Off Topic: Favourite Australian City

Over the weekend, I made a super-quick visit to Melbourne for a friend's wedding, and it really got me thinking about what it is I like about Sydney, and why I never really enjoyed living in Melbourne. I thought I would throw it out there to you guys and girls — what Australian city is your favourite and why?

My wife grew up in Melbourne, and she loves it to death. Every day she rags on Sydney: "When can we move back?", "The roads here are stupid", "It's too crowded". But I've always loved Sydney. It feels like a proper city ,whereas Melbourne is more like an enormous collection of conveniently placed suburbs.

I think part of it is personal — I was still a teacher in Melbourne, and I really didn't enjoy my work. I think I associate Melbourne with those bad memories, whereas Sydney has all the awesome memories attached to it.

What else. Perth. I really love Perth. I love the weather, I love that it's relatively small and very clean. I would live there if I could, I reckon.

Canberra? I think it gets a bad rap. I have relatives there, and I always enjoy visiting.

What about you guys? What cities in Australia do you like best? What do you hate? Let us know in the comments below.

Melbourne picture from Shutterstock


    let the flame wars... begin!

      I currently live in sydney, iv been to melbourne several times and i hate it... any town that makes you do a 'hook turn' should be closed... got a heavy fine for that night... so syd/bris FTMFW!

        Hook turns are only in the CBD. They're there so trams can go through unobstructed. Just FYI.

        Considering Sydney didn't put any thought into their roads, I wouldn't be complaining about hook turns (which I agree, are ridiculous).

          Hook turns are great. Their only bad if you don't understand what to do (ie most Sydney drivers)

            lol i dont get the logic of turning right from a left lane .... which idiot came up with that stupid idea ?
            there is a traffic light for a reason guys if u want to giveway .... lolol

              To avoid creating traffic jams so one guy can do a right turn from the right lane when the lights go back to red? Also holding up the already unreliable tram system? Or to prevent Sydney drivers from witlessly driving into oncoming traffic?

              What I really hate about it, Is that if more then two or three people need to turn right and its a dual lane (on each side) intersection, you end up blocking the traffic in the left lane anyway until you can turn, Thereby making everyone behind you wait for another set of lights.

                To clarify: Hook turns aren't for the cars, they're for the trams. And the cars safety (getting rammed with a tram is sort of awkward)

    Dunno, only been to Sydney, Perth, Brisbane & Adelaide.

    Some I was very young some I visited only for short.

    Hard to say. I used to love Brisbane, but it just isn't the same :-(

    I live in Sydney and like it. I like Melbourne. Brisbane and Adelaide are OK but I haven't spent all that much time in either to have an informed opinion.

    Can't we all just be friends?

      Though if I had to rank them in terms of cricket grounds (my main purpose for interstate travel) I'd say Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane - but reverse Melbourne and Sydney if the crowd is small.

        You rank Brisbane that low? The ground with one of the few non-drop-in pitches remaining in the country? The damned pitch that has been a curse for the Brisbane Lions? Were their knee injuries for nothing?

          Mainly speaking in terms of character and surrounds as a spectator, in which case the GABBA felt a bit underwhelming. Adelaide Oval is gorgeous and wonderfully placed (well, was when I was there about 5 years ago before all the renovations), the colosseum of the MCG is awe-inspiring when it's full, while the old buildings and members' section of the SCG (which I'm lucky enough to enter) lend it a fantastic character. The GABBA is good because we win there.

            The Gabba holds a special place in my heart because I've been going there since before they installed the lights.

            I remember running around the standing area collecting pogs from the bottom of Coke cups. I remember being there for the first night game. I remember yelling "Tigers are chicken legs!" as a child before running on to play Auskick. I remember the Southern Stand being built. I remember standing behind the goals when the Mark of the Century was taken. I remember being hit in the face by an errant shot on goal by Jason Dunstall.

            I remember the victories, the defeats. I remember queueing outside the ground during a preliminary final so that I could claim a spot in line for Grand Final tickets and hearing the noise of the crowd from every goal, mark and free kick. I remember the last final that was player there against Carlton, where Brisbane managed to desperately find their way to a massive comeback victory.

            I remember spending time with my family, with friends. I remember one horribly wet night where the Lions played Geelong and I sat there with some complete strangers having the time of my life as we laughed at the terrible display in front of us.

            Yet none of that compares to the awe of being at the MCG on Grand Final day.

            Last edited 12/03/13 11:36 am

              That definitely makes a big difference. I obviously don't hold it dear to my heart, because I don't even remember that it's a contracted Gabba rather than an abbreviated GABBA :)

                Woollongabba Stadium or the Brisbane Cricket Ground :p

                That was only a fraction of what I remember from that ground. It never really sunk in until just now how much I value that place. It's going to suck to leave Brisbane and not be able to go there whenever the Lions are playing.

                  I don't follow AFL *that* much, but I'll join you at the SCG when they play Sydney on 5th of May if you like?

                  @Batguy I'll be there.

    I love many things about Sydney, but these days it pisses me off more than anything, and cant wait for my next opportunity to move as far away as possible, and probably never come back.

    Melbourne would be the best city if it was where Sydney is or just had the more stable weather Sydney normally enjoys. Still, a tempting place to move to.

    I've only ever been to Sydney.

    It was nice.

    Born and live in Sydney but prefer Melbourne. There's just more culture and things feel closer to each other.

    Hated all the other cities. Having travelled the world I wouldn't even classify them as cities.

    Sydney is the best brahs. Just cos its the most populated/most shit to do/most "cultured" or "sophisticated" or whatever you wanna call it/etc.
    But queensland and surfers is pretty cool too.

      Surfers? Oh god, really? The place looks like a handbag store, there's so much human leather walking around. The most violent, debased clubs in the state, where idiots go to pick up 16yr old girls and get their punch on, where the cops are the most corrupt, where you'll see the most needlessly flashy sports cars filled with wankers who want you to see them...

      Sydney acts like it wishes it were LA. And the number of washed up food/music/art snobs who ended up there because they couldn't hack it in Sydney only serve to highlight how the Gold Coast wishes it were Sydney.

    Sydney = Busiest and most crowded city in AU, but everything is available to you
    Melbourne = A smaller version of Sydney
    Adelaide = A smaller version of Melbourne
    Canberra = A smaller version of Adelaide
    Queensland = Holiday destination, people seem more laid back
    Darwin = Bloody hot, but a great spectacle
    Perth = Never been, can't comment
    Hobart = Never been, can't comment

      Its Brisbane champ, in case you'd forgotten Queenslands Capitol City.

        It's "capital", mate. In case you've forgotten that "capitol" is a place where the legislative assembly meets.

      Actually at current growth rates, Melbourne will be bigger than Sydney in a few years.

    Melbourne sort of feels like a hole at times, but there's some really cool places there if you know where to look. It's also got a great layout so it's easy to navigate.

    Can't really comment on Sydney since I was only there a day or two as a kid and can't really remember anything about it. Same with Hobart, went as a kid, can't really remember it.

    I struggle to even call Canberra a city, it's more like a collection of poorly placed houses.

    I moved from Perth to Sydney 4 years ago, and at first I didn't really like Sydney, but it grew on me.. I think u really need to live there a while to start enjoy living there. Perth will always be my home as my family and close friends are there but every time I go back I find myself missing Sydney.

    Melbourne - by far the best.
    Hobart - quiet, quaint
    Brisbane - a bit boring, Gold Coast is cool though
    Adelaide - went when I was young, a bit boring.
    Sydney - Never known a city to suffer from TPS like Sydney. Wow do they suffer an inferiority complex, especially when another team beats them in League. Small-minded, horribly designed city. Over-rated.

      Your face is over-rated. Yeah, I went there. It's my inferiority complex showing.

      From all the Sydney bashing here I think it may be the other way round on the inferiority complex.

        That's pretty much what my accumulated position is, as a completely partial observer. But saying that "Sydney doesn't actually care what Melbourne thinks" is considered cliché itself - even if it's completely true.

        What is also true is that Sydney hates Brisbane purely due to State of Origin. Because fuck Queensland.

        Really? I always thought Victorians were the middle children of Australia. Whenever Sydney does something, holds an event, public works, whatever, Victorians seem to spoil or downplay it, no matter what it is. Whenever Adelaide does something, they usually ridicule it, then do the same thing, just on a larger scale then suddenly it's awesome and original (Grand Prix, Comedy festivals). Whenever I've heard them mention Tasmanians, it's usually in some reference to some distant land or orcs and mutants, so, to me, they've always just come across as pretentious, attention seeking and insecure, specifically, their celebrities and political leaders. That said, whenever I've hung out with Victorian buddies, I've had a fantastic time there! So many nooks and crannies to explore. Lots of great Greek food! Surprising number of XXX theatres...

      "Wow do they suffer an inferiority complex, especially when another team beats them in League."

      I've never understood this sentiment. As far as I can tell, most Sydneysiders couldn't care less about other capital cities and it's just not something your average person even mentions. Contrary to opinion, we don't all sit around talking about how much better we are than everyone else and usually any conversation about visiting another city is pretty positive. Meanwhile I hear constantly from people from other states talking about how much Sydney sucks and how stuck up we all are.
      I used to get phone calls from people I know in Brisbane bragging about some loss in the State of Origin, my response is generally "I didn't even know this game was on. Sorry." 1. I hate League and 2. I hate people that think they've gotten some sort of victory over someone else just because they live within a 25KM radius of a winning sports team.

        Seriously, have you ever dealt with the die-hard League supporters about Storm? NONE of them want their game to expand beyond Sydney, if Melbourne win, they're salary-cap cheaters and are still doing it. It is amazing how incredibly dense these people are.

      I can't agree with anything you say about Sydney. Usually its the other way around - people go on about how much better Melbourne is than Sydney, when frankly neither rate by world standards. And hardly anyone cares about sports here. Not even league, which gets pretty lousy attendance.

        Melbourne doesnt rate by world standards?

        *Cough*'s_most_livable_cities *cough*

          Yeh I have to add my *coughs*, the world consistently rates Melbourne. What were you basing that comment on? Some sort of secret world meeting?

    Can't say. I've been to more places overseas than in Australia. Looking forward heading to Melbourne on June for the first interstate trip ever.

    My favourite city is the one I'm living in now: Brisbane, I lived here for a few years at the turn of the century moved away to Victoria and couldn't stay away. It's the perfect pace of life (unlike the often frantic Melbourne) and is a great pkace to raise kids!

    I also love Canberra, lived there for 5 years during the N64 era, it is an amzing example of urban design.

      I love that you chronicle your life in video game console generations, by that yardstick I spent my Mega-drive years in Sydney and loved it but it's too much of a rat-race to spend your whole life there but great when your young, Melbourne's a bit more chill and I find easier to survive and even prosper in, but still has that big city feeling that others lack.

    Born and raised in Sydney. Went to Perth for work and I think I like it the most out of all the cities. No idea about nightlife, but it's a beautiful city that has obviously been planned really well.
    Melbourne does have a great culture about it, I'm not sure if I would rank it above or below Sydney - I'll just say that they are extremely different.
    Brisbane - lol

    I'm from Melbourne and actually really like Sydney. I could live there for a little while, but I would have to come home after a year or 2. Something feels just a bit generic about Sydney. 'Culture' is an overused and pretty vague word, but Melbourne really does have more of it. We've had to to become interesting in other ways because lets face it - we dont have the beaches of QLD or Syd - and are severely lacking in iconic monuments. Our weather is notoriously average too, but melbourne has an awesome vibe that I love.

    Having said that, I work in the CBD so I among the thick of it every day. If I was suburb bound I may think differently.

    I like the different cities for different reasons.. like Brisbane for instance is a great city for those who like to bike around or are quite active (I'm not.. but I get that vibe).. It's all built around the river and the low density of people there is great... it's also quite annoying though when you try to go shopping on the weekend and find everything closed early and other things like that.

    Sydney is great for many conveniences but really deserves it's "rat race" title. There's not as much of a community and public facility feeling to Sydney as in Brisbane.. Sydney has a more modern city outlook but I find the people are more closed off and private (in general) than in the other cities.

    Melbourne is a great place for shopping in general.. not just in terms of fashion but also markets for fresh food and other goods. The trams really make it an odd place to visit for someone who doesn't live there, especially the difference in how you drive around the city (e.g. move into the LEFT lane when you want to turn RIGHT etc).

    Hobart is.. well... small.. and that's its charm.. not much to say about Hobart as it has been many years since I visited but I got a very strong sense of it being a modern city but tiny and a bit of a blend of Melbourne and Sydney.

    Brisbane no 1, its a very attractive looking city as well as the fact that the weather is almost perfect, you get hot days and cold days, but the temp is always bareable. (flooding asside)

    Melbourne looks like a Ghetto anywhere outside the city, and some places in the city, too many people as well.

    Sydney never sat right with me just not a good city, too crowded and too aggro.

    Adelaide is full of crazies, and just reminds me of a big Darwin, both very unatractive cities.

    Last edited 12/03/13 11:33 am

      I don't think enough people realise Brisbane exists. Plus the flooding has obviously been a bit of a problem. But I'd rather live anywhere in the north half of Aus than any of the major cities south of the Tweed. Too cold, dirty, busy, rainy and agro down there. Just chill the fuck out Australia, come to QLD, and act like you've supported our Origin team all your life.

      yeah, yeah, DNR, sook more about Darwin - you just couldn't handle it - too much excess body fur ;P

        Hahaha, your just jelly that you're stuck there and i escaped :P

          dude, i came BACK to Darwin - couldn't stand that state you moved to :P

    I like to think that if Newcastle rose from its grave it would be my favourite city.

    Brisbane Represent!

    On a serious note, I would like to put my two cents in for Brisbane. It's an awesome chilled out city, only without all the serial killer issues of Adelaide. Cairns, Townsville, Port Douglas and Cook Town would have to be some of the best places in Aus to live, except for the rain season, the crime rate and the often overlooked social issues in those places. They're more like the best places to visit.

    But QLD didn't even get a mention, I mean, COME ON!

    Like the state in the six-thousand-dollar suit is not worth a mention!

      "only without all the serial killer issues of Adelaide."

      We've had some famous anecdotes of serial killers, but to call it a problem is definitely an overstatement.

      Adelaide's quite nice to live in. It's easy to get around (especially when compared to Sydney) and Glenelg is wonderful.
      It's just the trial version of Melbourne, really.

        Adelaide got about a third of the way through filling its "CBD" with CBD-like buildings and then said "nah, stuff it, let's make the rest of it single-storey suburban houses, car dealerships and vacant lots."

          True, but as someone who doesn't like too much urban, but just enough to not feel out of touch, it's a great place to live.

          Nah, laws were passed to prevent the cluttering of the skyline... :( Wouldn't want to miss all that exciting and spectacular horizon.

        Yeah, I know. The serial killer thing was a joke. Bad taste, I know, but then this is the internet.

    Sydney - Hate. I avoid going there at all costs - with the exception of Glebe, I think the place is one giant shit-hole.
    Melbourne - Like the culture, like the CBD, good food, but don't think I'd want to live there. Too many hipsters but at least they're nice.
    Brisbane - great climate, probably the best in Australia (recent floods withstanding), but the entire place has no feel. It's just a generic metropolis.
    Perth - Never been, everyone says its great. Too far away for me - seems almost a different country to the rest of Aus.
    Hobart / Tas - never been but everyone who I know has raves about it. Several relatives and friends have moved there over the last 10 years.
    Townsville - really good place to go for university and a prosperous but industrious town. Great place to live, shit place to visit.
    Cairns - Awesome. If you can stand the heat, this is where you should live. Beautiful, lots of stuff to do (whether you're a tourist or local), and generally good people - friendly and laid back. Personally I like the amount of backpackers in Cairns - good backpacker bars with people to talk to - always lots of good looking young Europeans wandering around town :) Cheap flights to Asia for a week off.

      Yeah, I agree, but if you've ever lived up north you would know that the crime rate is insane. Cairns is the crime capital of Australia, on a per capita basis. My mates who still live there get stuff stolen from their house/car on a weekly basis, but it does depend on what area you live in.

        I do live in Cairns currently and it really does depend on where you live. I'm guessing he lives in one of the three M's (Mununda, Moorabool and Manoora) AKA "the hood"... don't live there. Tell him to move to Edge Hill, one of the northern beaches.. or practically anywhere else!

          Respect, Cairns is still one of my favourite places in the world, despite its problems.

    In terms of capital cities, i've only been to Brisbane and Melbourne. Melbourne by far I prefer, i've never liked Brisbane, I don't know why, just don't.

    Also Sydney is dead to me since they got rid of Australia's Wonderland

        It's only a clone of what we have here on The Gold Coast, don't get too excited :P

        I wouldn't be surprised if this also see's Sydney getting Sea World & Movie World, since they're also owned by Roadshow Village.

          Yes, but it's a clone that I can visit without having to get on a plane. So that's good enough for me!

            Indeed.. even if it were just a clone, which according to the media it isn't, I will be glad to get proper water park here in Sydney.. yes, there is Manly Waterworks.. but after Mt Druitt Waterworks closed and then Australia's Wonderland died (not that it was a water park anyway).. there wasn't really a proper water park to go to..

    Melbourne born and bred.
    PROS: Its a great city when it isnt AFL season.
    CONS: Fuck AFL. Western suburbs are shit holes.
    As for Sydney.
    PROS: CBD looks pretty.
    CONS: Western Sydney is a shit hole.

    Stay away from Adelaide. It's like they decided to put all the weird people of the country there and give them nothing to do.

      Still bitter we kicked you out for dry humping all the farm animals you could find? :p

      Last edited 13/03/13 6:58 pm

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