Sydney, Melbourne and Perth – Australia’s Most Interesting Cities


Australia is a huge country. While it is not as diverse as, say, Europe, it still has a lot of variety. I know from first hand experience, since I have traveled to many parts of it. And I have lived for Land clearing Melbourne several years in three of its state capitals, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Perth, in Western Australia, is the most peaceful city of the three. Upon arriving there, the main thing you notice is the immense space. It’s also very flat. And the weather is fantastic – hot and dry in the summer, with a mild winter. The beaches are long and white and the water is very clear. The infrastructure is very good, as are social services. These combine to create a very relaxed lifestyle, and subsequently the people in Perth tend to be a little more easygoing and friendly than in other Aussie cities.

Melbourne has a more “European” feel to it, not least because of its trams. The liquor and licensing laws mean that it’s very easy for people to start small, charming bars, bistros and similar venues in the city. Subsequently there’s always some new and interesting little eatery to discover in Melbourne and it has a very active arts scene, too.

Like Perth it is quite a flat city. But it has three times the population and is growing apace. Still, it is very well managed and is extremely livable.

Sydney is the most varied in terms of its geomorphology and culture. Of course, billions would have seen images of Opera House, The Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Bondi Beach. But these icons comprise only a small part of this extremely diverse city.

The North Shore, for instance, is where all the old money is. The Inner West is charming, but a little ramshackle. The sprawling Western Suburbs are the toughest parts of Sydney.

It’s certainly the most tribal city in Australia. People all over the world would have heard of the Cronulla riots in 2005. These developed because of enmity between the Anglo Aussies and the young Lebanese men who come in from Sydney’s west on the train. (Cronulla is the only beach in Sydney that has its own train station.)

While these were ugly events, most of the time people do get along very well.

It’s also Australia’s most expensive city. Rent is always high in Sydney. And after many years of a Labor Government that has been riven with scandal and many brutal internal conflicts, the infrastructure is not the best!

For this reason Sydney is not the easiest place to live Down Under. However, it is a truly fascinating and intense place, and definitely one for the more adventurous.


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