Stereotypes about Australian cities are outdated: here’s why

Myth 3: Melbourne has the best coffee in Australia

Melbourne was once the king of coffee, but the rest of the country has caught up.

Melbourne was once the king of coffee, but the rest of the country has caught up.Credit: Chris Hopkins


Again, this was once true. There was a time when Melbourne cafes served by far the best coffee in Australia (and from my observation, there are many Melburnians who believe this is still true, which might make the following opinion unpopular) .

But the rest of the country has caught up with coffee culture, no doubt having learned from their brothers to the south. In any big city in Australia, and even a smaller city like Hobart, you will be served excellent, reliable coffee, and I don’t notice any increase in quality now in Melbourne.

Myth 4: Brisbane is a big country city

Brisbane has truly come of age.

Brisbane has truly come of age.Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

I once worked at a small suburban magazine in Brisbane and it seemed like every two weeks we wrote cover stories saying, “Brisbane has come of age!” – even though those of us who wrote the stories knew it wasn’t true.

However, today it is really true. Brisbane has come of age. Queensland’s capital has an excellent food and drink scene, high-quality hotels, top-notch art galleries, lovely parks, good transport, decent road infrastructure and a population of around 2.5 million.

It is definitely not a country town.

Myth 5: Hobart is a cultural backwater

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is reason enough to visit Hobart these days.

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is reason enough to visit Hobart these days.

Here’s another city that used to be the butt of jokes, and one that definitely has the last laugh. If you know any Australian who tells you that Hobart is a cultural backwater, a boring place with nothing to do, then he hasn’t been to Hobart in a long time.

It has a thriving restaurant scene in Tassie’s capital, one of the most exciting in Australia. You have some of the best wineries in the country on your doorstep. There are thriving indigenous cultural attractions and experiences.

And there’s MONA, the art gallery that has become a phenomenon, the only reason some tourists cross the Bass Strait. Any city in Australia would be desperate for something similar.

Myth 6: Byron Bay is a hippie paradise

Byron Bay's hippie vibe is no more.

Byron Bay’s hippie vibe is no more.Credit: Danielle Smith

Ah, beautiful Byron, home of all the flower-powered hippies, the artsy and creative types, the people who get the vibe. And in some ways that old cliché is still true, as long as you’re a hippie with a trust fund to fall back on. Because today’s Byron Bay is very expensive, to the point that many of the people who made it what it is have been forced to emigrate to surrounding towns.

There’s still no McDonald’s in Byron because the council won’t allow it, but there are plenty of big-budget property developments and cash-rich Sydneysiders desperate to buy them.

You know, the classic hippie dream.

Myth 7: Nothing happens in Canberra

The National Arboretum, Canberra.

The National Arboretum, Canberra.Credit: John Gollings


Ask any Australian outside the ACT and they’ll probably happily tell you that our national capital is a lifeless beige collection of roundabouts and civil servants, where you can’t eat after 8pm.

But that’s old Canberra. The new Canberra has some of the best wine bars in Australia, not to mention plenty of high-quality restaurants (some even open after 8pm), and then a host of boutique hotels, plus art galleries and museums to match. with anyone from Sydney or Melbourne. . It almost makes you… proud?