Getaway Fact sheets
You are here: ninemsn > Travel > Getaway > Fact sheets
Strapping Sydney vs mighty Melbourne!
Strapping Sydney vs mighty Melbourne!
The Sydney Aquarium, Darling Harbour.
The mighty MCG.

Sydney vs Melbourne

Thursday, August 24, 2000
Can we solve the million-dollar question: Sydney or Melbourne? Check on Catriona and David battling it out.

Just for fun we thought we would try to solve the old chestnut — which city is really better, Sydney or Melbourne? We asked Catriona Rowntree, a Sydneysider to the nth degree, and David Reyne, a true Melburnian, to debate the issue. You can be the judge of the pros and cons they put forward.

David says he really likes Sydney and will like it even more when it is finished. He says its picturesque "puddle" (harbour!) is wonderful, but that it is not enough to get Sydney over the line. He says Melbourne is the Australian capital of culture, with culinary delights, class and, most importantly, trams.

Catriona says she's bored with hearing yet again all the things David puts up as superior. She feels Sydney Harbour is the perfect backdrop for a beautiful city — and who would want to catch a tram when in Sydney you can get to so many places by ferry?

David says Melbourne's Crown Casino, Victoria's most visited destination and the largest casino outside North America, is to be truly admired — and not just for the gambling aspect. It has fine restaurants and shops, one of the better hotels in Australia (the Crown Towers Hotel) and beautiful fountains and waterfalls.

Catriona conceded Sydney's casino, Star City, is big, brassy and very over-the-top — just the way Sydney is. But just two minutes away are Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay Wharf. There you can find an array of cafes and up-market restaurants, bars, shops, the Imax cinema, Sega World and Sydney Aquarium.

Melburnians enjoy their reputation as Australia's greatest lovers of sport — whether participating or watching. They host the Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup and the Australian Tennis Open. A majority of AFL teams call Melbourne home, they have their own rugby league team and, of course, just the mention of the MCG can bring a tear to a Melburnian's eye. And the first Olympics to be held in the southern hemisphere were in Melbourne in 1956.

Sydneysiders reckon they would rather be playing sport than watching it, but their city does host the Sydney to Hobart ocean race, the Golden Slipper and the Bledisloe Cup. It's home to the Sydney Swans, rugby league and Stadium Australia — and Sydney will host the second Olympic Games to be held in the southern hemisphere in 2000.

David insists that Chapel Street is Australia's best place for shopping — clothing, shoes, bags, you name it. Catriona does have to admit that Chapel Street and Melbourne in general are pretty good, but she still prefers Sydney's Oxford Street for one-stop shopping.

Then there are the markets and food specialists. It's not surprising that Catriona and David both believe their home towns have the best there is. In Melbourne there's Prahran Market, full of delis and grocery stores selling a huge variety of all sorts of delicacies. Queen Victoria and South Melbourne markets are described by David as being fresh, cosmopolitan and diverse. Catriona backs up Sydney's markets — Paddington, Paddy's, Rozelle, Balmain and Glebe, selling vintage clothing, designer jewellery and clothing and great fresh food and flowers.

Brunswick Street in Melbourne's Fitzroy is a culturally funky area, serving all sorts of blends of coffee in all sorts of shops. Victoria Street in Sydney's Darlinghurst is also a coffee drinker's heaven. Both areas claim to be Australia's best.

Comparisons continued — who has the better pubs, bars, restaurants, scenery, beaches — you name it. Needless to say, no verdict was reached, but it was fun to talk about the great things both cities have to offer.

We hope you enjoy making comparisons between your home town and a place you think doesn't quite come up to scratch. It's all good fun and Getaway will continue to bring stories about Sydney and Melbourne, other places Australia-wide and the rest of the world, right into your living room so you can make your own decisions.


Sydney and Melbourne cities

Related links


Brochure Search

Free electronic brochures with information, resources and holiday ideas for unique getaways.

Select a destination:
Sign up nowTo Receive the free Getaway newsletter