Inner North like Melbourne… Inner South like Sydney?

johnboy 8 April 2009 39

Just a wild thought that came into my head as the cold woke me this morning…

It seemed at the time that the character of the Inner North has a lot in common with Melbourne (sans the football devotion), while Canberra’s Inner South is a lot like Sydney (shallower, meaner, but much more wealthy).

The outer suburbs on the other hand could be outer suburbs anywhere at all, with the possible exception of Belconnen which feels like it’s on the threshold of developing some character… A bit like Brisbane perhaps?

Thoughts? Go right ahead and shoot the argument down, or offer a counter-theory

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
39 Responses to Inner North like Melbourne… Inner South like Sydney?
frontrow frontrow 1:19 pm 09 Apr 09

Canberra is nothing like Milton Keynes. Our concrete farm animals are sheep.

LaLa LaLa 12:50 pm 09 Apr 09

Slow news day JB? This has to be up there with the beer bottle in the park as most pointless post.

monomania monomania 8:32 am 09 Apr 09

old canberran said :

South Canberra especially Forrest, Deakin and Yarralumla have always been upper middle class and rich.

Hate to disagree with your memories OC but I lived in Yarralumla in the 60s and only a tiny segment could have been described as upper middle class.

farnarkler farnarkler 8:57 pm 08 Apr 09

Pommy Bastard if you put the houses of parliament in Milton Keynes it would be a UK Canberra.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 6:52 pm 08 Apr 09

Don’t get peterh worked up. He’ll steal your thongs, eat all the fritz in your fridge then impregnate your cat. 😛

I-filed I-filed 6:43 pm 08 Apr 09

I think the dividing axis is North/South:

Watson, Hackett, Ainslie, Reid, Forrest, Griffith, Narrabundah, Fyshwick, Queanbeyan: Melbourne. More Old Money suburbs and more still-working-class suburbs.

North Lyneham, Turner, Yarralumla, Lyons, O’Malley, Torrens: Sydney. More vulgarians, more nouveau riche. Exception: Curtin is more Melbourne than Sydney.

Belconnen: outer west Sydney (yes, Hawker, that includes you!)

Tuggeranong: outer east Melbourne

Gungahlin: pure, unadulterated Canberra

Oh, and at a more micro level, Tilleys is Sydney and the Front is Melbourne.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 6:39 pm 08 Apr 09

vg said :

Canberra is Canberra. Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra are 3 entirely different places

Except for outer suburbs, they’re the same, wherever you go.

vg vg 6:37 pm 08 Apr 09

Canberra is Canberra. Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra are 3 entirely different places

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 6:31 pm 08 Apr 09

Melbourne has an atmosphere that the Inner North really can’t get, simply because it’s too small. That being said, some of the inner-eastern suburbs of melbourne, around glen iris and the like did remind me of the inner north, but only aesthetically.

Canberra is just too small to be compared to the bigger cities in terms of experience. Everyone knows everyone here. You don’t have that feeling of meeting someone new/seeing something new everyday that Melbourne has. Nor can the number of different and huge subcultures be emulated by Canberra’s relatively small and bunched together alternative fringe.

However, Belconnen and Knox are almost the same place. Tuggers, ummm…dandenong maybe?

grunge_hippy grunge_hippy 5:57 pm 08 Apr 09

i lived in ottawa for 3 years and yes, i would agree it is similar to here. other similiarities include crappy public transport (ottawa slightly better)

but both great places to live! i would go back to ottawa in a heartbeat.

rosebud rosebud 5:48 pm 08 Apr 09

By Inner North, do you mean Wakefield Ave to Civic? North of that could be anywhere’sville. Sometimes, I can almost see the trams trundling down Majura Ave. They SHOULD have done it way back then. It would have certainly made this city more liveable/bearable.

astrojax astrojax 5:02 pm 08 Apr 09

inner north canberra is a lot like wagga wagga and inner south more like dubbo. or is it all a lot like washington d.c.? or brasilia?

frankly, i get the melbourne reference, as old canberran points out that parliament shifted from there to here, so similarities are not unexpected. not sure lake b.g. is anything like the harbour, though, to stretch to a sydney reference – just ‘less like melbourne’ does not automatically make it sydney.

peterh peterh 4:21 pm 08 Apr 09

seekay said :


There is a nasty series of suburbs towards Adelaide’s northern called Elizabeth, a New Town style satellite city built in the fifties and sixties to accommodate Pommy migrants. As you might imagine, it is nothing but a run down public housing and welfare ghetto and large scale display of discredited planning policies nowadays. The Snowtown bodies in the barrels killers and their victims were all typical locals.

Other than a few blocks of Griffith, Forrest, Kingston, Red Hill, Deakin, Yarralumla and Reid virtually all of Canberra is just like Elizabeth – not Sydney. Nor Melbourne.

right. jimmy barnes comes from elizabeth, as do I. “it is nothing but a run down public housing and welfare ghetto and large scale display of discredited planning policies nowadays.” and when were you last there? I find that the numbers of “ghettos” in adelaide aren’t confined to elizabeth, there is salisbury, woodville, port adelaide, etc, etc. Now these “bad areas” are paying top dollar when the residents sell their houses. Saw a mate’s place in elizabeth go for 480K only a week ago. funny thing, if it is a slum as you suggest, why are the houses in such high demand?

canberra is not somewhere to compare adelaide, sydney, melbourne or brisbane to. the canberra environment is broken into 2 distinct cultures, northsiders and southsiders. The lake is the boundary. Canberrans all hibernate for winter, no-one seems to go out in winter. If you do,you are a new canberran, or a tourist.

back in the ’80s, charnwood, spence, fraser were the slums of the north, now the properties there are fetching higher prices due to their proximity to dunlop, gungahlin and the mall.

and referencing snowtown killers as typical residents? my granny would be very impressed to be called a killer, I don’t think!

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 4:12 pm 08 Apr 09

deezagood said :

…The thing I find most fascinating in Canberra is that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ streets in the same suburbs … and sometimes ‘good’ and ‘bad’ houses in the same street.

I agree. You tend to get this more so in the inner suburbs. Our immediate neighbours are all pretty good, but our street has quite a few dodgy looking enclaves (for want of a better term).

wednesday wednesday 3:57 pm 08 Apr 09

+1 jessieduck

deezagood deezagood 3:52 pm 08 Apr 09

Pommy bastard said :

Anyone here been to Milton Keynes?

Canberra (around the city areas) does remind of Milton Keynes – in that it is a well organised, planned cityscape … but perhaps slightly sterile in parts. And I love living in Canberra and plan to stay forever and ever … so don’t bash me for being anti-Canberran.

Sorry JB … but I have to disagree with most of your OP though; I feel that it is a stretch to liken Canberra (or parts of Canberra) to any other city in Australia … it is quite unique … The thing I find most fascinating in Canberra is that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ streets in the same suburbs … and sometimes ‘good’ and ‘bad’ houses in the same street – where in other cities, there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ suburbs. I’m still not sure if I think the Canberra approach is preferable.

harvyk1 harvyk1 3:09 pm 08 Apr 09

I don’t think you could compare Canberra to any other capital city in Australia. Having recently been to all of them (except for Hobart) each one has it’s own unique feel that is unmistakable.

I’m still finding it interesting that the Canberra Center seems to have advertising on the side of it’s buildings. I thought such things was illegal (and thus the basis for our lack of billboards)

youami youami 3:01 pm 08 Apr 09

Pommy bastard said :

Anyone here been to Milton Keynes?

I have been there and it is bit like Elizabeth or Tuggeranong, very similar satellite approach that doesn’t actually work.

youami youami 3:00 pm 08 Apr 09

Holden Caulfield said :

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

…Many of our suburbs feel like Adelaide – boring brown brick, dead lawns, bogans up to your armpits.

Our kerbs have the wrong profile, and, of course, no Stobie Poles. We have different birdlife in Canberra, too. Nothing like Adelaide really, haha.

Canberra does have the red dirt in the middle of traffic islands and lots of Commodores.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 1:23 pm 08 Apr 09

Anyone here been to Milton Keynes?

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site