We’ve done quite a lot of driving out of town recently. We first went Driving Out Of Town in Australia in January when we drove out of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
In February we drove out of Darwin and Adelaide along several Australian Roads with Very Few Cars on Them. Sandwiched in between those two post was Avoiding the Motorways and Taking the Back Roads in Australia with more pictures of empty roads and green lush and/or dusty and dry countryside, like this one…
That made me wonder if I’d given you the impression that once you leave any of the major cities in Australia and drive anywhere, there is nothing. That is simply not the case, we have quite literally thousands of small towns dotted around this huge country.
For those of you who want a number, it’s at least 10,000, maybe as many as 15,000 when you include all cities, towns, suburbs and settlements.
For example, here’s what happens when you drive west out of Brisbane for about an hour along the Warrego Highway.
For an interactive view of that, visit Google maps.
If you click on the image to enlarge it, you might just about be able to make out that this journey will take you through (each town’s population is in brackets) Muirlea (282), Ironbark (846), Haigslea (414), Marburg (567), Minden (1093), Prenzlau (1120), Hatton Vale (1138), Plainland (1672) and Crowley Vale (1668) before you arrive at Gatton.
With a population of 6869 as at the 2011 census, Gatton is huge compared to those smaller towns we passed through on the way. It is also the home of a University Queensland campus with its state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities in agriculture, animals, veterinary science and the environment.
Here’s what Gatton’s town centre looks like at around 3:30 PM on a Saturday afternoon…
This seems to be the way it is in smaller towns from what I have seen. I have visited quite a few small towns on a Saturday afternoon, they seem to like to get all their shopping done by lunchtime so they can chill out for the rest of the weekend.
Not a bad idea.
Driving back from Gatton, avoiding the highway, will take you through Lawes (304) and Forest Hill (394) before you pass Lake Dyer…
Again, Laidley by comparison with those other small towns is quite big with its population of 3518. This is Laidley…
Continuing on our journey back towards Brisbane, we then pass through Grandchester (504), Calvert (281), Lanefield (234), Rosewood (2746), Thagoona (1639) and Walloon (1548). This is the Walloon Saloon…
So, as I’ve said, it’s not just country roads and countryside when you drive out of our cities, small towns are everywhere. We passed through 19 of them during this short journey, it’s easy to see how Australia has thousands of them.
How many towns and cities in Australia and the UK compared
So, how does Australia compare to the UK? Let’s remind ourselves first that the UK can fit into Australia about 31 times.
As I’ve already mentioned, there are at least 10,000, possibly as many as 15,000 towns here in Australia. The higher number comes from a website called Australian Towns List. They sell a downloadable database which they say is “Updated quarterly and containing over 15,000 named locations – from small towns and villages to major cities“.
On a similar website called TownsList.co.uk they sell a downloadable database which they describe as “The most comprehensive database available of all 48,083 UK cities, towns and villages“.
- Australia = 15,000+
- UK = 48,083
Just imagine for a moment if both of our countries had the same population density. If the UK had Australia’s population density, it would have something like 1500 towns. If Australia had the UK’s population density, we would have just over 1.49 million towns.
Remember that, it just might come up in a pub quiz one day.