The best (and worst) places to live for hay fever sufferers

Location plays a significant role in hay fever, which is why some people can be unaffected their whole life until they move. This is because trees and grasses grow in different areas, and pollinate at different times of the year and different volumes, depending on the area.


Find out how where you live stacks up …


Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Australia’s capital comes in at first place, where approximately 21% of people report symptoms. This is thought to be due to a large number of exotic plant and tree species planted by the city council.


New Zealand

New Zealand takes second place with around 20% of the population reporting symptoms. This is mainly due to a number of plants that have been introduced to the region including:

  • Perennial ryegrass – a wind-borne pollen that commonly sparks hay fever symptoms, especially during spring time
  • English plantain – a ubiquitous weed often found in lawns, parks and along the roadside
  • Birch, cedar and pine trees – some of the worst offenders, which release troublesome pollen between June and August


Western Australia

WA has the second highest incidence of hay fever in Australia at 19.7%. This is due in large part to the White Cypress flower, which blooms between July and August and airborne grasses which get picked up by dry and coastal winds.



In fourth place, we have Victoria, where hay fever affects around 17.5% of the local population. This is thought to be due to the pollen carried by the wind from the northern grasslands.


South Australia

South Australia follows closely behind at 17.2%. Here, the concentration of pollen is said to vary according to prevailing winds.



Though slightly further down the list, Tasmania also reports relatively high rates of hay fever (16.5%). This may be due to northern winds which carry pollen to southern regions.


New South Wales

New South Wales reports the second lowest incidence of hay fever in Australia at 13.3%. In this state, pollen counts usually peak in October and November. However, sufferers can also be affected during other times of the year depending on when various grasses and weeds release their pollen.



The sunny state comes in lucky last on the list at 11.3%, despite the fact that they report some of the longest pollination seasons across the nation – interesting, huh?


Northern Territory

Currently, there is no reliable statistic regarding the hay fever rate in the Northern Territory because the sample size is too small.


The bottom line

On average, hay fever affects about 15.1%(1) of the Australian population, compared to New Zealand, which appears to be a slightly higher rate of about 20% (2).


At HWA, our Naturopaths perform a natural allergy treatment called Positive Association Technique (PAT), and we have clinics located around Australia and New Zealand. So, if you’re experiencing hay fever symptoms:

  • Call us on 1300 853 023 / 09 479 5997 (NZ) to chat to our friendly staff
  • Send our practitioners a question HERE
  • Request a Free PAT Information E-PACK HERE