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Sydney vs Melbourne: Which City Has The Best Hidden Instagram-Worthy Spots?

By Nicole Leigh West
Nicole is an internationally published travel, health and wellness writer and novelist. She's ticked more than 60 countries off her travel bucket list and is probably researching her next destination, right now.

The battle for the crown of Australia’s top city is a non-stop tussle between Sydney and Melbourne. Both offer exceptional dining, edgy art scenes, world-class shopping and iconic attractions. If you were born and bred in either city, no doubt you’ve already made your choice. For everyone else, let’s see if the cities’ secret, most instagrammable spots make it any easier.

Best Hidden Instagrammable Spots In Sydney

Sydney boasts some of the most instagrammable places in the world, including its Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach. Look beyond the famous sights though and you’ll find backdrops that are no less spectacular, for your next selfie.

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Maccallum Pool, Sydney

For an image of Sydney Harbour with a difference, head to the Maccallum Pool at Cremorne Point. This hidden gem is a favourite local spot for sunbathing and swimming, with a timber deck ready made to soak up the views. You’ll capture the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and yachts bobbing on the water from a unique angle, while enjoying a splash in the silky salt water. Make the most of the area and stay at charming Cremorne Point Manor, one of the oldest restored hotels in Sydney.

Book a room at Cremorne Point Manor from $79

Angel Place, Sydney

Before you get your camera out at Angel Place in Sydney’s CBD, take a moment to listen to the songs of fifty birds, ringing out in the laneway from empty birdcages suspended high above. The picturesque scene is an art piece called ‘Forgotten Songs’, by Michael Thomas Hill. As night falls, the sounds change to those of nocturnal birds and the area is lit for an atmospheric twist.

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The Grounds of Alexandria, Sydney

If you love your cafe coffee photos, look no further than The Grounds of Alexandria. If you’re from Sydney, it’s not so hidden anymore, but you can make it your mission to snap an original angle. Take your pick of delectably presented dishes, on a backdrop of rustic brick walls, a riot of colourful flowers, a fairy-lit arbor, historic decor, organic gardens and the local trendsetting cafe crowd. A hint for instagram magic – choose a cocktail garnished with flower petals or a lavishly decorated dessert. The inner city suburb of Alexandria is about a 10-minute drive from the CBD.

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Stockton Sand Dunes, Sydney

Hire a car and take a fun road trip to Port Stephens, for sweeping shots of the Stockton Sand Dunes. Located in the Worimi Conservation Lands, some of the dunes reach an astonishing 40 metres and cover 4,200 hectares. After you snap otherworldly instagram shots, take a tour to explore by quad biking, horse and camel riding or sand boarding down slopes of up to 60 degrees. The bayside suburb of Nelson Bay is the perfect base to discover the region.

Hire a car in Sydney from $18* Find cheap hotels in Nelson Bay*

Best Hidden Instagrammable Spots In Melbourne

Historic Flinders Street Station, the St Kilda foreshore, views from Eureka Skydeck and the graffiti of Hosier Lane adorn instagram pages across the globe. These spots, however, might just topple Sydney off its picturesque pedestal.

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Montsalvat, Melbourne

Step back in time on the grounds of Montsalvat, Australia’s oldest continuously active artistic colony. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in medieval Europe, with handmade mudbrick buildings, storybook gardens and gothic features simply made for photographers. The complex also hosts exhibitions, a restaurant, workshops and festivals and it’s located in the pretty suburb of Eltham.

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Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, Melbourne

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjhfqC-lUkU/

An antique boathouse reflected on a shimmering lake, surrounded by autumn leaves is an instagram highlight of Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens. Set in the lush Dandenong Ranges on the Burnham Beeches Estate, you’ll also find ornate bridges, pathways framed by mountain ash tree canopies and waterfalls cascading over moss-covered rocks. Autumn brings fabulous golds, reds and oranges, however spring is also a prime time to visit, with rhododendrons, azaleas and flowering cherries in full bloom.

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Off the Beaten Path Graffiti Art Laneways, Melbourne

Shoefiti #melbourne #graffitiart #colourfullaneway

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While everyone’s jostling for a selfie in iconic Hosier Lane, you can get ahead of the pack and find your own graffiti-strewn heaven. Try ACDC Lane, which turns into another gem, Duckboard Place. The art in Cocker Alley, near Federation Square is always changing and Rutledge Lane is becoming the new Hosier, so get it up on instagram before everyone else does.

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Short Straw, Melbourne

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkWYFu6APVb/

Melbourne is, quite rightly, proud of its incredible food scene and decorated dishes are ridiculously easy to find. Short Straw in Hawthorn serves up the instagram-worthy goods, especially with their Stacks on Waffles. Saffron and caramelised banana waffles, wild strawberry coulis, lemon curd, whipped cream and chocolate macarons are presented so prettily you wouldn’t be able to take a bite – if they didn’t taste so good, that is.

*Note: These rates are based on search queries made on KAYAK.com.au on 31 August 2018. The prices are quoted in AUD. Flight prices are based on results for a return economy flight search. Hotel prices are for double occupancy and include taxes and fees. Prices are subject to change, may vary, or no longer be available.

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