I can only speak for Sydney. The best months would be Nov-Mar. Suburbs to stay in - East of the city - Bondi, Bondi Beach, North Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, and Coogee. On the north shore - Manly, North Steyne, Queenscliff (mind you, this is some of Sydney's most expensive real estate so getting a place to stay wont be cheap). Once it starts to get colder in Sydney, alot of travellers start to head north to Queensland.
Melbourne all the way!! Was'nt that impressed with Sydney to be honest, although Bondi and Manly are gorgeous. x
I preferred sydney, but thought melbourne was a great city too.
I think Sydney is a great place to visit, but Melbourne is the perfect place to live (that is why I will be returning there in the near future ). Sure, beaches in Sydney are a lot nicer and the weather is a lot better, but quality of life to me seems higher in Melbourne. Cost of living is heaps cheaper and from my experience people are a lot friendlier. And at the end of the day I prefer to travel to the beach (like Torquay or Sorrento) for an hour but live in a relaxed and friendly environment. Best time of the year to do so is probably from September to April.
I grew up in Sydney, and have lived in Melbourne for the last 5 years. There is one simple huge difference which no one seems to talk about. It is summed up in one word: NATURE ! If you are interested in Australian nature, Sydney has a "great outdoors"; Melbourne does not. Sydney is surrounded by beautiful national parks, right on its doorstep, offering superb bushwalking and wildlife-watching, especially the fantastic native flowers and birdlife. To reach any decent national park from Melbourne, you would need to drive at least 3 hours from the city centre. All this beautiful nature overflows into the Sydney suburbs, which are much lusher due to Sydney's higher rainfall. Melbourne's dry suburbs and parks offer mostly European trees and a few introduced birds.
Sydney has 3 major estuarine systems (Pittwater, Sydney Harbour, Port Hacking) giving it a stunning scenic coastline, and offering fantastic fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving, and boating. Of course the real surf beaches add to the nature experience of Sydney. None of this can be found in Melbourne.
So, after you have had your fill of all the fantastic Melbourne restaurants & cafes, and all the totally man-made entertainment that Melbourne is so proud of, where do you go on a sunny day for a little nature soul food? Where can you escape to in less than an hour where unspoilt natural beauty is free? Nowhere.
If you are not interested in nature, then Melbourne has everything you could ever want in a city. I am interested in nature, so I feel trapped in Melbourne.
Sydney, good beaches, expensive to be close to them
Melbourne ok beaches close good beaches further away(Geelong or Portsea) costs to be near good beaches are reasonable
Weather is similar though Sydney has frequent high humidity and Melbourne greater chance of rain though only talking a day or two extra over 3months of summer Melbourne also changes to winter weather patterns sooner than Sydney
I've lived in the US (SF, LA, DC, Chicago, NYC, Portland), Australia (Melbourne), and South Korea (Seoul)... I've visited countless other cities (shanghai, hong kong, rome, london, blah blah blah).
This is my view from my well travelled experience. You can smear me all you want, but it's an honest opinion from a non Aussie who has lived all over the place and has a good idea of how one place stacks up to another.
Anyone who thinks that Melbourne has anything you could ever want in a city is saying so out of ignorance. Tons of great restaurants and cafes? By whose standard is that? Anyone who's ever been around can tell you that this is not the case. There are cafes and restaurants and cafes, but they are not that great. Also, melbourne is not as cultured as everyone thinks. I'm sorry, but it's just not. Melbourne has some areas that are packed with stuff. but go out of that a little bit, and there's nothing for a long time... then something pops up again. in contrast a place like seoul is always happening with stuff everywhere.
I cannot make any statements about sydney, but melbourne does not compare with san francisco or new york in the states. As far as cosmopolitan surroundings and a "cultured" feel, melbourne is not at the same level. The food is not as good as I found it in San Francisco, New York, Portland, Rome, or Seoul.
The shops all close extremely early, and things are not as cheap as people say. everywhere in australia is expensive. melbourne is not an exception. I make a high wage and my buying power here is half of what it was in Seoul or the US.
The weather in melbourne isn't that great. it's not particularly hot, which is a good thing for me though.
The people aren't particularly attractive. a lot of people look... kinda dirty for some reason. like the fashion sense is dishevelled... i can't quite place my finger on it. People don't look frumpy like many middle americans... but there is some sort of "i'm overweight, but i don't care so i'm going to sill wear this tube top and short skirt" look.
i'm going to get beat up for saying this but I think most australians don't really know what's good or bad because it's difficult for them to travel far away. The ones that have often just stay for a little while and don't live in another city. The folks who have lived abroad and come back seem to love where they lived before they came back.
Melbourne is not a world city, and it has a long way to go to become one.
I will get beat up again for this, but Melbourne is like a holden if san francisco is a bmw....
I really want to see what sydney's like to see if it's better, and perhaps move there. but if melbourne is the best australia can offer (as the people here are saying), i'm wondering if i'll be even more let down by sydney.
Interesting how this thread just continues on!
In response to the above poster, the question was which of the two to live in. They couldn't choose out of Melbourne vs. San Fran for example. So comparing to some of those cities isn't really that useful.
Naturally the city is not as big as NY, LA, SF etc. The entire country has a population less than those cities. That's part of the charm for a lot of people. I personally don't understand why anyone would want to live in LA for example, although I'd certainly consider NY and SF It's interesting you mention the dress sense, because I know a lot of foreigners view US dress sense the same way But yes, people in Australia tend to walk around in a suit a lot less. And cities in Australia typically include smaller shops/buildings in the city center than large US cities, so there are a lot less business people running around. Sydney city centre reminds me more of a US city in terms of structure. Melbourne has something like 5000 cafes and restaurants on a pretty small population. I'm pretty sure I've read that per capita it's the city with the most cafes/restaurants in the world.
Quoting Sam I Am
Interesting how this thread just continues on!
Any Sydney vs Melbourne thread will go for an eternity...It's kind of like discussing Coke vs Pepsi
As for the topic I think both places are good - Sydney having more consistent weather while Melbourne may be more renowned for arts, night life, etc.