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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  • Rahul Sinha October 16, 2017, 3:34 am | Link

    HI Bob,
    Thanks for this website. Very informative. Now, at least I got some idea about the suburbs.

    I am an Indian and I am moving to Brisbane for a year for my work. My office is located in George Street. I will be using the public transport for travel. I can spend 20-30 mins on travel. Can you please suggest me where I should move in. I am looking for a place nearby to bus stop, supermarket, cafes and restaurants. My budget would be $200 per week for rent.

    Thank you 🙂

    • Tracy October 16, 2017, 9:13 pm | Link

      I don’t think you’ll get much for $200 unless you share.

      Try this site, as an example:

      You might even get something right nearby! And it might be nice to have flat mates to hang out with?

      • BobinOz October 16, 2017, 9:33 pm | Link

        Tracy is quite right, you will be need to look at house sharing on that budget. Worth googling gumtree as well, people advertise rooms to let on there. Just go for anywhere as close as possible to where you need to go to keep travel costs down.

        • Rahul Sinha October 17, 2017, 2:02 am | Link

          Bob, can you suggest me some places nearby George Street. Good transport, food and other facilities. I have to plan my accommodation in advance.

          • BobinOz October 17, 2017, 7:27 pm | Link

            George Street is in the heart of the city, any suburb close to it will be close to all the amenities and almost certainly very near to public transport. Google Translink and you will be able to see the bus and train routes. I think your first task is to look into whereabouts you can get shared accommodation for the money you want to pay.

            If you narrow that down to a few suburbs, let me know what they are and I’ll try to help you further.

  • Victoria October 12, 2017, 6:03 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    My husband got offered a job in Brisbane in the CBD. We are considering taking it but it does mean a move from Scotland to there. We would be coming over hopefully March on a 457 visa with our 3 year old son.
    What suburbs would you recommend that are no farther than a 45 minute commute and great for families. We would be renting with a budget of around 500-600 and hopefully a pool of affordable
    Thanks in advance ☺

    • BobinOz October 13, 2017, 6:57 pm | Link

      Well, I think you would be able to get all you want with your budget, including a pool. Places that spring to mind are The Gap, Kenmore and Kenmore Hills, and somebody spoke quite well of Keperra somewhere here in these comments.

      When you say 45 minutes commute though, do you mean by car or public transport? It might be good if you could also give more information about what you want from a suburb, other than family friendly. Then maybe either I or someone else can offer more advice.

      • Victoria October 13, 2017, 10:19 pm | Link

        Hi thanks for your reply.
        That’s great about the budget 😊

        Hubby currently walks 20 mins to train station and is then on that for 20 mins. I would probably say by public transport for the commute as I will probably be the one keeping the car.

        To be honest I have no idea about suburbs and what we would like. I suppose somewhere that has easy access to shops and a few restaurants/cafes, a good school, friendly vibe, spacious, parks, safe. We aren’t big drinkers and with a 3 year old restaurants are normally a nightmare lol. I suppose an easy paced place if that makes sense 😊

        • BobinOz October 16, 2017, 7:43 pm | Link

          Thanks for the extra info. I don’t really know the suburbs north of the city well enough to advise, so hopefully somebody else will see your comment and help with that. As with most cities, the closer you get to it, the less spacious the suburb would be with fewer open green spaces. So not as kid friendly as somewhere further out.

          A good compromise could be places like Indooroopilly, Chelmer, Graceville, Sherwood and Corinda. If you Google ‘Brisbane train map’ you will see them all in a row on the same train line. All of those places have a bit going on nearby in terms of restaurants and cafes. Indooroopilly is the busiest of them all, it has a big shopping centre as well. All are good for transport into the city. Be sure to study the flood maps though before committing to buying a house in these areas. Or any area in Brisbane.

          Mount Gravatt is also worth a look, it’s on the train line and has been highly recommended elsewhere on this website somewhere in the comments. Keperra, also on the train line, has been given the thumbs up here by others. Further out is Bellbowrie and Moggill, that’s bus only to the city and will take between 40 minutes and an hour. There is a fast bus during peak which doesn’t stop everywhere which can do the journey in 35 minutes. These two are really family friendly suburbs, they are in a good school catchment area and very safe with lots of open green spaces and parks. It has a small shopping centre for the essentials, but you would need to go elsewhere for a big shopping mall.

          Hope that helps, Bob

          • Victoria October 16, 2017, 7:48 pm | Link

            Thanks for getting back to me 😊
            That’s great I will definitely have a look at these areas, thank you for your help.

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