Choosing between Sydney and Melbourne when moving to Australia

Many people immigrating to Australia, also known as the land down under, find themselves torn between two cities, Sydney and Melbourne.

Sydney and Melbourne have long been rival cities, similar to New York and Chicago in the United States. Beginning in pre-federation times, one of the first disputes was over import tariffs.

Sydney, in New South Wales, had a free trade policy among other colonies while Melbourne, in Victoria, charged tariffs on incoming goods.

The dispute over tariffs delayed the process of federation.

In modern times, the rivalries include sports, nightlife, tourism, and lifestyle.

Both cities are vibrant and full of interesting things to do and see, so which one is best?



  • When foreigners think of Australia, the first thoughts besides kangaroos and deadly spiders or snakes, are of classic tourist icons such as the bridge and Sydney Opera House. Being in Sydney, near or on the bridge, for New Year’s Eve fireworks is an incredible experience and Sydney residents go all out to make the night like no other.
  • City life next to one of the best beaches in the world makes a perfect combination since Australians love to be outdoors. Bondi Beach, known around the world for the best waves, draws in the surfing community. The beach is as big a tourist attraction as the bridge and Opera House whether one surfs or simply enjoys watching the waves. Some of the best wave and surfer photography is done from the waves at Bondi Beach. But of course, simply sunbathing and enjoying a picnic with friends is the way most residents of Sydney enjoy Bondi Beach.
  • Festivals such as Sydney Festival for the arts, or Festival of the Winds kite flying displays, and Vivid Sydney are annual events giving city dwellers even more outside activities to enjoy.


Melbourne skyline at night

  • The city of Melbourne has an entirely different feel to it. Best known for its artsy-hippie type vibe, Melbourne is colourful and easy-going. Various pubs and coffee shops cater to the poet, painter or singer, drawing in people with a creative bent.  Neon signs aren’t tacky here. Its art.
  • Did I mention coffee shops?  Coffee shops, as well as retail shopping of all kinds, exist in abundance in Melbourne. The ever-changing inventory in the many coffee and art shops alone keeps residents prowling for that special find. One of a kind clothing is popular here and is considered wearable art.
  • While Melbourne grows and expands, it somehow manages to keep its vintage feel with many historic hotels such as The Victoria Hotel, one of Melbourne’s historic landmark hotels. Residents and visitors alike love the ambience of old Victorian architecture and decor.
  • Also, it seems pinball machines, vintage video games and vinyl record stores have a permanent home in Melbourne. This city embraces new while preserving the past in a seamless manner of colour and style.

Both cities are brilliant and exciting places to live in. Each has its own feel and attracts different types of people so it becomes all about matching your personality or interests to the city.

In the big scheme of things, you can’t go wrong whichever you choose in the southern land, or Terra Australis, as the ancient Greeks called Australia.

About the author:
Carla C. Burton

Carla C. Burton is a self-employed Travel and Hospitality writer with a BBA in Business Administration from Bond University.

Although a Gold Coast native, Carla moved to Melbourne in 2008 to further her writing career in the Travel industry. Carla has become a top contributor to many Travel blogs world-wide and thoroughly enjoys the freedom that self-employment has provided her.

To find out more about Carla or to follow her other posts, follow her on Twitter @CarlaCBurton.
*Guest Post by Carla C. Burton


I like most Sydney ,So i want to visit Melbourne .

Sydney for me! But I'd like to visit Melbourne.

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