The Six Nations champion led 23-8 at the interval before the Wallabies came within a score of completing a winning comeback in a thrilling finale.
The heavyweight clash held the key to qualification to the knockout stages from a tough Pool and it was Wales who will go forward to its remaining matches with a perfect record after two games.
The Australians scored three tries against two for Wales, but ultimately it was two dropped goals from Dan Biggar and Rhys Patchell at the start of each half that proved key ingredients in a famous victory for Warren Gatland’s men.
Patchell, who came on as a replacement for fly-half Biggar after he suffered a head injury, also kicked a crucial penalty after Australia had closed to within a point.
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