How to Watch UK TV in Australia – Live or On Demand

UKTV Australia – Here’s How to Watch British TV

There’s little doubt in many important aspects needed in a great lifestyle, Australia has them pretty much covered.  A healthy economy, great weather, outdoor activities and it’s not surprising that numerous quality of life indexes always rank Australia near the top.  It’s also the reason, that many thousands of UK families head over to Australia every year to set up a new life.

Some stay, some return but you won’t find many who don’t appreciate what a great place to live Australia can be.  Yet for someone who has spent a considerable amount of time in Australia there’s one aspect which is way behind the UK and that’s television.

How do I Stream UK TV channels on my Australian device?

You can do it! There’s absolutely no reason to lose access to any of the top UK TV stations.

Process for Watching British TV in Australia

There are some decent programmes on the main Aussie channels, yet most are spoiled by intrusive advertising breaks.   There is nothing in my opinion to come anywhere close to the wonderful BBC for things like drama, documentaries, news, current affairs and even sport.

How to Watch UK TV in Australia

There is a fix, you can have the best of both worlds and sit relaxing by the pool in February with a tinny in hand whilst watching something like Match of the Day or Blue Planet on your TV or laptop.

It’s called a VPN – Virtual Private Network, sounds lots of work but it isn’t. You can even use this VPN solution to watch Britbox in Australia too!  If you want to read more about this and other methods to watch BBC and UKTV check at the bottom of this post.

How to Watch UK TV in Australia

Now of course, you’re not going to be able to access the BBC digital signal from Australia so what’s the best option? Well the obvious place to look is of course online, the BBC broadcasts all it’s programmes over the internet live and archives the majority of them on the BBC iPlayer application. However there is a problem, which affects everyone connecting to the site from outside the United Kingdom, nobody without a UK IP address is allowed access to their content.

Fortunately there is a solution, one which is used by literally millions of people. It’s a simple method of using an intermediate server to hide your location and allows access to the BBC and all the other UK TV channels from anywhere in the world. Here’s a demonstration –

Nord VPN Discount Page


When you connect to the BBC site using a VPN server, the site sees the IP address of the server not your real one. As you can see in the video, as long as the VPN is based in the United Kingdom then you will effectively have a British address too. Which means that you can use the BBC site to live stream all it’s programmes when they’re broadcast and watch all of the archived programmes on BBC iPlayer.

Access Other UK TV Services like ITV, Channel 4 and Britbox in Australia too

If you stay connected to a UK VPN server you can also access any other UK only site too including ITV, Channel 4 and Sky Go. It can even be used on other devices too, for example set up the VPN connection and you can watch UK TV abroad on iPad, Smart phones and other tablets.

Bored of your Australian version of Netflix? Then just connect to a UK server before you sign in and get the UK version instead. However there’s a better option, switch to a US VPN server and you can get the American version of Netflix which is way better than any of them!

Many people are using a VPN to access the BBC’s new venture Britbox too. It’s a wonderful streaming service with decades of fantastic British Television from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. However although a VPN can allow you access to Britbox now, check the details as there’s an Australian version being launched at some point.

Update: Britbox is now available in Australia,  so you can just forget the VPN method and subscribe to this service directly if you prefer.

uk tv streaming australia

Remember although a VPN can allow you access to Britbox from Australia, you will also need a UK based payment method too (see update above). However if you can enlist a friend or family member in the UK to put their details in you can enjoy the month long free trial of Britbox and then cancel or settle up after.   However when you see how much you can get for free from the channels themselves it might not be worth signing up to the British Britbox just yet.

Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer in Australia

To be honest, with all the amazing content that’s available online for free a VPN makes much more sense than even a cable subscription. The ability to watch British TV everywhere without restriction is incredible – BBC iPlayer Australia and you can even watch Sky Go abroad if you have access to an account.  Even the Australian Britbox is nowhere near as good as the main BBC iPlayer site and all it’s live TV channels.

Of course the primary purpose of a VPN is to encrypt and protect your internet connection, but the ability to bypass region locks and filters is extremely valuable too. There’s many available on the market but for speed, security and support our recommendation is below.   It’s great value, has servers all over the world and you can install it on all your devices under the same subscription –

Nord VPN Latest Discount

Try it out for a few dollars, it’s fast, secure and works especially well with UK TV stations.


Additional FAQ

Here’s a few questions received in comments and emails since this page was originally created.  Hopefully if your query wasn’t answered above it might be in this section.

How to Watch Channel 5 in Australia ?

Channel 5 is one of the UK’s newer mainstream commercial channels but it’s very popular.  It’s online site is called MY 5 and has a large selection of box sets and shows plus you can watch live TV  online too – their site is here – Channel 5. Unfortunately like all the UK TV sites it’s geo-blocked too, but the good news is using a UK VPN should unlock everything in exactly the same way. You will have to create an account but just ensure you’re connected to a UK server before you do it.

How to Watch British TV in Australia for free, please?

As explained above, to watch UK TV in Australia you need to hide your location.  By using a VPN you can appear to be in the UK but unfortunately all the VPNs that work in 2023 cost money. It’s not surprising they have to cover their costs and pay their staff!  The only free option which is safe that I know of  is a system called Smart DNS Proxy who offer a Free 14 Day Trial thruough this link.  It’s like a VPN and hides your IP address but only for specific sites but I think all the UK television channels are included.  It’s not really suitable for use on mobile devices like phones but works well on PCs and laptops.  Please support them if you find the trial useful.

Which is the Best VPN for UK TV in Australia?

It’s a much easier question than it was a few years ago as the vast majority of VPNs are now blocked by both BBC iPlayer and ITVX.   The few that do work can be erratic and unreliable but we’ve always found NordVPN works well especially if you use their ‘secret BBC optimized’ servers.  Just select one of these (put number in search bar to list) – United Kingdom # 1840-1847, 1850-1863, 1865, 1869, 1873, 1875-1878, 1880-1881, 1900-1901, 1903-1904, 1911, 1913, 1917, 1919-1920 instead of using the autoconnect feature.