11 Best Dating Apps and Sites in Australia

The days in which dating sites and apps were but a fringe sector of the overall social scene are long gone. Don’t believe us? Just try picking up a random stranger the next time your at the grocery store or park. You’ll be lucky if she doesn’t call the police!

Okay, okay, so maybe there are still a few dating maestros out there, who can throw down game without using technology. Along similar lines, Australia isn’t so reliant on dating apps that you can’t make a random connection without one, especially when you’re out at the bar or club.

Nevertheless, online dating has become the proverbial norm and that’s given way to a slew of sites and apps. As with all things in life, each one delivers its own set of pros and cons. So which are the best dating apps and Australian dating sites? Let’s find out!

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best dating apps and sites 2

What to Look for in a Good Dating Site

If we know one thing about romance, it’s that you should always dip your toes in the water before diving in. Australia’s dating sites and apps work kind of the same way and you shouldn’t just settle for the first one you find. What to look for could depend on the type of person you are, the type of person you’re hoping to date, and how much work you want to put in.

Of course, no matter where you land, you’ll want to read the reviews first. Furthermore, you should pay attention to things like layout, usability, communication tools, subscription costs (or lack thereof), and membership count. You should also perform some research to make sure the particular dating site or app you’re looking at isn’t a hotbed for fraud. The last thing you want is to get catfished.

Which Dating Site is for Me?

Despite their somewhat similar veneers, each dating site and app tends to have its own hook. For instance, there are mature dating sites and millennial dating sites. Some dating sites allow you to send a message to literally anyone while other sites only allow communication between “matches.”

The differences can definitely add up and it’s important to know what you want before going in. Should you be looking for a cheap fling, you’ll find a slew of accommodating sites and apps. On the flip side of that coin are sites like eHarmony, where long-term romance is a shared mutual goal.

Should I Have to Pay for a Dating Site?

Some dating sites cost money from the get-go while others offer basic services for free and upgraded features at a price. Whether or not you pay for a dating site or premium tier could depend on how serious you are about finding a long-term match. That is to say, people who pay for the privilege of online dating tend to be more invested in the process, seeking love in lieu of lust.

Meanwhile, don’t take the word “free” to indicate a drop in quality. On the contrary, certain free dating apps are ranked as high if not higher than their subscription-based peers. To that end alone, you should not have to pay for a dating site or premium tier. But if you do, you’ll probably have a much smoother experience.

best dating apps and sites 2

How to Stay Safe While Dating Online

Meeting up with random strangers for possibly romantic encounters is exactly as hazardous as it sounds, should you not take certain precautions. By putting yourself “out there,” you could be entering a world of fraud, identity theft, catfishing, financial scams, and more.

No matter which dating app or site you use, take at least some of the following measures:

  1. Research your date before meeting her (nothing too stalkerish, just see if you can find a Facebook profile or something of the like).
  2. Have a video chat before you meet in person.
  3. Use a separate phone number (Google Voice, for example) just for dating.
  4. Meet in a public space.
  5. Tell a friend or family member about the date before you go.
  6. Don’t get too drunk on the first date.
  7. Don’t share too much personal information until you trust the other person.

Best Dating Sites and Apps

Enough with the preamble—onto the main event! Here are the best dating apps and sites in Australia. Find the one or two that suit your particular desires and get busy…literally.

Best Dating Sites - tinder 1

1. Tinder

You know the drill: swipe right if you like what you see and then hope she does the same. Next comes a little flirting via message to find out if there’s genuine chemistry in the air. You can take it from here, champ. Free dating apps don’t get more popular than this one.

Cost: free for the basic version
Pros: good for hook-ups, massively popular, fun and easy to use, generally safe
Cons: superficial, addictive, a little soul-sucking in the long run, people can get inundated with unwanted messages

Check it out

Best Dating Sites - bumble

2. Bumble

According to about half of the Bumble app users, it’s mostly good for hookups and flings. However, don’t take that to mean it’s the same thing as Tinder. For starters, only female users can make first contact with the opposite sex. Also, matches expire if she doesn’t reach out after 24 hours (though there is a “rematch” feature).

Cost: free for the basic version
Pros: good for hook-ups, easy to use, better and safer for females, strong ratio of matches to connections, similar number of male and female users
Cons: males have no chance to initiate the conversation, matches expire, limited search criteria

Check it out

Best Dating Sites - hinge

3. Hinge

This location-based dating app shares qualities with Tinder and Bumble, but does a better job at helping you break the ice and forge a real connection. It uses various prompts and features to bring out the best you and move the conversation along at a brisk pace.

Cost: free for the basic version
Pros: terrific layout, makes it easy to start conversations, helps you form real connections
Cons: not necessarily a mature dating app, can sometimes show you the same matches over and over again

Check it out

Best Dating Sites - POF

4. Pof

There are plenty of fish in the sea and this dating site takes the concept to heart. Its user pool is massive, its filtres efficient, and its features abundant. This is one of the best dating sites in both Australia and the world over.

Cost: free for the basic version
Pros: huge user base, seamless layout, loads of free features, advanced search filtres, good for all types of dating
Cons: hotbed for scammers, match quality can vary, heavy competition for attractive mates

Check it out

Best Dating Sites - okcupid

5. OKCupid

Available as either a website or app, OKCupid is one of the more seasoned players in the online dating game. It will ask you lots (and lots) of questions when you sign up. Answer honestly and you just might find someone to love.

Cost: free for the basic version
Pros: inclusive, comprehensive, goes beyond physical appearances to uncover personality types, good for long-term relationships
Cons: takes time and commitment if you want the best results

Check it out

Best Dating Sites - eharmony

6. eHarmony

Running since 2000, this firmly established dating site is primarily designed for long-term commitments. Use it wisely and you might one day thank it for your marriage.

Cost: $19.95 per month when you sign up for a 12-month plan
Pros: gets to know you on every level, generates solid matches, nurtures long-term relationships
Cons: doesn’t have a search function, costs money, can yield the occasional mismatch

Check it out

Best Dating Sites - oasis active

7. Oasis Active

Unlike most of the world’s dating apps, Australia’s own Oasis Active was actually designed with our native culture in mind. Streamlined and social, it’s more popular now than ever before.

Cost: free for the basic version
Pros: one of the best Australian dating sites, easy to navigate, large user base
Cons: prone to scams, lots of ads

Check it out

Best Dating Sites - facebook dating

8. Facebook Dating

It only took Facebook around 14 years to do the obvious, i.e. launch a full-blown online dating app. Talk about a no-brainer!

Cost: free
Pros: easy to get started, uses existing Facebook data to set up a profile, keeps your regular profile and dating profile completely separate (you’ll also never be matched with friends), integrates with Instagram
Cons: lack of buffers can lead to influx of unwanted messages, your data is likely being sold without your knowledge

Check it out

Best Dating Sites - rsvp

9. RSVP

One of the best dating sites in Australia is also one of the most popular and trusted. If you’re over 30 and serious about love, this could very well become your mature dating portal of choice.

Cost: free for certain basic features
Pros: easy to use, safe and secure, large membership base, solid matchmaking
Cons: costs money to initiate a message, could be selling your data

Check it out

Best Dating Sites - zoosk

10. Zoosk

The Zoosk dating app comes bolstered by a signature algorithm, which reportedly yields better matches. Messaging will cost you but maybe that’s a good thing.

Cost: free for certain basic features
Pros: easy to navigate, large user base, effective matchmaking algorithm, verifies photos to reduce catfishing and scams
Cons: not necessarily good for older users, nearly all the essential features cost money, no refunds on subscriptions

Check it out

Best Dating Sites - grindr

11. Grindr

For some man to man sparks of the short-term variety, you know exactly which dating app to download. You might also find friendship or even long-term romance, but that’s probably not why you signed up. All the pros and cons of Tinder essentially apply here as well.

Cost: free for the basic version
Pros: good for hook-ups, massively popular, fun and easy to use
Cons: superficial, addictive, potentially soul-sucking

Check it out

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General FAQ

What's the best dating app?

If you're young and looking for fun, apps like Tinder and Bumble are some of the best. If you're ready to get a little more serious, check out eHarmony or OKCupid.

Should I have to pay for a dating site?

Most dating apps offer basic services for free and premium services at a cost. Whether or not you pay for the privilege boils down to your particular habits and desires. Nevertheless, paying for a dating app typically infers commitment and helps weed out a number of distractions.

Is online dating safe?

Online dating is generally safe, but you should still take precautions to avoid scams, frauds, or other hazards. Perform a little research in advance and maybe ask to chat via video call before meeting in person. When it's finally time to meet, do so in a public setting.