South Africa’s Cape Town VS Australia’s Melbourne

Every South African is raised with a deep seated love of their country, much in the same way I’m sure every Australian is raised. Apart from being fierce rivals on the sports front, and worthy adversaries I might add, there are certain differences despite our common colonial influences.
Yes, we know that the crime statistics in South Africa are terrible; but what most won’t realise is that these crimes usually do not take place in the middle of the city. So to the lovers of stats and news headlines, put ‘em away; they’re constantly changing and we’ve moved on.

Cape Town VS Melbourne

Outsiders might describe both cities as having: a temperate climate, good beaches, and plenty of shopping opportunities. It’s nice to know that others think they’re pretty alike. However, if you live in one of these cities, you’ll likely be shouting in indignation, “You’re comparing us to them?!” Yes, yes I am.

Natural scenic beauty – Melbourne is blessed with plenty of pretty parks and zoos to spend a quiet afternoon in, coupled with gorgeous coastal stretches, and a thriving wine region called Yarra Valley. Cape Town too has an abundance of beautiful vistas and seaside areas, national parks filled with wildlife, and lays claim to the longest wine route in the world (take that, France).

A look at one of the vineyards in Stellenbosch. By kiryna (Flickr)

Score: As much as I love parks, I’d much rather be hiking in the Cape veld.

Transport: Melbourne has the largest tram network in the world, a top-notch train and bus service, and interestingly, transports most goods by freight train. Cape Town has an ‘upgraded’ railway, buses, and taxi drivers, as well as plenty of truck drivers who transport goods around the country.

Score: Melbourne comes top in this one for two reasons – no toi-toing taxi drivers, and better roads because they transport goods by train, so less tolling and fewer roadwork delays.

Wildlife: In Melbourne you will find wildlife like wallabies and ‘roos (Kangaroos) in zoos, along with endangered species like the Tasmanian Devil (far cuter than the cartoon version), and the orange-bellied parrot. Cape Town has zoos, but the main draw is seeing the Big 5 roaming at nearby reserves – need I say more?

Two teenaged lions VS a Tasmanian Devil

Score: Cape Town wins this one hands down. I prefer animals that enjoy freedom, rather than living in captivity.

The 12 Apostles – We’ve both got them. In Melbourne, the sea-sculpted rocks in the ocean derive the name.  In Cape Town, they’re a mountain range overlooking the ocean, with a spa at their base. Score: It’s a toss-up whether I like rocks or a mountain better … I’m going with Melbourne, purely because their 12 Apostles look so very cool – and for me Table Mountain beats the 12 Apostles mountain range in Cape Town any day!

Melbourne’s 12 Apostles VS Cape Town’s 12 Apostles

Population: Those who come from Melbourne are known for being incredibly helpful. They wouldn’t think twice about giving up their seat on the tram for a pregnant or elderly person. However, many think the pace of life is too slow, especially when compared to Sydney. The population in Cape Town is also generally viewed as friendly and gregarious to tourists; but Capetonians are often thought of as being ‘hippie-like’ – specifically by those who reside in Johannesburg.

Score: It’s a tie, purely because they’re so similar, especially if you start comparing water shortages, lifestyles, outdoor activities, etc.

Total Score: They’re both pretty well tied, with the deciding factor being which population is the friendliest. I’m going to bow out now and just want to state in closing:

To those wondering, yes, Table Mountain should have been mentioned, but we’re finding differences in our commonalities – and alas, there is nothing in the world like the iconic image of Table Mountain backing our Mother City. There are an amazing variety of rock formations along the coastlines of Melbourne that cannot be directly compared to anything less than their equivalent, which as far as I know, doesn’t exist.

About the Author: Roseanna McBain is a writer for the South African accommodation booking website, Travel Ground. She has a deep-seated love of travel, and continues to find new things to entertain and challenge her, while delving deeper into the history and culture of each area explored.

Image attributions:

The 12 Apostles rising from the ocean at sunset. By arriba (Flickr) –

A view of the 12 Apostles in Cape Town. By coda (Flickr) –

A cute Tasmanian Devil enjoying the sunlight. By variationblogr (Flickr) –

A look at one of the vineyards in Stellenbosch. By kiryna (Flickr) –

Two growing lion cubs. By syntart (Flickr) – http:[email protected]/4457156410/