Thinking about moving to Queensland’s sunny capital? You’re not alone. Brisbane’s population is booming, and with its friendly locals and laidback lifestyle, it’s no surprise this new world city is fast becoming Australia’s top spot to live (watch out, Melbourne).
But is it the right spot for your next move? We’ve got everything you need to know before moving to Brisbane right here.
In a rush? Skip to the info you need:
- Pros and cons of living in Brisbane
- Best Brisbane suburbs to live in
- Moving to Brisbane from other cities
- Brisbane’s dining scene
- Culture in Brisbane
- Brisbane’s climate
- Getting around Brisbane
Living in Brisbane: Pros and Cons
Brisbane sure comes with its perks, and we’re not just talking about the inner-city manmade beach. But like anything (except for donuts, obviously), the city also has a couple of drawbacks.
Pro: Winter isn’t really a thing
Being the capital of the Sunshine State, it goes without saying that Brisbane offers some of the best weather in the entire country. If you’re not a fan of the cold, you’ll strive in this sunny city; you can expect around 283 days of sunshine per year!
Con: It can get a bit sweaty
Sure, the sunshine is mostly great, but when that summer humidity kicks in, things can get a bit uncomfortable. If you’re not big on hot weather, Brisbane’s 26°C average summer’s day may not be for you.
Pro: It’s close to the country’s best beaches
Whether you’re a beach bum or simply love a good getaway or daytrip, Brisbane’s convenient location will have you spoiled for choice. Just a short drive from some of Queensland’s most beautiful beaches and favourite daytrip destinations, you’ll never run out of ideas for the weekend.
- Brisbane to Sunshine Coast: 1.5hr drive
- Brisbane to Noosa: 2hr drive
- Brisbane to Gold Coast: 1hr drive
- Brisbane to Stradbroke Island: 25min ferry trip (from Toondah Harbour)
Pro: It has an airport
Forget 2am wakeups to get to the airport for that 6am flight; Brisbane’s airport is just a 20-minute drive from the CBD.
Rurally located guys and gals will know the added stress of catching a flight on time when you have to make the trip from out in the sticks. You won’t have this issue with Brisbane’s domestic and international airports so handy.
Con: It doesn’t have daylight savings
Ah, daylight savings: when the majority of the country winds their clocks forward for an extra hour of sunlight in the summer. Being the Sunshine State, you’d think Queensland would be on board, but unfortunately, Brisbane doesn’t follow this practice. Go figure.
Pro: The job market is pretty good
Brisbane trumps Sydney, Melbourne and Perth as Australia’s fastest-growing capital city for employment. The city’s job market accounts for almost half of Queensland’s total jobs growth. Whatever your chosen field, finding a job in Brisbane shouldn’t be too tricky (no promises for you though, professional skiing instructors).
Con: Parking in the CBD will cost you
City parking, if you can even manage to snatch a car park up, is pretty pricey. If you want to park on the street in Brisbane for less than an hour, it’ll cost you more than anywhere else in the country.
Pro: You get more for less
In comparison to homes in Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane properties generally cost less for more space.
This makes Queensland’s capital a great spot to both live and invest in property, whether you’ve got your eye on a trendy inner-city apartment or a family Queenslander in the suburbs.
Best Suburbs in Brisbane to Live In
Whether you want to live in the heart of the action or in a sleepy, leafy outer suburb, Brisbane has the perfect spot to accommodate every lifestyle. These are some of our favourites.
New Farm – inner suburb
You’ve got the river and the park, and you’re just minutes from the CBD. What more could you want? There are plenty of houses, apartments, cafés and restaurants in this hip area.
Paddington – inner suburb
Home to endless eateries and boutiques, Paddington is a quiet, leafy escape right on the doorstep of the CBD. If you’re a cyclist, be warned that this suburb is known for its hills. We predict quads of steel in your near future.
West End – inner suburb
This unique suburb is rich in culture and diversity. You’ll find people from all walks of life in West End, as well as some pretty funky bars and restaurants.
Bulimba – inner suburb
Dotted with cafés, restaurants, boutiques, an old cinema, and some beautiful riverside picnic spots, you’ll never be bored in this trendy suburb. This is also a great spot if you’ve got a furry friend, featuring several off-leash dog areas.
Kedron – North Brisbane
Family-friendly and providing easy access to the city, Kedron is a top choice for families and older people looking to move into a clean and quiet area.
Manly – East Brisbane
Whether you’re taking a stroll along the water or enjoying some fresh seafood, this bayside suburb has plenty to offer. Be sure to check out the many markets for seasonal produce and crafts.
South Bank – South Brisbane
From the beautiful parklands to the manmade beach and the huge selection of cafés, bars and restaurants, South Bank has it all. Foodies and night owls will strive in an apartment in this buzzing suburb.
Moving to Brisbane from Other Cities
Depending on where you’re coming from, moving to Brisbane might require a bit of adjusting.
Moving from Sydney to Brisbane
- Journey time: 10hr drive or 1.5hr flight
- Sydney to Brisbane removalist cost: $2,000 – $2,800
- Housing costs: The median price of a house in Brisbane is $330,000 more affordable than the median price of a house in Sydney ($485,000 vs. $815,000)
- Rent: Renting in Brisbane is roughly $130 more affordable than renting in Sydney ($410 vs. $540 median weekly rent)
- What you’ll miss from Sydney: The nightlife
- What you’ll love about Brisbane: More space for less rent
Moving from Melbourne to Brisbane
- Journey time: 5hr drive or 2hr 15min flight
- Melbourne to Brisbane removalist cost: $2,500 – $3,500
- Housing costs: The median price of a house in Brisbane is $168,000 more affordable than the median price of a house in Melbourne ($485,000 vs. $653,000)
- Rent: Renting in Brisbane is roughly $20 more affordable than renting in Melbourne ($410 vs. $430 median weekly rent)
- What you’ll miss from Melbourne: The unique fashion
- What you’ll love about Brisbane: The warm weather
Moving from the Gold Coast to Brisbane
- Journey time: 1hr drive
- Gold Coast to Brisbane removalist cost: $616 – $990
- Housing costs: The median price of a house in Brisbane is $170,000 more affordable than the median price of a house on the Gold Coast ($485,000 vs. $655,000)
- Rent: Renting in Brisbane is roughly $20 more affordable than renting on the Gold Coast ($410 vs. $430 median weekly rent)
- What you’ll miss from the Gold Coast: The beaches (duh)
- What you’ll love about Brisbane: Being in a bigger city on the doorstep to your fave beaches
Moving from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane
- Journey time: 5hr drive
- Sunshine Coast to Brisbane removalist cost: $616 – $990
- Housing costs: The median price of a house in Brisbane is $165,000 more affordable than the median price of a house on the Sunshine Coast ($485,000 vs. $650,000)
- Rent: Renting in Brisbane is roughly $10 more expensive than renting on the Sunshine Coast ($410 vs. $400 median weekly rent)
- What you’ll miss from the Sunshine Coast: The beaches
- What you’ll love about Brisbane: The dining scene
Moving from Townsville to Brisbane
- Journey time: 15hr drive or 1hr 45min flight
- Townsville to Brisbane removalist cost: $3,000 – $4,150
- Housing costs: The median price of a house in Brisbane is $150,000 more expensive than the median price of a house in Townsville ($485,000 vs. $335,000)
- Rent: Renting in Brisbane is roughly $20 more expensive than renting in Townsville ($410 vs. $390 median weekly rent)
- What you’ll miss from Townsville: Being able to walk from one side of the city to the other
- What you’ll love about Brisbane: The job market
Removalist costs are based on the average cost of moving the contents of a 3-bedroom home. Prices will vary depending on your needs.
Brisbane’s Dining Scene
Brisbane’s dining scene has boomed in recent years, with a smorgasbord of exciting dining experiences popping up all over the place. From food truck markets to exotic cuisines, Brisbane is sure to satisfy any craving.
Eat Street Markets – 221D Macarthur Ave, Hamilton
Fancy having a nibble on a few different fares? The Eat Street Markets are packed with food trucks filled with tasty goodies. You can expect to experience flavours from all over the world at this exciting event.
The Barracks – 61 Petrie Tce, Brisbane
Teeming with hip bars and restaurants, this dining precinct is a must-do for every avid foodie. Take a seat at the dimly lit bar at Peasant and enjoy Spanish tapas and wine, or head next door to Loz Villanos for some of the best Mexican food in Brisbane. The Barracks sit across from all the bustling bars of Caxton Street, making it a great spot to grab a decent feed before heading out on the town.
Eagle Street Pier – 45 Eagle St, Brisbane
Home to over 15 bars and restaurants, Eagle Street Pier offers some of the best views in Brisbane. Whether you’re in the mood for fine dining or a casual bite to eat, Eagle Street Pier caters to all tastebuds and budgets.
Culture in Brisbane
Brisbane boasts some pretty impressive art galleries and live performance venues, making it a great spot for you culture-loving cats.
Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) – Corner Grey St & Melbourne St, South Bank
One of Australia’s leading venues for live performance, QPAC is a must-visit for all locals and visitors. From classical music and opera to ballet and theatre, you’ll be pretty darn glad you’ve got this world-class venue in your backyard.
Brisbane Powerhouse – 119 Lamington St, New Farm
This is the perfect spot for checking out up-and-coming local talent as well as international artists. This pre-war industrial-power-station-turned-arts-centre is one of the most iconic buildings in Brisbane.
Queensland Art Gallery | Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) – Stanley Pl, Cultural Precinct, South Bank
Your go-to for modern, contemporary and historical art from local and international artists, the exhibitions are always changing at Queensland Art Gallery and GOMA, making it a great regular spot for locals to visit on weekends.
Queensland Museum – Corner Grey St & Melbourne St, South Brisbane
A museum the whole family can enjoy, the Queensland Museum is home to the Sciencentre, where kids (and big kids) can enjoy interactive displays and learn a thing or two.
Brisbane is known for its awesome weather. The city has a subtropical climate, so you can expect plenty of warm, sunny days.
Brisbane’s average temperatures range from around 21 to 29°C in summer. This season also brings humidity and the most rainfall, as well as thunderstorms and even flooding. You’ll be feelin’ hot, hot, hot (and maybe a little bit sticky). Air-conditioning is recommended.
Autumn sees the humidity and rainfall drop off, and average temperatures get down to around 15 to 25°C. This is a welcome relief from the hot and humid summer days.
Leave your long-johns at home, because ‘winter’ in Brisbane is basically a fraud. Dry and mild, average temperatures drop to about 11 to 21°C, but that’s still pretty warm and there’s zero chance of snow. Early mornings and evenings can get a bit chilly, but you probably won’t need your warmest winter coat more than a couple times throughout the entire season.
Spring in Brisbane is pretty similar to autumn. The average temperatures are around 15 to 25°C, and the days are warm and sunny.
Getting Around Brisbane
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a… CityCat?
Getting around Brisbane is pretty easy thanks to this magical thing called a go card. It works as a prepaid cashless card that you can use on all public transport, including buses, trains, CityCat ferries, and water taxis.
The Brisbane bus network is quick, cheap and easy, with over 400 routes and 12,600 easy-to-spot stops. This is an affordable and hassle-free way to get around.
Brisbane’s major train stations are location in the heart of the CBD, Roma St, Fortitude Valley, and South Bank.
The train lines run:
- North to the Sunshine Coast
- East to Cleveland
- South to the Gold Coast
- West to Ipswich and Rosewood.
This makes it easy to get in and out of the city.
Forget traffic jams and enjoy the view on these fun and speedy catamarans. Whether you’re on your way to work or just taking a joyride, CityCat ferries are a great way to get from A to B.
There’s no shortage of taxis in Brisbane, from regular taxis to maxi taxis for larger groups of up to 10 people. Just when you think you have to give up and walk home with a half-eaten kebab in your hand, you’ll find cab ranks conveniently located around busy areas like shopping centres and nightlife hotspots.
CityCycle Bike Hire
Prefer the wind in your hair? CityCycle bike hire gives you the option to ride to where you need to go, with up to 2,000 bikes and 150 stations located between University of Queensland, St Lucia and Newstead. You just have to be over 17 years old.
Convinced? Check out these 10 tips to make your move to Brisbane a little easier.