Bondi pic via Wikipedia // Tram pic via Yarra Trams // Poop pics by us //
Words by Froomes
“Yes,” I repeated to myself, “it makes perfect sense for me to share my most loathed elements of Australia’s cultural capitals.”
I grew up in Melbourne but moved to Sydney four years ago. I settled in Surry Hills before making the mistake of moving to Bondi. I’d effectively done the Melbourne equivalent of growing up in Fitzroy – and “branching out” in Brighton.
While I regret moving, it made one thing awfully clear. And that’s that so many of the most ‘iconic’ bits of each city – the places, restaurants, moments and people – are actually shit.
Sure, it may boast one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. But it’s also a “haphazard conglomeration of crappy looking buildings, tight streets, appalling traffic and a grungy, dirty beachfront which just needs a complete hosing down” if you’re to believe 2UE announcer Garry Linnell.
While I’m loath to quote 2UE, the man has a point. In that spirit, here’s a definitive list of what’s hot, and what’s not, in Australia’s most populous states.
We’ll start with my homeground, Melbourne. If Australia was the internet, Sydney would be Instagram and Melbourne would be Twitter. One is vacuous – the other a know-all. And both are ripe for a thorough rinsing.
Honestly what. Docklands makes me feel nervous and irritated.
This is a desperate place. In high school, my girlfriends and I would hang out with Dingley boys who loved having a slap. We’d follow them to Crown, get knocked back by the bouncers and spend the rest of our night half-drunk, half-dressed eating bain-marie spring rolls in the food court. Painful, MSG-filled memories.
Apparently it costs $40 to get in now, can you believe that? This is just institutionalised kick ons. I understand the appeal, if you’re 18. You can’t have people back at your parents place, so Revolver makes for a depressing alternative. People from interstate love it too. They go and they return home armed with a cool story about how they crossed the threshold into Australia’s most notorious club, the Berghain Lite. But if you’re going and you’re neither an interstater or an 18-year-old? You’ve no excuse.
If you’re absolutely heaving for an authentic club experience, just stay home, stream boiler room from your laptop and do rack in your ensuite.
Trams are a curiosity. They’re slow, they’re rickety, they get stuck in traffic. Worst of all, they become a serious life hazard for bikes on wet days. I’ve seen my life flash before my eyes on a few misjudged moves over tramlines. Thankfully, I have figured out a genius solution. Buses.
I place the Melbourne Cup in the same basket as Sam Newman. Weird and irrelevant. The cup pumps serious revenue into the state… But at what cost? Put the treatment of the horses to one side and you’re still faced with a disaster. The rigmarole of getting ready for the cup is a calamity. Fascinators, don’t get me started. I can honestly feel a rising anxiety in my chest imagining myself having to find a fascinator. Where do you get fascinators? David Jones? The whole thing is stuffy, with hot weather, uncomfortable shoes and overpriced plonk. No good.
Writing this, I told my best friend I’d be putting Bondi on the list. “It’s so boring to hate on Bondi,” she said. I agree. But I couldn’t write this article in good faith without taking down this stupid, sexy suburb. I don’t like Bondi for a few reasons, most of them personal. Hot, tanned people hurt my feelings. Paying $35 for a yoga class hurts my feelings. And my inability to pronounce “Bondi” without sounding like I work in a PR agency owned by my papa? That hurts my feelings. And I blame this emotional turmoil squarely on the 2026.
Hoo boy. The humble boat party. Having a party on a boat is like saying “yeah the gentlemen” instead of “yeah the boys” – you’re still an arsehole, just rich. I’ve never been to a boat party that hasn’t been fuelled by drugs. Taken, presumably, in an effort to forget you’re stuck on a boat for four and a half hours. Have you ever been inside a toilet on the kind of boats that have parties? This is evidence enough for them to be abolished. Clover Moore, please take action.
Spicy margs are having a serious moment. But like the frozen rose and espresso martini before it, their ubiquity is no doubt fast-tracking them to oblivion. Every time a cocktail gets popular, especially amongst women, it starts getting fucked on. It’s only a matter of time before you’ll have to whisper “Can I please have a spicy marg?” for fear of being stigmatised as a basic bitch.
Real talk, I do not like spicy margs. But my distaste for the spicy marg is eclipsed only by my distaste for people who find them distasteful. So go ahead and order one. Loud and proud.
This one honestly flabbergasts me. So many Sydney companies give their workers an early mark on the Melbourne Cup, or better yet, shout them a little mini party replete with drinks and party pies. I’m all for a beverage on company time, but it’s a little insensitive.
I’d much rather have a half day to celebrate something more culturally significant. Like June 4th, the day Shane Warne spun right into our hearts with the ball of the century. Hot.
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