Melbourne vs. Canberra

Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 08:27 AM
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Melbourne vs. Canberra

As part of a two week trip we are trying to add a third city.
Which would be better for a 3 night stay?

Thanks
angethereader is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 08:43 AM
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Canberra would be good if you are interested in the Australian government. Melbourne would be great if you want access to the beaches and more to do. My choice would be Melbourne and drive the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 12:55 PM
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There's a lot more to Canberra than the Australian government. If you like smaller towns with little traffic, excellent (and mostly free) museums, easy access to hiking and wildlife, and good food, then go to Canberra.
If you want a big city experience, go to Melbourne.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2006, 04:32 AM
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There's not much happening in Canberra unless you're a museum fanatic. Very easy to drive and get around though. Canberra's more like a town. Much more to do and see in Melbourne especially if you want to see fairy penguins in their natural habitat.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2006, 10:27 PM
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Canberra is the capital and a very accessible and easy city to get around as others have pointed out.You could see pretty much everything of interest in 3 days. It is also fairly dull and soul less, with very ordinary restaurants. I have no idea why people seem to think the food in Canberra is great - and I have lived here on and off for over 10 years. Melbourne is a vibrant city with great cafes and restaurants and lots to do.
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Old Sep 24th, 2006, 05:13 PM
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I wish neil oz was here to be part of this argument.

what are your other 2 cities that you are visiting? that is something that may make a difference to the decision.

3 nights is more than most people have time to give canberra, but that doesn't mean you couldn't easily fill the days, in fact it would give you the opportunity to do things other than the national attractions (Parliament Houses, National Museum, War Memorial, Portrait Gallery, National Gallery).

melbourne is much much larger than canberra and definitely has a lot to offer - but if you are interested in politics and actually seeing the nation's capital, then canberra is a justifiable option.

as for the comment about canberra's very ordinary restaurants, I definitely beg to differ - I recently had dinner at Sabayon in Civic, where for the price the food and the service were superior to many sydney places in the same bracket. As for the dull and soul-less comment I'd suggest you
a. you just have to know where to look
b. don't go in with pre-conceptions of what it is like
c. don't expect it to be either melbourne or sydney, because it's not (thank god!).

I have found that a lot of australians dismiss canberra as a place to visit, but a lot of overseas visitors really love it and find it incredibly interesting.
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Old Sep 24th, 2006, 09:12 PM
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Hands down - Melbourne.

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Old Sep 25th, 2006, 07:08 AM
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We're going to be in Sydney and Orange. We'll probably be longest in Orange (visiting someone).

So, maybe it sounds like Melbourne is the best option after a week in Orange?

We do love a nice restaurant and good wine. But then we'll be in wine country so no worries there.

Thanks for your help.
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Old Sep 25th, 2006, 12:19 PM
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btw - Where is Neil? - I came across him on the Asia forum when I was planning our trip to Japan.
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Old Sep 25th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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Neil's in USA or Canada - there's a thread below "Cammackstan in America" which tracks his progress.
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Old Sep 26th, 2006, 06:58 AM
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Neil here, reporting in from Calgary.

It's a pity that some posters still adhere to the tired and inaccurate old cliches about Canberra ("dull", "soulless" - oh, please); there's much more than government and museums, and as lancefan points out there are many excellent restaurants (although most of them are not in the civic centre but in nearby centres like Manuka, Kingston and Dickson). However, after spending time in Orange I would be inclined to go for Melbourne. Watching penguins I would put on par with watching dandelions grow, though.
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Old Sep 26th, 2006, 09:36 PM
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And Neil would be a major attraction in Canberra, so wait until he and Robyn return home

AndrewDavid
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Old Sep 27th, 2006, 06:01 AM
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That's true.
Neil will have to visit the Midwest the next time he comes to the U.S. there's so much we could show him.

Actually, DS's girlfriend (who lives in Orange) is coming here in June. So it looks like out trip is put off till at least October.
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Old Sep 27th, 2006, 05:07 PM
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As for the penguins, you could do what we did and take a sunset penguin boat cruise. It takes up much less of your time than an all-day trip to Philip Island does; the penguins are (reputedly) located on a old man-made structure out in Philip Bay. I say reputedly, because the night we went, the seas were too rough and we had to turn back. But despite seeing no penguins (besides a large inflateable one), and being knocked around in a fairly heavy sea in a small boat, it was a fantastic evening, because we got to see the whole harbour. Coming from a significant seaport ourselves, it was pretty interesting to see the contrasts between the abandoned old wharves, the active current container port, and the frantic parade of ultra-modern condo skyscrapers, and the sunset was beautiful. Maybe not a good choice if you're easily seasick, but I loved it. You board from the promenade along the Southbank about an hour before sunset. Big inflateable penguin, you can't miss it.
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