Sydney vs Melbourne

26 October 2009

Those of you with disturbingly long memories may remember this post from a few years ago, when I wrote of how desperately I needed a holiday. Earlier this month, I finally got away.

It was just three days, and DF and I only made it to Melbourne, but after waiting so long anything would have been an epic journey. Anyway whenever anyone from Sydney or Melbourne visits the "other" city, they're obliged to make comparisons. Sydney-Melbourne rivalry is the national sport. Just today this article from the SMH website posited that Sydney comes up short to Melbourne in terms of intellectual vibrancy.

Truth be told we found very little difference between the cities. Being in Melbourne's CBD felt no different to Sydney's, tram tracks and sunshine aside. Where in the city you live has more to do with it; a resident of Fitzroy would have more in common with the lifestyle of a resident of Newtown than either person would have with people who lived in the outer suburbs of their own cities.

That said, there was one thing. Many attractions in Melbourne announce that they are Australia's Most Superlative. You see a lot of this as a Novocastrian, too - everything in Newcastle is Regional Australia's most superlative, just as things in Australia trump themselves as the biggest/best/most ostentatious in the Southern Hemisphere. It does rather come across as needy and desperate for validation. You don't see it much in Sydney. Sydney has more of a sense of "Fuck you, we're Number 1 and no need to prove it".

Why can't they be satisfied with being Australia's best Sydney and Melbourne?


  1. Wonderful comparison between Sydney and Melbourne . Good post .

  2. Awesome post!! Your words ring very true... it's odd how competitive the cities are with eachother. I love your idea of us all just accepting that Sydney is the best Sydney and Melbourne is the best Melbourne... that should be enough! 8)

    PS. I'm glad you had a few days away.

  3. It was a cool trip. Melbourne and Sydney each have their own advantages to offer, I like both very much and think both being nice places should be enough, especially when neither of them are Adelaide :P


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