3 Reasons to Avoid Sydney

Sydney - Opera House & Harbour Bridge by Jan Kalle Ribbert , CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Sydney – Opera House & Harbour Bridge by Jan Kalle Ribbert , CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Tell a Sydney native you’re going to Melbourne and he’ll tell you Sydney is much better with its Opera House and lovely harbor. Tell a Melbournian you want to go to Sydney and he’ll scoff and remind you Melbourne was voted the most livable city and is the fashion, arts, cultural, and sporting capital of Australia.

There’s a rivalry between the cities that led to Canberra being established as the capital instead of either Sydney or Melbourne. I want to visit Sydney. Theo, a Melbourne native, has been there and was not impressed. He has no desire to visit Sydney again and every time Sydney is in the news for something bad, which has been quite a bit lately, he half-jokingly checks it off as another reason not to go there.

The Sydney Shootings

Sydney has been plagued by a series of shootings lately in an ongoing war between “bikies”. That’s right, biker gangs. Like in the movies. In the U.S., gang violence is largely associated with black Americans. It has to do with the legacy of slavery, racism, inner-city poverty, and so forth. Hispanics also account for a large number of gang members. Australia doesn’t have a legacy of slavery and, although racism exists here, race relations are different. In Australia, drug dealing, trafficking, and extortion are associated with outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Sydney Floods

Apparently it rains a lot in Sydney. So much in fact, the city has experienced flooding. There’s been traffic chaos, hundreds of homes without power, and rescue missions.

Sydney Spiders

The Sydney funnel-web spider is found in – you guessed it – Sydney. This large spider has a highly toxic venom that it gets to deliver fully because they maintain a tight grip and bite repeatedly. There haven’t been any recorded fatalities since the anti-venom was developed in 1981, but that doesn’t really make me feel better. These spiders make their homes in burrows, but when it rains, and it rains a lot in Sydney lately, their burrows are flooded and spider activity is increased.

With less than two weeks to go now before my vacation comes to a close, we won’t be visiting Sydney, not this time anyway, but I still want to go despite bikies, floods, and killer spiders. I want to see the Opera House, take a Harbour cruise, hike in the Blue Mountains, and go whale watching. Next time, Sydney.




  1. As much as I love Melbourne, I have to disagree, Sydney is an incredible city.

  2. interesting…we visited both cities for only a couple days each on our Australian tour several years ago. My husband did like Melborne better. I like them both. I do want to visit Syndey again though just to add to my photo portfolio. But Melborne for sure to travel the Great Ocean Road.

  3. I lived in Melbourne for many years and it’s a great city to live in. Sydney’s nice to visit, knowing you don’t have to live there 😉

    I’m going to say visit Tasmania 🙂 and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!


  4. I traveled in both last summer and LOVED every minute of each one. They have lots of uniqueness to offer in their own way and Sydney is definitely worth checking out. I loved traveling in Australia and am going back in a few months; glad I happened upon your blog. Enjoy your Australia adventures!

  5. I haven’t been to Sydney or Melbourne in a long, long, long, long time. I’m sure they have changed a lot. If ask about them way back then all I would have to say they are both different and a like in many ways. To me you have to take them as they are. Of coarse each person has there own personal likes and dislikes. I found this happening with us Yanks while living in Sydney always comparing the states and Australia. One of the big comparisions was American football, Rugby, Aussie rules etc. You just can appriciate anyone of them unless you take them as they are. You lose a lot by comparing them and trying to decide which is better…

    • I think it’s natural to make comparisons of something foreign against what we are familiar and comfortable with. The comparisons between Sydney and Melbourne are made by residents of those cities. People, both American and Australian, often ask me about the differences between the two countries, which I’ve written about at http://stumbledownunder.com/2012/05/05/more-little-things/. I think it’s out of curiosity mostly and perhaps a certain sense of pride.

  6. I have recently moved to Sydney from London, and I absolutely love it. I think that people often focus only on the main tourist attractions in cities like Sydney (and London), so don’t have the time/inclination to explore everything else they have to offer. Sydney reminds me a lot of San Francisco, lots of small areas with their own vibe and a laid back attitude.
    I would highly recommend a visit!
    I have been to Melbourne a couple of times but not stayed for long so it’s hard to compare…but it also seems like a great place to live.

    • A few months ago I read a blog entry from an American in Australia that compared Melbourne to San Francisco and Sydney to Los Angeles. Or maybe it was the other way around. Well, something like that! Both cities appear to offer unique delights and I look forward to visiting Sydney. I love London, by the way; a beautiful city as well.

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