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The Best Australian Soap Operas

Updated November 22, 2019 934 votes 114 voters 7.5k views47 items

List RulesVote 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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    50
    15

    Prisoner

    Kerry Armstrong, Betty Bobbitt

    PremieredFebruary 27, 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 Canada...  more
  • 2
    43
    25

    Neighbours

    Kylie Minogue, Russell Crowe

    PremieredMarch 18, 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 that...  more
  • 3
    37
    27

    Home and Away

    Isla Fisher, Chris Hemsworth

    Premiered1988

    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 from...  more
  • 4
    31
    23

    Sons and Daughters

    Judy Nunn, Danny Roberts

    Premiered1982

    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
    26
    17

    The Sullivans

    Sam Neill, Gary Sweet

    PremieredNovember 15, 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 average...  more

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  • 6
    20
    17

    A Country Practice

    Nicole Kidman, Ryan Kwanten

    Premiered1981

    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 was...  more
  • 7
    14
    13

    The Young Doctors

    Russell Crowe, Alan Dale

    Premiered1976

    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
    13
    12

    Return to Eden

    Wendy Hughes, Chris Haywood

    Premiered1983

    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
  • 9
    15
    16

    Paradise Beach

    Isla Fisher, Melissa Tkautz

    Premiered1993

    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 is...  more
  • 10
    10
    14

    Crash Palace

    Jessica Gower, Stephanie Waring

    Premiered2001

    Crash Palace. is an Australian television soap opera. The series ran for 65 half-hour episodes screening on subscription TV channel Fox8. Crash Palace was also the name of a famous 1980s era punk...  more
  • 11
    7
    10

    The Restless Years

    Rebecca Rigg, Ron Haddrick

    Premiered1977

    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 debuted...  more
  • 12
    12
    17

    Out of the Blue

    Zoe Carides, Diane Craig

    Premiered2008

    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. The...  more
  • 13
    7
    10

    Something in the Air

    Eric Bana, Emily Browning

    Premiered2000

    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
  • 14
    5
    7

    The Unisexers

    Steven Tandy, Tina Bursill

    PremieredFebruary 9, 1975

  • 15
    3
    7

    Taurus Rising

    Damon Herriman, Diane Craig

    Premiered1982

    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
  • 16
    6
    11

    E Street

    Simon Baker, Melissa Tkautz

    Premiered1989

    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, Home...  more
  • 17
    5
    9

    Punishment

    Mel Gibson, Kris McQuade

    Premiered1981

    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 of...  more
  • 18
    5
    9

    Prime Time

    Chris Orchard, Anthony Hawkins

    Premiered1986

  • 19
    2
    6

    Echo Point

    Rose Byrne, Ryan Kwanten

    Premiered1995

    Echo Point was an Australian television soap opera produced by Southern Star Group for Network Ten on 1 June 1995 until 1 December 1995. The series was devised as an attempt by the Ten Network to...  more
  • 20
    2
    6

    Holiday Island

    Nick Tate, Frank Wilson

    Premiered1981

    Holiday Island is an Australian television series made by Crawford Productions for Network Ten. The show aired twice weekly from 1981 to 1982, with the first episode going to air on 17 June 1981....  more
  • 21
    5
    10

    Pacific Drive

    Melissa Tkautz, Rebekah Elmaloglou

    Premiered1996

    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 December...  more
  • 22
    2
    6

    Class of 74

    Leonard Teale

    Premiered1974

    Class of '74 was a secondary school-based, daily soap opera produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation and screened on the Seven Network in Australia starting March 1974. The main characters were a mix...  more
  • 23
    2
    6

    Skyways

    Dannii Minogue, Jason Donovan

    Premiered1979

    Skyways is an Australian television series made by Crawford Productions for the Seven Network. The series, which aired from 1979 to 1981, was set at the fictional Pacific International Airport and...  more
  • 24
    2
    6

    Starting Out

    Joanna Lumley, Wil Johnson

    Premiered1983

    Starting Out is an Australian television soap opera made for the Nine Network by the Reg Grundy Organisation in 1983....  more
  • 25
    2
    6

    The Power, The Passion

    Julian McMahon, Ian Rawlings

    Premiered1989

    The Power, The Passion is an Australian television daytime soap opera produced by the Seven Network in 1989. The series was devised to lure audiences away from American imports such as The Bold and...  more