Melbourne or Brisbane

Old Jan 4th, 2008, 11:11 PM
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Melbourne or Brisbane

Hey Fodorite

Im ironing out my intinerary and am trying to decide between Melbourne and Brisbane. Does one have more to offer than the other in terms of nightlife, restaurants, attractions, etc.

I am open to doing pretty much anything so just give me your opinion based on what you enjoy most about these places
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 11:20 PM
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In terms of nightlife amd restaurants - Melbourne, hands down, no contest. There's nothing wrong with Brisbane, a nice subtropical city that's become a lot more sophisticated in recent years, but if you have to make an either/or choice I can't think of a good reason to choose it over Melbourne.

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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 04:37 AM
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Not even a question, if you ask me.
Melbourne, Melbourne, Melbourne.

Location, Location, Location is the same theory in the real estate biz.

Brisbane is "ok", but not in the same league.

Best, Dave
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 02:06 PM
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To answer your question properly one would have to know WHEN you are intending to go because if its winter then Brisbane would be my choice because at least you won't be cold and at least you can go to the Gold Coast where there is nightlife, restaurants and many, many attractions.
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 11:04 PM
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Hi LizzyF

I will be going in August so I guess that's winter.

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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 12:34 PM
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Then Brisbane or rather the Gold Coast would be my answer to that - much better weather, lovely hinterland and unique flora and fauna, terrific restaurants, shopping, entertainment etc etc - that is why the Gold Coast is Australian's premier holiday destination.
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 07:09 PM
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I agree about the weather in August but if you want , as you ask , a vast array of nightlife and dining then it must be Melbourne .
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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Hi V,
I am going to have to put a vote in for Brisbane/Gold Coast with Lizzy.
Okay I am a Brissie girl so I am a little bit biased but seriously, at that time of the year Brisbane wins every time.

Brisbane is brilliantly located between the Gold (south)and the Sunshine (north)Coasts. There are more attractions, restaurants, sights etc than you can poke the proverbial stick at.

Brisbane is the gateway to the beautiful Moreton Bay Islands particularly Stradbroke Island and Moreton Island, both of which would have whale watching at that time of year.

As Lizzy stated the Gold Coast Hinterland is beautiful as is the Sunshine Coast hinterland as well. Brisbane is great place to base yourself and ignore the naysayers Brisbane has lots of fantastic restaurants featuring cuisines from all around the world but I would have to say that we specialise in seafood.

Well that's my vote - good luck with your decision making and wish you a great trip.
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 09:08 PM
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Hi V,

August is a much nicer time of the year in Brisbane and surrounds. So, if you want to explore beaches, go swimming, hiking etc then go to Brisbane.

But if you are after bars, cafes, nightlife, art galleries, going to sporting events and the Melbourne International Film Festival (late July to mid August), then... go to Melbourne.

The two cities are vastly different.

And if you have time, why not spend divide your time between both cities.

Brisbane is OK, but I would rather spend my time on the Sunshine Coast. Noosa has a great national park with this really good coastal walk offering fab views.

The Gold Coast has lovely beaches but the urban built up sprawl is UGLY. Trust me.
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 09:14 PM
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BUT the hinterland of the Gold Coast is huge, fantastic and interesting - trust ME!
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 09:46 PM
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Stormbird , a quick query I hope you can answer please .Has the fabulous and iconic tea room in Brisbane ( the name temporarily escapes me )which was closed and I think relocated because the building was being demolished re -openned ? The interior , which was Ye Olde English was classified I think .I recall ordering some cup cakes to take with me and they called out the order through a hatch in the floor below the counter and an arm would come up with a cake on a plate !When served the waitress always turned the sugar bowl in a particular direction to signify to others that you had been served .And the lunches / afternoon teas were excellent .I also add that I love Brisbane .The new Art Gallery and its collection ( even pre building works) is really fantastic and I have had some great food and nice times whilst staying there over the last 20 years .It is just the humidity at certain times of the year I cannot bear .
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 10:21 PM
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Hi John,

Yes, what an iconic place was The Shingle Inn. In the 70's I worked nearby and whenever it was someone's birthday in the office you had to buy morning tea from The Shingle Inn.
The baking was done downstairs and I particularly remember their cupcakes with passionfruit icing....mmmm... so delicious. If you ordered multiple items and the girls had to box it there was quite an art applied to the stringing up of the box.

I believe they have re-opened but not sure if they relocated original fittings etc as they'd hoped. There seems to be two city locations now and four suburban locations.

Perhaps I shall just have to go and do some recon and make sure that their cakes are still as good as ever!!! Will let you know.
Regards
Stormer
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 03:06 AM
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I've lived in Melbourne and currently live in Brisbane so feel qualified to respond! I love both places, for vastly different reasons.

Melbourne has culture, is a sporting mecca, has the best coffee and arguably the best food, is cosmopolitan, atmospheric, historic and is by far the best dressed with excellent shopping. It has the excellent chocolate shop KoKo Black (In the city and in Carlton), it has some fantastic inner suburbs worthy of exploration such as Brunswick St in Fitzroy and Acland St St Kilda, and it has amazing live music and nightlife. It is the gateway to some amazing places like the Great Ocean Road and the 12 apostles, the Daylesford spa country, goldrush country, the Dandenongs and a lot besides.

Brisbane has the climate, the laid back atmosphere, sub-tropical friendliness, the amazing Brisbane River, the views from Mt Coot-tha, the Story Bridge Climb, iconic pubs such as the Brekky Creek, the Regatta and the Story Bridge, and the biggest Modern Art gallery in Australia, perched on the Brisbane River and adjacent to South Bank Parklands with its huge swimming lagoon in the heart of the city. At the moment (until March) it is showing an Andy Warhol exhibition, but is worth seeing for its unique architecture which pays homage to the "Queenslander" stle of dwelling.

For nightlife, Brisbane has the gritty Fortitude Valley and day trips from Brisbane are really rewarding - the islands, Noosa, Maleny in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, the Glasshouse Mountains and the good old Big Pineapple at Nambour! Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo also rates a mention. If you are into beaches and sun, you can't go wrong, most times of the year...even August!

This is a tough decision to make! I love both places - so good luck with your planning...
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 02:14 AM
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Thanks Stormbird .One always worries when chains or franchises start. I recall those waffles with caramel sauce and the string around by box of cakes to bring back to Melbourne !
Ness , a lovely synopsis of two terrific cities . I used to regularly stay over near the Mater Hospital in a hotel whose name I forget but which had / has a Korean Spa and in the mornings I would walk down to the river along it and the cliffs on one side and back .I also loved a little street over towards or just past the Gabba Sports Stadium that had 5 or 6 terrifically good antiques shops .I also really like the restaurants on the river in that smart complex past the old customs house and the river board walk .Went to a very glam dinner at the Customs House for a conference and in another year to one at that beautiful old homestead on the river ( not the one near Brekky Creek ) Do you recall the name of the antique street by chance ? John
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 11:39 PM
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Oh gawd you guys makes this really difficult. Thank you for all the great information.

Next question

I am planning to spend my time as follows

4 nights in Sydney
5 Cairns
3 Melbourne or Brisbane.

Should I rethink this? I know I will never get to see everything but since it will be awhile before I return to Austrailia, I want get a taste as much as I can.
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 05:04 AM
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It is fine .Is that the order you will see them? You fly in and out of SYD? Sydney is for fast pace, sun and fun.
.Brisbane is for short pants , slow pace and gorgeous beaches while Melbourne is about coffee and ensuring your new black outfit is truly Melbourne Black ( Syd black is charcoal) and are frequently asked to disembark by the rear stairs. So it must be the blackest of black and in it you'll be running MyerDept Store as long as you wear black
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 04:49 AM
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Hi JohnFitz,

I was at a shopping centre this week that has a Shingle Inn - I tried the passionfruit cupcakes as well as the chocolate cream cupcakes and sadly, they did not taste like the originals.

Don't get me wrong - they did taste okay but IMHO nowhere near as good as they used to.

I was told be a retailer that she thought their pies were sensational though!
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 03:01 AM
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Memories !Thanks stormbird .
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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 12:28 PM
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Hi John, It's taken me a while to get back to this thread...

First the antique shops - I know the area you're talking about (Woolloongabba) but I'm a northsider so I don't venture down that way too often, sorry about that!
As for the Shingle Inn - some of the magic left when it moved. There is one at Chermside Shopping Centre now and another in Macarthur Central in the city. I've heard a lot of people say that it isn't the same!
Verbaslt - hope your trip is wonderful even with these tough choices you are having to make!
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 04:49 PM
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"most times of the year...even August!"

August=very cold westerly winds. I spose if you're used to melbourne you might say 'even august' but if you're used to hospitable weather you'd suggest travelling a little further north than Brisbane for an August holiday.
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