What’s Wrong With Brisbane?

First post of 2014, happy New Year to you. I hope this is the year you all achieve your dreams, maybe I might achieve one or two of mine as well. Here’s to hoping!

I’ve had a jolly good holiday break since before Christmas and spent part of that time in a small seaside town called Yamba. This is Yamba


But I’ll tell you all about that later in the week, today we have…

What’s wrong with Brisbane?

I live in Brisbane and I absolutely love it here. After six years, from what I’ve seen, there is no other city in Australia where I’d rather be. Not everybody feels that way though, so what is wrong with Brisbane?

Judging by the comments I get here, it seems that for many people Brisbane is simply too hot. I’m sure there are other reasons many people do not like Brisbane, but the heat and humidity are most commonly mentioned.

I mentioned this now because it’s been hot here over the last few days in all of Queensland, very hot. Records were expected to be broken in Brisbane CBD over the weekend, but they weren’t. The city only managed a measly 38.7°C, the record is 41°C.

I don’t live in the city though, I live in western suburbs. Our weather station is in Archerfield:

Archerfield, west of Brisbane, recorded its highest ever temperature since records began with a top of 43.5 degrees, just eclipsing the previous record of 43.3 degrees.

That’s hot! For those interested, it’s about 110°F.

I can tell you though, that where I live which is further out west than Archerfield, my thermometer tickled 46° C (about 115°F) during the afternoon. If you want to know how uncomfortable that kind of temperature can be, read my article It Was a Hot Day.

Needless to say, I was sweating buckets just staring at a computer screen. Who knows how much sweat I might have produced had I been doing physical work. I know, let’s not think about it.

Melting, me, Mrs Bob and Elizabeth actually drove to a shopping centre, didn’t want to do any shopping, we just wanted to be in the air conditioning. On the way we drove past my favourite thermometer which once read an astonishing 36° during the winter.

This time it was too hot for me to get out of the car to take a picture, so here’s one I made earlier…

temp 43

Yes, it’s been hot. It’s been hot in the morning, it’s been hot during the day, it’s been hot in the evening and it’s been hot throughout the night.

When all is said and done though, I still love Brisbane. Sometimes, yes, the weather borders on intolerable. Maybe that’s just for about five weeks in the year. For the other 47 weeks though, it’s like paradise for me.

But then I do like hot, I’m comfortable up to about 32°, it’s only when we get beyond that that it becomes uncomfortable and 46° is way beyond that.

An Australian heatwave

It’s not just hot in Queensland though, this poor baby koala could barely cope with the heat in Adelaide…

What happens next?

I can tell you exactly what happened next and it’s what usually happens. At some point during the heatwave, and for us it was today, we are told storms are on the way.

Our storms hit at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, a quite common time for storms to arrive. As the storm breaks and the rains begin to fall heavily, the people of Brisbane line the streets, clapping and cheering and shouting…

Hooray, hooray, the storms are here, hooray, hooray!

Well, they don’t, not in reality, but inside they are. Within minutes, temperatures fall. By 6 PM we were at 25°C. Tonight we will all sleep a little more easily.

So will the people on Stradbroke Island who you may have heard mentioned in the above video. The eye of the storm passed right over the fires on the island, hopefully snuffing out the danger that threatened their homes.

Update January 8: According to the news last night, 60 mm of rain fell on the North Stradbroke Island fire zone during the storm yet, incredibly, the fire continues to burn dangerously, threatening homes.

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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • John April 25, 2014, 9:10 am |

    43.5 is rather warm. If you think that is hot visit Broome. Now it gets hot there. Brisbane is a great place, as is Queensland. Thanks for your column. I am new to this but have been to Australia twice. Third time is in the works. Good day!

    • BobinOz April 27, 2014, 7:46 pm |

      Thanks John and yes, I would love to visit Broome on a very hot day. I’d be sure to take my hat and my sunnies. One day, hopefully I will. Have a great third visit, cheers, Bob

  • Jackie porter March 15, 2014, 1:58 am |

    Thanks Bob and good to hear!! Out of interest, what in your opinion do you think the girls will find tricky? Obviously the schooling has been a huge issue and having looked a lot into it and spoken to various people I feel pretty confident in the aus education system. In fact if anyone is out there and have children in public schools in the area I would be very interested to know how they feel about it.

    • BobinOz March 16, 2014, 10:04 pm |

      Well, I’m only guessing, you will know your girls. Typically though it is an awkward age, especially the older one. They are usually very attached to their friends and hate change at that age, moving to Australia is a big change.

      Will they miss their friends? They will be concerned about starting a new school, I’m sure about that. They’ll be concerned about making new friends aswell.

      My concern is nothing to do with the Australian education system, it’s just the age of your daughters, it’s much easier to bring children here when they are 10 or younger.

  • Jackie porter March 14, 2014, 6:18 pm |

    Hi there. This is the first time I have written anything on here but have read a lot! We are moving in august to a yet undecided suburb of brisbane with our two daughters aged 13 and 15. We won’t be paying for a catholic private school so will be using state schools. We know aus/brisbane fairly well and have finally decided to move to brisbane after living in Sydney 20 yrs ago. We have visited and kept in contact with friends in Sydney, brisbane and caloundra. BUT, whenever I look up anything or read anything it is always negative! (Poms in oz etc) . Has anyone moved over and thinks it’s the best thing ever?! Does anyone have any good advice, encouraging stories? Are we totally bonkers? Our girls want to go so that’s not an issue. Are there things for teenagers to do there or is it really the boring sleepy country town that I keep Reading about. It’s beginning to worry me! Really looking forward to hearing something good!
    Thank you

    • BobinOz March 15, 2014, 12:41 am |

      Moving to Brisbane has certainly been one of the best things I’ve ever done and I have no regrets at all about it. Wild horses couldn’t drag me back to England, as they say.

      I have about a dozen or so close English friends here, none of them are heading back to the UK either. So I would ignore the whingeing Poms from Poms in Oz and start getting excited about the new life you are soon to enjoy.

      Tricky age for your daughters, they might struggle at first, but within a year horses wouldn’t drag them back either, that’s what I think.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Steve Carter January 7, 2014, 4:26 pm |


    We too live in the western suburbs of Brissie – Chapel Hill.

    We migrated from the UK in November, so we’ve had a few weeks to acclimatise, but the weekend was just off the scale for us. We’ve only got aircon in the main bedroom, so on Saturday night I dragged our three kids mattresses in there and we all slept together!

    My dad put me straight though – he slept in the same room as his parents (and two older siblings) until he was ten!


    • BobinOz January 7, 2014, 8:38 pm |

      You’re lucky you’ve got air conditioning in one room, we don’t have it at all! Well, we do, it just doesn’t work on account that it’s about 20 years old. We have to close all the windows before we can put it on and then the house just gets hotter.

      We do have ceiling fans though, they do help, but the weekend was a bit of a test, wasn’t it?

      Welcome to Brisbane 🙂

  • Valter Russo January 7, 2014, 2:15 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    wow nice whether, you guys can barely take a full breath.lol.
    here in Portugal, as well as in UK, we are freezing ourselvs…but you remember the feeling, right 😉
    global warming can’t be found in our dictionary.lol

    Cheers ”mate”.(traning for the future. hehe )
    Valter Russo

    • BobinOz January 7, 2014, 8:34 pm |

      Yes, I vaguely remember scraping ice off of my car windscreen most mornings in winter and my fingers turning white. I don’t miss that, I can tell you 🙂

  • Lucinda January 7, 2014, 10:35 am |

    Funny, isn’t it, how the southerners want to say Brisbane is too hot, and yet in the next sentence they will argue with you that Sydney/Melbourne get hotter than Brisbane! Which they do – but only for a couple of days a year. We are hotter than them for the other 51 weeks! Oh, and the humidity …
    But I’m with you Bob. I love the Qld weather – weeks like this stretch the friendship a bit, but at least our nights are beautiful.

    • BobinOz January 7, 2014, 8:20 pm |

      Well I wouldn’t swap our weather for Sydney’s or Melbourne’s, no way. I’d have to buy a coat 🙂

      This weekend was a slight challenge, but by Monday afternoon always good again. Lovely!

      By the way, nice website you have there Lucinda 🙂

      • Lucinda January 8, 2014, 11:28 am |

        Thanks Bob! Not as good as yours though – glad I found it!

        • BobinOz January 8, 2014, 9:27 pm |

          🙂 Glad you found it too.

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