Friday, March 5, 2010

differences between sydney & melbourne

i have been to sydney at least three times but i have lost count of the number of visits i have made to melbourne. it should be around twenty times. i have also driven from sydney to melbourne. oft i have heard friends and relatives making comparison between the two cities. in fact, there are two rival facebook groups, one claiming that 'sydney is better than melbourne' and the other counter-claiming that 'melbourne is better than sydney'.

when i was a student, i had wondered why sydney was not the capital of australia. now i know why. it was the rivalry between these two cities and because they could not agree, it resulted in the federal capital being sited at canberra.

i was surprised to learn that sydney has not always been the largest city. in fact, from 1865 to the early 20th century, melbourne was the largest city in australia. however, sydney has the distinction of being the oldest city.

today, sydney is the largest city in australia and the state capital of new south wales. it has a population of 4.4 million living in an area covering 12, 000 sq km. the icons associated with sydney include the sydney opera house, the harbour bridge and bondi beach. sydney is also the most expensive city in australia and it is ranked among the top 10 livable cities in the world.

i cannot think of any structure that you will immediately associate with melbourne. the best i can think of is the flinders station. melbourne is the second largest city in australia, with a population of almost 4 million. the land area is about 8806 sq km. it is the state capital of victoria. melbourne boasts of the largest tram network in the world. because of the trams, it is necessary for motorists to master the 'hook turn'.

when you compare beaches, melbourne is nowhere near sydney. sydney has the world famous bondi beach and some equally popular ones such as manly and congee. melbourne's beaches like st kilda, brighton and bells at torquay do not attract the kind of crowd that you see on sydney beaches.

according to people who have lived in both cities, the general perception is that people in melbourne are friendlier and the environment is more relaxed. melburnians are viewed as being more approachable. motorists in sydney tend to be in a greater hurry and so they can be intimidating.

then, may i ask, what is the pull factor of sydney. according to my younger daughter and her cousin, sydney has more 'life' than melbourne, even in the suburbs.

when it comes to food, melbourne wins hands down, according to ida and her cousin. however, i feel that some of these perceptions are somewhat subjective, coloured by our own experiences and biasedness. when it comes to food, some sydneysiders will strongly dispute this claim.

while sydney is considered the finance and media centre of australia, melbourne commands as the arts, cultural and sports centre.

personally, i prefer melbourne to sydney and it is not because my two daughters are here.


pinto said...

Melbourne over Sydney, any time.

Then again, I have reason to be biased!

yg said...

you or your child/children studied in melbourne? weatherwise, i think sydney is more predictable. melbourne blows hot and cold, literally.

Uncle Phil said...

Wow !!! You are game to start this love hate relationship debate between Sydney and Melbourne. As no other two cities have such an intense rivalry, we better keep out of it.
However, for most migrants, it seems to take some time to find your own niche in both cities, and once you find them, both can be a great spot to live.

yg said...

phil, i am not trying to start any argument. just telling what i have heard.

pinto said...

yg, I studied there. Yes, the weather there is temperamental. If you're there at the moment, I hope the hail and flood didn't affect you.

Lam Chun See said...

The thermometer on your blog reads 18 deg C. How nice. Over here we are melting away.

pck said...

Sydney and Melbourne may have many differences,but lately both cities seem to have something in common- the sharp rise in violent attacks, dubbed as curry bashing, on Indian nationals.
Friends who are living in Sydney and Melbourne find that the two cities are very livable and equally exciting, so much so that most have decided to call Australia home. I find that both Sydney and Melbourne, in particular, are too cold in winter. To me, home is still where you don’t have to wear any winter clothing 365 days a year!