Here we quantify Australian coastal population at a spatial resolution of 1 km and do this as a function of distance to shoreline and elevation above mean sea level. We also report comprehensive validations based on statistical and spatial relationships between very fine-resolution Australian data sets and the recent high-resolution global data sets on ambient population distribution (LandScan2003), shorelines (GSHHS) and elevation (SRTM). Estimates are heavily dependent upon the resolutions of all input data, as well as the resolution of analysis. Our results show about 50% of Australian addresses or population are located within 7 km of the shore, and that population decreases very rapidly with increasing distance from the shoreline. About 6.0% of Australian addresses are situated within 3 km of shorelines in areas with elevations below 5 m.