Brisbane

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; if you want to know what I mean about that, check out my post The Beaches of Brisbane: A Quick Tour. 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

Questions about Brisbane?

If you have any question about living in Brisbane, please please feel free to ask them in the comments below. Or if you know this city well, why not tell us what you think of it or maybe even help out by answering some of the questions people have about the area. I’m sure anybody thinking of moving here would be very grateful for any help you can give them.

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{ 773 comments… add one }
  • Kat November 27, 2016, 9:25 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, thanks for the great site! My partner is with the ADF and hopes to be posted to Brisbane next year. We’re in our late 20s/early 30s and I work in PR, so I’m assuming likely to be working in the city. We like eating out, being amongst at least some nature/exercising/exploring, and I’d love to be near a decent shopping center. We’re not parties/clubbers but don’t mind being near somewhere with a bit of buzz. I’m not fussed if we live in a unit or house. I’ll probably take public transport to work while partner may drive to barracks. We’re in Manly (Sydney) now and love it, although I understand about the beach situation in Brisbane! I know we may be offered ADF housing (which suburbs are these most commonly in?) but if we rent privately where would you recommend? Thank you so much!

    • BobinOz November 29, 2016, 7:26 pm | Link

      Hi Kat and thanks, I’m glad you like it.

      Well, I don’t know where the ADF houses are, but I’m pretty sure they won’t be in New Farm, Teneriffe or Newstead and that’s where I think you should take a look. Lots of apartments around the area and I keep reading Brisbane has an oversupply of those at the moment, so rents should be reasonably attractive.

      These areas are very young and trendy, lots of bars and restaurants, river walks, parks and very good access to the city. Hope that helps and good luck with your move. Cheers, Bob

      • Kat November 29, 2016, 8:29 pm | Link

        Hi Bob, thanks for the response. I’ve had a look and those areas look great, and seem to at least be on the same side of the river as the barracks, which I’m sure is a big plus. Thanks again!

        • BobinOz November 30, 2016, 11:10 pm | Link

          My pleasure, happy house hunting Kat.

  • Neil November 24, 2016, 12:24 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    Great Website!

    My family and I are looking to return to Australia in the next 12 months, we previously spent 5 1/2 years in Sydney before returning to the UK when kids arrived. We have become a bit tired of the UK lifestyle and weather again so we are looking to make the permanent move. This time we are thinking Brisbane, as the affordability of buying a house in a suburb that is not too far from the city or the coast really interests us.

    We have 2 young children who will be nearly 3 and 1/2 when we come back, so we are looking for some advice on best places to start looking to live. We realise that we would need to rent and find our feet first (not to mention find work again).

    It is likely that we would both work in the city, but need to find good childcare local to home. I am also a keen golfer, so something close to a decent course would be good for me. Plus all the usual amenities that we would want as adults (cafe’s, gyms) and the kids (parks, clubs, swimming etc.)

    Would be grateful for an recommendations you have.

    Thanks

    Neil

    • BobinOz November 24, 2016, 9:02 pm | Link

      Hi Neil

      Glad to hear you like my website, thank you.

      There are so many suburbs around Brisbane that will fit the bill for you, it’s difficult to point you in the right direction at this stage. We have gyms, swimming pools, clubs and parks everywhere, and almost all suburbs are good for bringing up children. I’m not so up on the best places for golf or childcare, so maybe somebody else reading this can give you advice about that.

      But I think before we can properly advise, we need to know what your budget is, because you can rent here for $400 per week, but in some of the suburbs closer to the city you may have to double that.

      I live in western suburbs, and I can tell you that Bellbowrie has an Olympic size swimming pool and a gym, but is not good for cafe culture and it will take about an hour plus or minus to commute into the city. There is a golf course about 10 minutes drive away in Karana Downs.

      I know there are a lot of comments here, but it would be worth you skim reading through them to see what others have said about the various suburbs to live in Brisbane as I’m sure you will find it very helpful.

      Good luck with your search, and welcome back to Australia when you get here. Bob

  • Domo November 22, 2016, 10:07 am | Link

    hi mate, I’m looking at making the move to Brisbane with my partner and two young kids. we are moving from the Whitsundays in north Queensland. interested on your opinion on where to live as we don’t know the area.
    looking for somewhere very friendly that’s close to the beaches, as well as nice shops and restaurants. your advice would be so grateful. thanks mate

    • BobinOz November 22, 2016, 8:31 pm | Link

      Hi Domo

      Well, I’m afraid we don’t have beaches the like of which you are used to in the Whitsundays, check out the link in the above article (second paragraph) to go on a tour of Brisbane’s beaches.

      That said, I’d suggest you take a look at Sandgate and Cleveland. Both are on the coast, they each have a reasonably lively scene around them with bars and restaurants, are friendly and will give you good access to the motorways so you can escape to either the Sunshine Coast or the Gold Coast to visit a proper golden sandy beach when you want to.

      Hope that helps, cheers, Bob

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