Brisbane: Australia’s Sixth Most Liveable City

This is easily the best and most liveable city in all of Australia, but for some inexplicable reason it only came sixth in a recent poll covering 11 Australian cities. Okay, maybe I’m biased, but I do love it here.

What do I love?

Brisbane, Queensland

BrisbaneIf I were answering the survey, how would I have rated the qualities of Brisbane? Out of everything on their list, these would be my top three.

What I really like about Brisbane:

  • The climate is good
  • Good outdoor recreational environments
  • It’s a safe place

For the record, I’m also pretty impressed with the road network and minimal traffic congestion and that the city is clean, well maintained and attractive. I’m very happy with the entertainment scene which is both vibrant and cultural and I like the look and design of the city.

I also think the bus service where I live is excellent, so on that basis I have to give the transport around here the thumbs up. That’s not a thumbs up for the Go Card though, but unfortunately we are stuck with that one.

This city does have dedicated bus lanes that speed things up and we also have the CityCats; ferries on the Brisbane River that operate closer to the city.

On the downside though, I wouldn’t say our public transport was cheap, I’m almost certain it was cheaper in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide although I’ve never done an actual comparison.

What I think is average about Brisbane:

I’m sort of indifferent when it comes to the employment and economic opportunities, I would think they are just average here for this country. I find the health care services pretty good around here, but again, I would think they are just average compared to the rest of the nation. And whilst I think Brisbane is quite an affordable city compared with, say, Sydney, Darwin and Perth, it’s probably not as cheap as, say, Adelaide or Hobart.

So I think the city’s affordability is also average.

As for schools, I’m very happy so far with Elizabeth’s education, but I’m also aware that from where we live there aren’t too many public school options for when she goes to the seniors. So again, I’d only say the schooling here was average compared with the rest of Australia.

I struggled to actually pinpoint three qualities that I thought were below par for Brisbane, but I forced myself to pick them out. In the end I went for…

What I am not keen on in Brisbane:

  • A diverse range of people who get along well
  • Good approaches to environmental sustainability
  • The balance of different housing types

I’ll briefly explain why I went for those three.

People around here seem to get along just fine, but I only ever seem to rub shoulders with Australians and other Brits with the occasional South African thrown in. It’s very rare that I will be in a group of people with Asians, Indians, Chinese or even mainland Europeans.

There are plenty of these groups around; I just don’t see them mixing together socially, so on that basis I felt I could include this quality in the bottom three.

As for environmental sustainability, that this quality is even included in the list just smacks of political correctness. Brisbane City Council spent loads of cash on a bicycle scheme for the city, the result to me just seems to be that I see a bunch of parked Council pushbikes sprinkled all over the city and nobody is using them.

A great attempt at sustainability, but an even greater waste of money.

Finally, I included the “good balance of housing types” in the bottom three because, well, I don’t think there is. Most houses around here are either big or very big and the vast majority are detached. That’s great, that’s how I like my houses, but it does make it easy to place this quality in the bottom three.

Now, having said all that, I’m intrigued to see what the people of Brisbane who took part in the survey had to say just see if I’m about to make a fool of myself.

Okay, here goes…


What Brisbane residents like about Brisbane:

  • It’s affordable allowing for a good standard of living;
  • Having a good climate;
  • Being clean, well-maintained and unpolluted.

Brisbane residents were not so keen on:

  • The employment and economic opportunities;
  • The entertainment scene;
  • The look and design of the city.

Well, there you go, I agree with the people on just one thing; the weather is good here. Even the flooding of a couple of years ago can’t stop us from agreeing on that one.

As for the rest, at least I have nothing in my top three that made the people’s bottom three or vice versa.

And so to YouTube.

As with every week during this series, my YouTube search for a good video about the city is not rocket science. I simply go to YouTube and put in the name of the city. What happened when I put in “Brisbane”?

  • Video One: Terrifying road rage Brisbane man almost dies
  • Video Two: Gangs of Brisbane

What kind of city am I really living in?

Well, it’s not Logan City, and as it turns out that’s where both of the above two videos were shot. Logan is south of Brisbane, between us and the Gold Coast, but it’s not part of Brisbane City Council, it’s a city in its own right.

Fortunately, the videos began to get better proving that the most popular videos on YouTube are those that feature violence. So I think the videos that came towards the top say more about humanity than they do about Brisbane and the surrounding areas.

So, what do I have for you? First up, this from Flight Centre…

What about out of town? Well, there’s Logan as I’ve already mentioned, but these places are probably more appealing…

Let’s wrap it all up with a timelapse video…

Yes, Brisbane may have only come sixth, but it’s still my number one.

Visa Assessment Service
{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Misha September 18, 2018, 9:39 pm |

    Hi Bobinoz
    Do you have any ideas/suggestions about Kedron, Wooloowin, Kelvin Grove and Greenslopes (areas and primary schools)?
    I am looking at moving to Brisbane soon and eyeballing at these areas since work will be closer to cities.
    I have visited websites for these schools and checked their scores but are the other factors to look for in a school in Australia?
    How to identify diversity in these areas and schools?

    • BobinOz September 19, 2018, 9:14 pm |

      Well, I don’t really know too much about either Kedron or Wooloowin, but I can see from the map that they are in an area where the traffic can really get quite busy, the A3 which runs close by both these suburbs is a very busy through way for those heading north.

      Whether or not that’s a good thing or a bad thing is down to opinion, but it’s probably not an area I personally would choose.

      Kelvin Grove and Greenslopes are both quite affluent areas with easy access to the city and I think the price of property in those places would reflect that. If you are wanting to find out about the diversity of the schools in the area, by which I assume you mean the ethnicity of the students, that it might be worth looking at the video on my page Which school? it will tell you about a website where you can do that kind of research, but I can’t remember of hand if it does mention student ethnicity, it certainly does mention the boy/girl mix.

      This page will help if you want to know the ethnicity of various suburbs though…

  • CHRIS September 18, 2014, 10:12 pm |

    Hello Bob, Brisbane sounds and looks fantastic to me. My wife and I plan to move there from Scotland next year with our 2 little girls. Ideally we’d like to live in a coastal suburb with a beach. I know there aren’t many proper (sandy) beaches in Brisbane itself, and that they’re pretty small where they do exist. Can you help though with the names of suburbs that do have them and what your thoughts are on them as places to live (or even visit)? From what I can tell there’s a few in Redcliffe and surrounds, but perhaps there are more?

    Thanks Bob

    • BobinOz September 22, 2014, 6:53 pm |

      If I were to move up that way Chris, I’d probably go to Sandgate; it doesn’t have a beach, but it is a really pleasant looking suburb. Walk a couple of kilometres up the road to Brighton, and that does have some beach. As you have suggested, Redcliffe has a bit of beach as well, and is also worth a look. There is a tiny bit of sand at Manly, but I think that’s about it.

      I’ve written about all these places, simply use the Google search box on the right-hand side of every page to search for the suburbs I mentioned to see what comes up. If you search for Brighton though, make sure you are looking at the Brisbane version, not one of the other Brightons.

      Happy househunting, Bob

  • Harrison August 15, 2014, 11:08 am |

    Brisbane makes me want to puke wouldn’t move there if you paid me.

    • BobinOz August 15, 2014, 6:45 pm |

      Well, do it quietly dear boy, find yourself a bag and go in a corner.

  • obi September 3, 2013, 4:44 pm |

    Hi Bob. According to the results, Brisbane scored low in having good road network and minimal traffic congestion which is almost the same as Perth and Melbourne. Can you comment on this? Thanks.

    • BobinOz September 3, 2013, 10:03 pm |

      Yes I do. If you look at the results for every city in Australia, the bigger the population the worse it scored for roads. More people equals more traffic, simple equation. The fact that Brisbane residents were not as upset about the traffic as those who live in Perth is a result really, Perth is smaller by population.

      Every city with better roads than Brisbane, according to the residents, were much smaller cities by quite some way. Looking on the bright side, it did not make Brisbane’s bottom three.

      I don’t think Brisbane has a traffic problem worth worrying about, but then I came from England, a country full of traffic problems.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Alex August 6, 2013, 10:20 pm |

    Hi Bob

    I did Brisbane through Airbnb staying with some very friendly locals. I enjoyed it but could see some obvious downsides which are as follows:
    1 – The city is car-centric.
    2 – The city centre lacks atmosphere and lacks people not commuting or working.

    1 – Most cities are getting more walkable, bikeable and easier to see without a car. Brisbane is a bit like LA it has some great neighbourhoods and areas that are very walkable and friendly, but to get to them or anywhere you want to go to you need to drive or catch 2 busses.
    2 – The city centre feels lifeless like Canary warf in London as not many people travel into the centre for leisure like they may do in other cities. This is probably because they all drive to the nearby beaches and activities of the gold and sunshine coast, which in itself is not a bad lifestyle.

    • BobinOz August 7, 2013, 1:18 pm |

      Hi Alex

      I certainly agree that Brisbane is a city best navigated by car, but I think most Australian cities are like that. That said, there are hundreds of bike ways all over the city and around the suburbs for those who prefer that method of transport.

      Also, transport into the city is pretty good, I live in an outer western suburb but I can be in the city centre within 45 minutes by getting just one bus, and it’s an extremely reliable bus service that runs from right outside my house.

      As for the city being quiet, not sure what day you went, but this usually isn’t the case. Plenty of people commute into the city to work and the CBD is busy most days with both workers and tourists.

      I love Brisbane city, I think it’s modern, compact, easy to navigate and not too big without it being too small.

  • Sendie August 4, 2013, 10:10 am |

    Hi Bob! I’m a Canadian expat that’s been living in Sydney for the past couple of years but I have to say that Brisbane is also my number one. It’s such a lovely and clean city. Thanks for continuing to write this blog, I’ve been enjoying reading you for quite a long time now. Cheers!

    • BobinOz August 5, 2013, 2:08 pm |

      Thanks Sendie, I think Brisbane is better than Sydney too! You should consider moving up here, it’s cheaper and the weather is much better.

      Thanks for your comments 🙂

Leave a Comment

If your comment doesn’t get answered, find out why…..
FAQs and Comment Policy.