Living in Brisbane

Brisbane South BankBrisbane is the capital of Queensland and Australia’s third largest city. It has a population of around 2.24 million and is located right in the middle on the east coast. Except it isn’t quite on the coast. It was built on the Brisbane River about 15 kms in from the Pacific Ocean.Brisbane Location

A quick glance at any map of Australia will convince you that all the major cities, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane are all on the beach. They all are, except Brisbane, which is on a mangrove. Perhaps that’s why Brisbane only came 20th in the Economist’s Intelligence Unit’s 2014 Liveability Survey. But London only made 51st, so…..

Any shoreline about 15 kms either side of the mouth of the Brisbane River is a mangrove. Mangroves are intertidal trees and shrubs growing on tropical and subtropical shores. Basically, trees growing on mud. They are highly productive ecosystems, but you can’t build a sand castle on them.

But you’ll still need to bring your bucket and spade, because Brisbane is ideally located for both the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. This accessibility to beaches is one reason why Brisbane pulls in so many tourists. It also has the benefit of a cooler inland climate.

Surfers Paradise (Gold Coast, south of Brisbane), one of Australia’s best know beaches, is about an hour and 10 minutes drive and Caloundra (Sunshine Coast, north) about an hour and a half. The closest sandy beaches to Brisbane are at Redcliffe (north) and Southport (south).

The city itself is very modern, clean and compact. It is easy to navigate and has its own man made “beach” at South Bank Parklands.

What’s the weather like?

Brisbane Annual Weather ChartBrisbane boasts, on average, around seven hours of sunshine each day. It doesn’t really have a “proper” winter, so if shorts and T-shirt are your thing, you can wear them all year round.

The only time it gets anything like resembling “cold”, is usually around July and August at night time when you may, on occasions, need to find some jog bottoms or a jumper to see you through those winter evenings.

Possible severe weather around the Brisbane area could include cyclones and some flooding. So be especially careful where you choose to settle. Brisbane Council has produced a flood areas map which you can download by specific area from  Brisbane Council’s website.

You may also want to check out my post called Brisbane and Queensland Floods: Should We Avoid Living There? Here’s a clue though, Brisbane is where I live and I love it.

You may think this all looks pretty straight forward, but I didn’t describe them as “sprawling suburbs” for nothing. These areas break down into around 80 or more postcodes and each postcode can have 2, 3 or more places to live. All in all, there are about 250 different places around Brisbane that you can choose from to live.

What’s Brisbane Like?

  • Please note: Brisbane is no longer Australia’s fastest-growing city as stated in the commentary, it was a few years ago, but it’s not now.

Brisbane Suburbs Map:

Brisbane Map
The sprawling suburbs can be divided up into 5 areas as follows.

  • Inner Brisbane – Including City, Inner North, Inner South, Inner East and Inner West
  • Northern Suburbs – Including Moreton Bay Islands, Northern Suburbs, North Eastern Suburbs, North Western Suburbs, Outer North Eastern Suburbs and Outer Northern Suburbs
  • Southern Suburbs – Including South Eastern Suburbs, South Western Suburbs and Southern Suburbs
  • Eastern Suburbs – Including Bayside Suburbs and Eastern Suburbs
  • Western Suburbs – Including Outer Western Suburbs and Western Suburbs

Rent or Buy…

We have teamed up with LJ Hooker, one of Australia’s leading real estate agents, and their team of experts are waiting to help you.

If you are looking to rent or buy a property in Brisbane, LJ Hooker can help. Please click the links below to search for properties in this area…

Properties for rent in Brisbane

Properties for sale in Brisbane

For each property listed, you will see the contact name of the agent handling that property, along with office and mobile contact numbers. Alternatively, you could email the agent for further details.

Or, if you have a question about this area, please ask it in the comments below…

{ 471 comments… read them below or add one }

Gab November 8, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Am looking to move to BNE for a job in a private hospital in Chermside, what is good suburb that is within 1/2 hr travel time ? Am single with no kids, like somewhere safe with nice cafes etc


BobinOz November 23, 2015 at 7:52 pm

I don’t really know that area overly well, but if you want to live further out from the city, I really like Sandgate and the surrounding suburbs, they seem to have a great community spirit and one or two trendy bars/cafes. Closer to the city, New Farm, Bulimba, Paddington, Newmarket, Ascot, Windsor, they are all quite lively, with cafe culture, but for sure more expensive to live.

Hopefully someone who knows that area better than I do my pop in and help you further.

Good luck, Bob


Deirdre November 6, 2015 at 6:17 am

Hi Bob,

My friend and I are considering moving to Brisbane from Ireland. We both have a degree in Early Childhood Studies.
We would greatly appreciate your advice, would this city be the best option for us?



BobinOz November 6, 2015 at 6:57 pm

It’s impossible for me to know, everybody likes different cities for different reasons. If you’re asking me if it’s a good option for work, then all I can suggest is you use my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship to search for suitable opportunities and try and work out which city offers you the most chances.

From a personal preference point of view, check out my page called A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia as it might help you decide where to go.

Good luck, Bob


Matt October 27, 2015 at 11:35 pm

Hi Bob

Moving to Brisbane from the UK next year. Want to live near the beach in a quite area but not Brisbane itself. Within 1 hour’s drive so can commute for work. Where would you recommend please?

Many thanks,



BobinOz October 28, 2015 at 11:32 pm

Well, if you want proper golden sandy beaches then your only choice is the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast and both would be a horrible commute into Brisbane, certainly more than one hour.

Margate and Redcliffe have a little bit of sand to the north-east of Brisbane, but you won’t be doing any surfing in the waves from there, it’s in a bay. I think if you choose a place that gives you a one hour commute to work, you’ll still be half hour from a decent beach so you will end up living somewhere that doesn’t satisfy either need.

Too far from work and too far from the beach.


Matt October 29, 2015 at 12:37 am

Thanks for coming back to me Bob. I’ll have a look at Margate and Redcliffe then


BobinOz October 29, 2015 at 11:15 pm

Sandgate and Shorncliffe just along the road a bit are worth checking out as well, no sand, but by the coast and nice suburbs.


Matt October 29, 2015 at 11:35 pm

Sandgate has no sand? What a scandal! Hence the name I suppose :-) Cheers


BobinOz November 1, 2015 at 8:33 pm

Sorry Matt, that’s my mistake. Sandgate does indeed have the requisite volume of sand necessary to include the word ‘sand’ within its name under the Australian suburbs regulations act.

It’s just not the sort of sand you would want to reserve with a beach towel on a hot summer’s day. If you check out this post…

You will see pictorial evidence of the sand in the third photo from the bottom. :-)


Matt November 2, 2015 at 8:33 pm

Haha very good :-). Sorry to bombard you with questions Bob but what’s your thoughts on Bribie Island? Nice place to live? Was reading it’s 20 min drive to Caboolture then 1 hour into CBD on the train. Do you think that ’20 min drive’ is accurate or does traffic get bad coming over the bridge?

Thanks again,


BobinOz November 3, 2015 at 12:14 am

My understanding of Bribie, and my knowledge is extremely limited, is that ‘I think’ that somebody mentioned to me somewhere that it’s a little bit quiet, a little bit retiree, a little bit campsite holiday-ish.

I’m not sure how busy that bridge gets during rush hour or how long it would really take to get to Caboolture, but 20 minutes seems ambitious, especially to do it every day. But you really need to hear from a local who really does know.

Can anybody out there help Matt out with this one?


Mike November 20, 2015 at 9:35 pm

Hi Matt
I live on Bribie, yes it is quieter compared to a central city but it has a great surf beach on the east side Woorim, an easy 5 to 10 minute run from any suburb on the island, has a large population of retirees sure but equally their plenty of younger families/people too. Western side has the safe boating & fishing recreational waters of Pumicestone passage. Plenty of clubs shops cafes etc. Easy access north to sunshine coast beaches too. Train at caboolture is 20 25 mins drive to park and ride, great bus service in too rail station and train express service is 55mins. I really love this area and think it is the best kept secret often overlooked by many. Housing too is reasonable too compared to other suburbs.


Matt November 20, 2015 at 9:49 pm

Excellent Mike. The more I hear the more convinced I am. Quiet is absolutely fine by me. Would prefer it that way. My main concern was the commute to Brisbane. It sounds doable. Commuting almost an hour as it is now in the UK so I’m used to it. Thanks for the post much appreciated.

aron October 24, 2015 at 7:21 pm

I would like to know as much as possible about Chermside? I brought a 1 bedroom unit off the plan from a very nice speaking gentleman. Now I’m wondering if I did the right thing? Could you tell me How Chermside rates for “Raising a family, Employment, Crime and Schools. Also how is the Real Estate in this area
Thank you


BobinOz October 26, 2015 at 11:25 pm

I don’t know what it’s like to live in Chermside, but I think it will be just fine for all the things you you’re looking at. It’s certainly not a ‘bad area’ and it does have a very large shopping centre, if shopping is your thing.

You can find out more about suburb demographics on my page called Which Suburb?

Thanks, Bob


Susan October 15, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Hardly impartial Bob are you if you are promoting LJ Hooker. I will not be back.


BobinOz October 15, 2015 at 8:58 pm

Being sponsored by a major company like LJ Hooker does not make me biased, I mean, whadyathink? I am the secret agent down under now am I? Everything I’ve written on here is to sell houses for LJ Hooker?

That’s funny.

No, being sponsored it’s simply a way of helping to keep this large website running without asking people to pay a subscription. It is quite common for websites to do this.

For example, I’ve just been to the BBC’s website, when I arrived there was a great big advert right at the top of the page trying to sell me Beats headphones for $495. Yes, dollars, they know I’m in Australia from my IP address. When I went to another page, they tried to sell me a Kia Cerato for $19,999. On the next page, they wanted me to open a bank account with Bankwest.

I hope you will add the BBC website to your banned list, they are also clearly biased under your criteria. And, while you’re at it, you can probably add almost every other popular website as well as every commercial TV and radio station in the world. Also, be careful which roads and motorways you drive down, most of them have advertising hoardings on the side of the road, so they are obviously biased too. Oh, and don’t download any free apps on your smart phone. They are biased.

Good luck with your philosophy, although I think you may just have made yourself a housebound Luddite.


Dirk October 12, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Hi Bob

I am thinking of moving from Perth to Brisbane with my family, boy 9 and girl 7 years of age. Where are good areas for families with houses that are spaced out a bit. Was reading that Morayfield is good for families, what is your opinion?
Want a suburb that is safe with good schools.


BobinOz October 13, 2015 at 9:16 pm

I don’t know anything at all about Morayfield other than driving past it on the Bruce Highway. So I couldn’t tell you what it’s like up there, but I do think it is a fair distance away from Brisbane, so far away that it surprises me that it even is a suburb of Brisbane.

Have a look at places like Sandford, that’s got lots of space around it and looks like a really nice area, but I’m not sure what house prices are like. Or alternatively check out Moggill in the western suburbs, again, plenty of open spaces and a good area to bring up kids.

My page called Which Suburb? can help you with your research.

Good luck, Bob


BobinOz October 19, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Dirk, I’ve just had a comment come through from somebody called CC, I think it will be of great interest to you, you can read it here.


Dirk October 19, 2015 at 7:28 pm

Thanks Bob, your website is of great help, cheers


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