Aim: Penetrating head injuries (pHIs) are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Data on pHIs in children outside North America are limited. We describe the mechanism of injuries, neuroimaging findings, neurosurgery and mortality for pHIs in Australia and New Zealand. Methods: This was a planned secondary analysis of a prospective observational study of children <18 years who presented with a head injury of any severity at any of 10 predominantly paediatric Australian/New Zealand emergency departments (EDs) between 2011 and 2014. We reviewed all cases where clinicians had clinically suspected pHI as well as all cases of clinically important traumatic brain injuries (death, neurosurgery, intubation >24 h, admission >2 days and abnormal computed tomography). Results: Of 20 137 evaluable patients with a head injury, 21 (0.1%) were identified to have sustained a pHI. All injuries were of non-intentional nature, and there were no gunshot wounds. The mechanisms of injuries varied from falls, animal attack, motor vehicle crashes and impact with objects. Mean Glasgow Coma Scale on ED arrival was 10; 10 (48%) had a history of loss of consciousness, and 7 (33%) children were intubated pre-hospital or in the ED. Fourteen (67%) children underwent neurosurgery, two (10%) craniofacial surgery, and five (24%) were treated conservatively; four (19%) patients died. Conclusions: Paediatric pHIs are very rare in EDs in Australia and New Zealand but are associated with high morbidity and mortality. The absence of firearm-related injuries compared to North America is striking and may reflect Australian and New Zealand firearm regulations.