, who then turned it into one of the longest-running Australian soaps. Focusing on stories about the struggles and triumphs of families in the fictional suburb of Erinsborough, actors on Neighbours have included Kylie Minogue and Margo Robbie.

On a list of all Australian soap operas, there are also shows that weren't favorites. Punishment only lasted three episodes but was full of stars like Mel Gibson and Cornelia Frances. But how many episodes a soap ran doesn't necessarily make it the best. Paradise Beach only had two seasons but was able to gain an audience in the United States.

Do you have a favorite Aussie soap? Vote up the best and add any we may have missed.

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list ordered by
1
Home and Away is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Isla Fisher, Chris Hemsworth, Heath Ledger

Premiered: 1988

Home and Away is an Australian television soap opera. It was created by Alan Bateman and has been produced in Sydney, New South Wales since July 1987. It commenced broadcast on the Seven Network ...more
2
Prisoner is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Kerry Armstrong, Betty Bobbitt, Wendy Playfair

Premiered: 1979

Prisoner is an Australian soap opera, set in the Wentworth Detention Centre, a fictional women's prison. In the United States and United Kingdom it was billed as Prisoner: Cell Block H, and in ...more
3
Neighbours is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Neighbours Kylie Minogue, Russell Crowe, Margot Robbie

Premiered: 1985

Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera. It was first broadcast on the Seven Network on 18 March 1985. It was created by TV executive Reg Watson, who proposed the idea of making a show ...more
4
Sons and Daughters is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Judy Nunn, Danny Roberts, Peter Phelps

Premiered: 1982

Sons and Daughters is a Logie Award winning Australian soap opera created by Reg Watson and produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation between 1981 and 1987. The first episode aired on Monday, 18 ...more
5
A Country Practice is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Nicole Kidman, Ryan Kwanten, David Wenham

Premiered: 1981

A Country Practice was an Australian television drama series. It ran on the Seven Network for 1,058 episodes at 7.30 pm Monday and Tuesday nights, from 18 November 1981 to 22 November 1993. It ...more
6
The Sullivans is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Sam Neill, Gary Sweet, Damon Herriman

Premiered: 1976

The Sullivans is an Australian drama television series produced by Crawford Productions which ran on the Nine Network on 15 November 1976 until 10 March 1983. The series told the story of an ...more
7
The Young Doctors is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Russell Crowe, Alan Dale, Mark Holden

Premiered: 1976

The Young Doctors was an Australian early evening soap opera. The series was set in the fictional Albert Memorial hospital and primarily concerned with romances between younger members of the ...more
8
Out of the Blue is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Zoe Carides, Diane Craig, Clayton Watson

Premiered: 2008

Out of the Blue is an Australian serial drama commissioned by the BBC, produced by Australia's Southern Star Entertainment. It began screening on BBC One on weekday afternoons on 28 April 2008. ...more
9
Number 96 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Wendy Hughes, Jon English, Briony Behets

Premiered: 1972

Number 96 was a popular Australian soap opera set in a Sydney apartment block. Don Cash and Bill Harmon of the Cash Harmon Television production company, produced the series for The 0-10 ...more
10
Return to Eden is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Wendy Hughes, Chris Haywood, Wendy Playfair

Premiered: 1983

Return to Eden is an Australian television drama series starring Rebecca Gilling, James Reyne, Wendy Hughes and James Smillie. It began as a three-part mini-series, shown on Network Ten in 1983. ...more
11
E Street is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Simon Baker, Melissa Tkautz, Rebecca Rigg

Premiered: 1989

E Street was an Australian television soap opera created by Forrest Redlich and produced by Network Ten from 24 January 1989 to 13 May 1993. Whereas Neighbours is set in a middle-class suburb, ...more
12
Richmond Hill is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Emily Symons, Maggie Kirkpatrick, Paula Duncan

Premiered: 1988

Richmond Hill was an Australian television soap opera made in 1988 by the Reg Grundy Organisation for the Ten Network. It was devised by Reg Watson who also created Neighbours. It debuted 27 ...more
13
Family and Friends is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Family and Friends Jonathan Hardy, Diane Craig, Justine Clarke

Premiered: 1990

Family and Friends was a short-lived Australian television soap opera debuted on 7 February 1990. The series was intended to be the Nine Network's response to the already successful soaps on the ...more
14
Pacific Drive is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Melissa Tkautz, Rebekah Elmaloglou, Grant Bowler

Premiered: 1996

Bold text Pacific Drive is an Australian television series made by Village Roadshow in association with New World International for the Nine Network which screened from 29 January 1996 to ...more
15
Cop Shop is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Lynda Stoner, Rowena Wallace, Peter Adams

Premiered: 1977

Cop Shop is a long running Australian police drama television series produced by Crawford Productions that ran for eight seasons between November 1977 and July 1984. It comprised 582 one hour ...more
16
Paradise Beach is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Isla Fisher, Melissa Tkautz, Manu Bennett

Premiered: 1993

Paradise Beach is an Australian television series made by Village Roadshow Pictures. It is associated with New World Television for the Nine Network that aired between 1993 and 1994. The series ...more
17
Taurus Rising is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Taurus Rising Damon Herriman, Diane Craig, Annette Andre

Premiered: 1982

Taurus Rising is an Australian soap opera produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation and Dixie Normus for the Nine Network in 1982. Originally intended by the network to be a replacement for The ...more
18
The Unisexers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
The Unisexers Steven Tandy, Tina Bursill, Tony Sheldon

Premiered: February 9, 1975

19
Glenview High is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Bill Kerr, Ken James, Rebecca Gilling

Premiered: 1977

Glenview High is an Australian television drama series produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation for the Seven Network between 1977 and 1978.
20
The Box is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Judy Nunn, Briony Behets, George Mallaby

Premiered: 1974

The Box was an Australian soap opera that ran on ATV-0 from 11 February 1974 until 11 October 1977 and on The 0-10 Network affiliates around Australia. The Box was produced by Crawford ...more
21
Punishment is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Mel Gibson, Kris McQuade, Brian Wenzel

Premiered: 1981

Punishment is an Australian television soap opera made by the Reg Grundy Organisation for the Ten Network in 1981. Set in a fictional men's prison, the series attempted to present a male version ...more
22
Prime Time is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Prime Time Chris Orchard, Anthony Hawkins, Nina Landis

Premiered: 1986

23
Shark Bay is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Shark Bay Lisa Baumwol, Zoe Bertram, Dieter Brummer

Premiered: 1996

24
Something in the Air is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Eric Bana, Emily Browning, Grant Bowler

Premiered: 2000

Something in the Air was an Australian television soap opera transmitted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation between 2000 and 2002. It was one of the first programs in Australia that was ...more
25
The Restless Years is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Australian Soap Operas
Rebecca Rigg, Ron Haddrick, Peter Phelps

Premiered: 1977

The Restless Years is an Australian soap opera which followed the lives of several Sydney school-leavers and young adults. It was produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation for Network Ten. It ...more