Australia has a significant proportion of residents of Asian heritage. Although the incidence of skin cancer is lower in those of Asian heritage than Caucasians, their prognosis is often worse. Sociocultural variables are central to the tanning behaviours of individuals from Western cultures. We examined the role of sociocultural variables in the tanning behaviours (outdoor tanning, indoor/solarium and fake tan use) among Asian Australians. A sample of 399 young adults identifying either as a person of Asian heritage or as Asian Australian participated in an online survey. Our results suggest that Asian Australians are at risk of skin cancer; over 35 % of the sample reported engaging in outdoor tanning and over 10 % in solarium tanning. After controlling for demographic factors and skin cancer knowledge, preferring a darker skin tone and being acculturated to Australia were significantly associated with tanning behaviour. Participants’ low levels of skin cancer knowledge are of concern, and possibilities for improving knowledge levels in this group are considered. Further, we recommended that future research studies investigate sociocultural and appearance-related beliefs associated with tanning behaviours in this population, in order to determine best avenues for intervention.