Australia has been an economic powerhouse in the midst of a major population boom. That combination has contributed to the rise of many new mega structures designed to meet the needs of its growing population.
Of course, economic success is no new phenomenon in Australia. Through all of these eras, the country’s construction industry has stepped up to deliver the needed infrastructure. As such, this list of the tallest buildings in Australia contains old and new structures alike.
Here are the top 25 tallest buildings in Australia as listed by sources like World Atlas — starting with the head of them all.
What is the Tallest Building in Australia?
Q1, located in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, is the tallest building in Australia and has been since 2005.
Q1’s design (created by SDG & The Buchan Group) draws inspiration from the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney 2000 Olympic torch. It’s nothing short of an engineering marvel, featuring concentrically-wrapped ribbons conceived based on research into wind and tension. Supporting the megastructure are 26 piles extending 130 feet into the ground.
Height: 322.5 metres
Now that we’ve answered the question of ‘what is the tallest building in Australia?’ let’s take a look at the rest, in descending order.
2. Australia 108
Australia 108, located in Melbourne, is a residential supertall structure. Although it’s not expected to be finished until 2020, it surpassed Eureka Tower (which we’ll get to shortly) in November 2019 to become the second tallest building in Australia.
As with tall buildings in general, though, height is often a bit of a technicality. Australia 108 is actually the tallest tower in Australia when you measure by roof height; Q1 only surpasses it because of that building’s spire.
Australia 108 was originally designed as a 226-metre structure by Fender Katsalidis Architects. This design was later expanded on, bringing Australia 108 to its current astounding height.
Height: 316.7 metres
3. Eureka Tower
Also located in Melbourne is Eureka Tower, which held the title of the tallest tower in Australia by the roof (second tallest overall) from 2006 to 2019.
Eureka Tower is also a residential building — the third on this list of the tallest buildings in Australia.
The dominance of residential towers contrasts heavily with America’s primarily-commercial supertall structures; Australia’s population is growing twice as fast as America’s.
Eureka Tower was named in honour of the Eureka Rebellion, an uprising during Victoria’s 1854 gold rush. Architect Fender Katsalidis even built a few nods to this rebellion into the design itself. The building has a gold crown, a red stripe representing the rebellion’s bloodiness, and blue glass symbolizing its flag. There are also white horizontal stripes on the building meant to resemble a surveyor’s measuring staff.
Height: 297.3 metres
4. Aurora Melbourne Central
Here’s yet another residential supertall skyscraper on this list of the tallest buildings in Australia.
Aurora Melbourne Central is currently under construction. Its design, by Elenberg Fraser, incorporates axial symmetry to produce an appearance resembling that of a budding flower. That’s not the only natural phenomenon this structure draws inspiration from, though; its name references the Aurora Australis.
The project’s main contractor is Probuild.
Height: 270.5 metres
5. Brisbane Skytower
Brisbane Skytower is the fifth-tallest building in Australia and the tallest in Brisbane itself.
The building was developed by Billbergia and AMP Capital. Noel Robinson Architects created its equilateral triangle design, incorporating a variety of materials (including double-glazed windows) to fit Brisbane Skytower neatly into the skyline.
Height: 269.5 metres
6. 120 Collins Street
Finally, six items into this list of the tallest buildings in Australia, we arrive at an office building.
120 Collins Street, located in Melbourne’s central business district, is the tallest tower in Australia designated for commercial use.
It was once Melbourne’s tallest building overall until the Eureka Tower surpassed it in 2006.
The postmodern building (constructed in 1991) is inspired by the Art Deco structures that grace many American city skylines. Tenants include BofA Securities, BlackRock, Mitsubishi, and Citigroup. Those are some mega clients befitting of this building’s imposing presence, which is the joint handiwork of architectural giants Hassell and Daryl Jackson.
Height: 265 metres
7. 101 Collins Street
120 Collins Street’s little sister goes by the name of 101 Collins Street. She was also completed in 1991 and houses Australia’s highest commercial solar panel system. 101 Collins Street, like its bigger sister, was designed in the Art Deco style, only with a more glass-centric appearance. It was designed by Denton Corker Marshall.
Height: 260 metres
8. 1 William Street
1 William Street is the second tallest building in Brisbane (after Brisbane Skytower). Unlike the two Art Deco structures we just discussed on this list of the tallest buildings in Australia, 1 William Street bears a modernist design, crafted by Woods Bagot.
The Queensland Government commissioned the building as part of a Government Administrative Precinct renewal. Government workers moved in upon the building’s completion in October 2016 and remain its inhabitants.
Height: 259.8 metres
9. Prima Pearl
When Prima Pearl’s 225-metre design was proposed in 2002, there were concerns of oversupply in Melbourne’s inner-city apartment market. Nonetheless, it was approved but ultimately shelved in 2009 despite redesigns that made it even taller; it never got to the sales stage.
Roughly a year later, the project was relaunched by firm Schiavello and its height was increased even further. Multiplex commenced construction in 2012. Upon Prima Pearl’s completion in 2014 it was Melbourne’s fourth-tallest building.
Height: 254 metres
10. Rialto Towers
Located in Melbourne’s central business district, the Rialto Towers were once the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest office complex. The Rialto Towers are billed as “the icon of Melbourne’s skyline.” Their sleek appearance was the joint work of Gerard de Preu and Partners and Perrott Lyon Mathieson.
Although the complex’s name might suggest two freestanding towers, they are in fact interconnected, with the lower of the two ‘towers’ having 41 floors.
Height: 251.1 metres
11. Infinity Tower
The Infinity Tower doesn’t stretch into the heavens as its name might suggest — but when might get that impression when looking up at the award-winning colossus.
Infinity Tower received the International Property Award for Best Residential High-Rise Development in Australia in 2014. It was co-designed by DBI Architects and Meriton.
Height: 249 metres
12. Central Park
While the term ‘central park’ is globally associated with New York City, those living in Perth can’t help but associate it with the giant structure located at 152-158 St. Georges Terrace.
Central Park was constructed modularly, incorporating precast floor slabs dropped into the tower’s steel frame. Even the tower’s restrooms were built modularly, arriving on-site fully constructed and ready to be installed.
Atop Central Park is a large communications mast that undoubtedly earns it a place on this list of the tallest buildings in Australia.
Height: 249 metres
13. Victoria One
Returning to Melbourne for the next entry on this list, we have Victoria One — a residential building designed by Doig Architecture and proposed in 2013. Victoria One is the tallest building at the core of Melbourne’s central business district and was completed in 2018.
Height: 246.8 metres
14. Chifley Tower
Chifley Tower was designed by Travis McEwen and Kohn Pedersen Fox, architects based in New York City. Unlike a couple of prior items on this list, however, Chifley Tower doesn’t bear the Art Deco hallmarks that often characterize the Big Apple’s architecture.
Chifley Tower is home to primarily commercial clients ranging from financial institutions to law firms.
Height: 244 metres
Soleil, a residential building, held the title of Brisbane’s tallest building until Infinity Tower overtook it in 2013. DBI Design was behind the skyscraper’s appearance, which is ultra-slim for a very practical reason: a height-to-width ratio of 12:1 helped the building achieve the desired density.
Height: 243 metres
16. Citigroup Centre
The Citigroup Centre in Sydney is the next entry on this list of the tallest buildings in Australia. It was designed by Crone and Associates; upon the structure’s completion in 2000, it was the eighth tallest in Australia.
Height: 243 metres
While some megatall skyscrapers around the world tend to appear lifeless and bland, the aptly-named Soul certainly does not fit that category, especially when viewed from afar.
Developed and constructed by Juniper Group and Grocon, respectively, the design by DBI Design offers tremendous ocean views befitting of a luxury property on the Gold Coast.
Height: 242.6 metres
18. Deutsche Bank Place
As its name would suggest, this tower’s primary tenant is Deutsche Bank. Located in the central business district of Sydney, Deutsche Bank Place was the work of architect Norman Foster.
The structure’s rather peculiar design was necessitated by numerous factors, including a narrow site, requirements for open floor plates, and regulations ensuring it did not rob too much sunlight from nearby buildings.
Height: 240 metres
19. Swanston Central
Swanston Central, located in Melbourne, is a residential tower featuring a sleek yet angular design by Elenberg Fraser. While it certainly stands out, the building’s multicoloured-facade was designed to blend in with the heritage buildings surrounding it.
Height: 236.7 metres
20. Brookfield Place
Residents commonly refer to Brookfield Place as City Square or BHP City Square. While it’s not among the top 10 tallest buildings in Australia, Brookfield Place is the tallest commercial building in the southern hemisphere that utilizes a side core design.
Behind this design was Hassell and Fitzpatrick + Partners.
Height: 234.4 metres
21. World Tower
Located on Liverpool Street in Sydney, World Tower was constructed by Meriton and designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects — two names behind many of the other tallest buildings in Australia on this list.
World Tower’s design features three residential sections and a shopping mall at the base.
Height: 230 metres
22. Vision Apartments
Coming in at just a hair (relatively speaking, anyway) under the previous entry, Vision Apartments is currently among Melbourne’s top 10 tallest buildings.
The Brady Group received approval for the building in 2012 and completed constructing it in 2016.
In addition to its stunning exterior design, Vision Apartments boasts in-house designed apartments at competitive prices aimed at temporary inhabitants.
Height: 229 metres
23. MLC Centre
The MLC Centre topped the list of tallest buildings in Australia upon its completion in 1977. While it ceased being the tallest tower in Australia in 1986 and has fallen considerably down the list since then, it’s still a stunning architectural landmark in Sydney’s city centre.
The MLC Centre received the Sir John Sulman medal from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, a testament to its lasting design.
Height: 228 metres
24. Governor Phillip Tower
Governor Phillip Tower was constructed by Grocon, Australia’s largest private construction company. When it was completed in 1994, Governor Phillip Tower was heralded as a bar-raiser in terms of design and quality.
The building, designed by Denton Corker Marshall, rests on one of Australia’s first and most important European heritage sites.
Height: 227 metres
25. 568 Collins Street
Last on our list of the 25 tallest buildings in Australia, we have the behemoth residing at 568 Collins Street. The mixed-use skyscraper houses 588 residential units and numerous offices. As you might be able to guess by its sleek design (the work of Bruce Henderson Architects) 568 Collins Street is a modern affair, completed in 2015.
Height: 224 metres