Living in Brisbane
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 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 view online on 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:
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.
We are empty nesters and planning to move to Brisbane from Rockhampton when we get to our late 50s( may be in 5 years). Looking for a quite place where we will be able to get around easily ,can go for walks and meet people of same age. Which suburbs do you recommend Bob?
Hi Bini, I’ve been pondering your question for a few days now, and it’s not easy trying to think of the best suburb to recommend. Anywhere too close to the city by its nature will not be quiet, so I’m thinking head for the east coast. Wellington Point and Cleveland are both on the coast for those lovely sea breezes, and they both have a fifties+ demographic, high-street type setups and café’s to grab a cup of coffee.
Both have some great places to walk along the coast and it would be hard not to say hi to other smiley people that walk past you.
We are considering Brisbane. I am an early childhood teacher. My husband is an operations manager. My son is 4 and my little girl is 2. We don’t want to be too close to the city. What do you know about the suburb Eatons Hill?
I’m afraid I know pretty much nothing about Eatons Hill, but I have just looked it up to see where it is on the map. I’ve driven through Bridgeman Downs and I’ve visited Samford Village many times, and these are both neighbouring suburbs.
These are good areas, as in affluent, socio-economically advantaged. Even with my limited knowledge, it would appear to be a good choice of suburb to live in. Hopefully someone who knows more about Eatons Hill will see your comment and tell you more than I can.
Hi Bob, really enjoyed reading your Brisbane info!
My boyfriend and I are planning to move to Brisbane in Oct/ end of 2022 from Scotland. I work as a finance manager for a car manufacturer and my boyfriend is a primary school teacher. We have a working holiday visa accepted and wondering what the current working climate is like? Where are the best places you would suggest for newcomers to settle?
We like the idea of the Gold Coast as both pretty active but unsure what area to narrow down… from sunshine coast to gold coast!
Any comments/ tips would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks, Georgia
I love the Sunshine Coast, but I wouldn’t recommend it for yourselves, it’s nowhere near as lively as the other places you’re looking at, and I don’t think there’ll be as many job opportunities either.
I think you need to choose between Brisbane, closer to the city the better, or Gold Coast if you like the beach. Both are lively areas, and I suspect you will have a better chance of finding work in either of these two places, although perhaps most of the work on Gold Coast would probably be in hospitality.
Check out my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.
I don’t know specifically what the job market is like at the moment, but the unemployment rate is low, so I think you’ll have a good chance. I hope you enjoy your working holidays here.
Loving your blog as it gives us heaps of information. We’re a family of 4, with my eldest is in Year 4. Currently we’re living in Melbourne and thinking about Brisbane as it’s sometimes too cold here in Melbourne.
However, my wife and I heard that the UV index is very high over there. And also there are lots of animals that go in the house.. Could you advise us:
1. if the UV index is really high there and we have to use sunscreen all year round?
2. insects, snakes, crocs go in the house?
3. hay fever, is it bad?
Hi Michael, glad to hear you like my blog.
I think it is possible that the UV index is higher here in Brisbane than in other places, but if you go to weatherzone.com.au, it can tell you what the UV index is each day. I just had a quick look, for Brisbane it says the index is High for the next five days, but when I checked for both Melbourne and Sydney, the UV index was Moderate over the same period. If you dig around their site, you may find some historic information on the UV index around the country.
I never use sunscreen, and I mean never. But then I never lie on the beach in a pair of budgie smugglers staring at the sun for six hours. I suppose it depends on your lifestyle, if you work outdoors, then yes, you will need some kind of protection. But then I think you would in Melbourne and Sydney as well.
Yes, you will get insects coming into the house, but pest control can put an end to that. I wrote a post about it…
It’s very rare for a snake to come into a house, but it does happen and it happened to me. I wrote a post about that as well, including a video…
But crocodiles? No, I’ve never had a crocodile in my house, and you’ll be pleased to hear that Brisbane doesn’t get crocodiles. You will need to go further north for those, probably starting around Mackay. I remember reading someone up north had a croc end up in their swimming pool though 🙂
Hayfever, I’m not sure, but I don’t think it’s any worse here than around the rest of the country. I really don’t know though, so you may need to ask elsewhere for that one. Good luck, Bob
Hubby and I with our two young kids are looking at moving from NSW Hunter Valley to Townsville QLD, can you shed any light into what areas to avoid in regards to flooding?
No, sorry, I don’t have any advice about that, I just don’t know Townsville well enough. Might be a good idea if you study the councils flood maps though, you can find them here…
We are a family of 3 (my son is 18 years) and moving to Brisbane in August 2021. We have been looking at Northern Suburbs initially to rent until we are settled with work, but don’t want to be too far out from the city nor too close. We have a flexible budget. Our son plays rugby so wouldn’t want to be too far from sports clubs and Universities. Any guidance would be most appreciated. Many thanks. Jo
Hi Joanne, I don’t really know northern suburbs that well, certainly not well enough to advise a particular suburb. If you Google “rugby clubs Northern Suburbs Brisbane” that’ll tell you where the rugby clubs are, but most of them are for juniors, the main one (which I assume caters for adults) appears to be Norths Rugby Club in Wooloowin.
You have said you don’t want to go too far north, and I would agree with that, I wouldn’t suggest going any further north than, say, Strathpine. For what it’s worth, I do like Sandgate, it’s a really nice looking communal suburb close to the coast. Chermside has a major shopping centre and transport hub, and Samford Village is where you go if you like horses.
That’s all I can tell you, not very helpful, I know, but hopefully someone who does no the northern suburbs better will see your comment and give you more solid advice.
Wow thanks for the information.
I and hubby with 2 kids (8yrs and 7yds), are looking to move to queensland from the uk. I lived in australia, sydney most of life but lived in uk for the last 8 years. I am looking to investing on a property that contains a bit of land so semi-rural with good schools, avoiding the flood zones. Can you shed some light please, would be much appreciated.
Also.. my husband is looking for work as a truck driver. And as for me i can find work within the administrative sector.
My pleasure 🙂
We have quite a few decent semirural areas around Brisbane, my favourite being western suburbs, where I live. Look at Anstead, Mount Crosby, and some parts of Bellbowrie, all will give you access to a good infant school in Moggill. Moggill also has some semirural properties.
Then there’s Pullenvale (has its own small junior school), Brookfield, including Upper Brookfield and parts of Kenmore and Kenmore Hills. Kenmore has a good state high school. I know all these areas very well and recommend them.
Elsewhere, possibly worth a look are Samford Village and surrounds, The Gap, and towards the east, Capalaba, Burbank, Chandler and Mount Cotton are all quite rural/semirural, but I have no idea what the schools are like or what these places are like to live in.
I can’t help you with your work, but for flooding, just make sure to read the 2 articles that are linked in my page above under the bit about the weather.
Hope that helps, Bob
Looking for recommendations on where to live in Brisbane. We have a flexible budget but feeling overwhelmed with choice. Family of 4, with 4yo and 1yo. My husband and I don’t currently have jobs but both us work in corporate sectors.(finance and Tech industry) Our priorities are; easy access to the CBD Via public transport ie no more than 30min commute (we expect future work will be in CBD). Family friendly area, playground etc. Good schools. Area with some natural appeal, we enjoy bike riding and nature walks. Is there such a combo? ?
Well, firstly, if you Google ‘Brisbane train map’, you will see all the names of suburbs that have a train station with a direct line into the city. Hopefully that will help you in your search.
Given what you are looking for, I’d probably go to somewhere like Indooroopilly, which does have a train station as well as a bus station with lots of options. There are good schools in the area, both in Indooroopilly and Kenmore and the further away from the city you go, Kenmore Hills, Brookfield, Pullenvale and Anstead, the more playgrounds, nature walks, bike riding paths (including some great mountain near bike trails) you will find. Western suburbs are a great place to bring up kids, but I am a bit biased, I know the area well, it’s where I live.
Hopefully others will see your comment and give you more suggestions. Anybody?
Me and my hubby together with our 2 kids (both in primary) are planning to move to Brisbane from Adelaide because we think that the weather in Brisbane will be good to our kid with eczema. My husband is a registered nurse and worked in an aged care facility for more than 7 years. Do you have any suggestion where we can rent a small house or apartment, near aged care facilities and schools, safe and not affected by floods?
Thank you in advance.
Well, the weather is fantastic here, so hopefully it will be better for your young child. As you probably know, schools and aged care facilities are sprinkled around everywhere, so it’s hard to give you a specific recommendation. That said, I do know that if you look at Moggill in the western suburbs, they do have a nice primary school, rents are reasonable, and just up the road in Pinjarra Hills there is an aged care facility.
So that would be one option, but your husband would need to secure a job in that aged care facility for it to work out, so maybe he needs to look into where he could get a job offer before deciding where to live.
As for finding somewhere safe and not affected by floods,that isn’t straightforward either. When the floods came, I lived in a road and my house was flood free, but about 1/2 a kilometre down the same road about three houses went completely under, you could just about see the roofs.
To find out how to really stay from floods and flash flooding, check out my article Brisbane and Queensland Floods: Should We Avoid Living There?
Good luck, Bob
How about the Holland Park and Bardon suburbs? I heard these suburbs are good fo families.
Don’t know too much about either, but they are both in good areas so yes, why not? Both a bit busier though, with traffic etc, being closer to the city, so somewhere further out would probably offer more green space for the kids. On the plus, better access to the city and livelier suburbs.
great website, really helpful and interesting!
My elderly mother is moving from Geelong to Brisbane and is looking for an established suburb, with some cultural infrastructure (e.g. library, community group, choir, arthouse cinema, good local cafe scene, etc.), and access to natural areas for walks.
Her budget isn’t big enough for suburbs like Paddington or Woolloongabba, but we have been looking around the Redcliffe area – do you have any other suggestions?
That’s a difficult one Nathalie, the suburbs that have the kind of thing you are looking for are normally more expensive, as you’ve discovered with Paddington and Woolloongabba. Redcliffe has a reasonable buzz about it, but I have no idea what it would be like to live there. There was a suggestion a year or two ago prices were going to rise, not sure if that actually happen though, but worth looking into.
I quite like Sandgate, which is also in the bay, and seems to have a really good community feel about it with lots going on and plenty of cafés. So that might be worth a look, although it is probably a little more expensive than Redcliffe. Hopefully someone else reading this might have some ideas to help you out.
Yes, all around the peninsula area is nice, so it may well be the best bet!
Brisbane could be renamed little Asia, just like every other city in AU.
Hardly! According to the 2016 census, Brisbane is 66% Australian-born, with 1.7% from China and 1.7% from India.
Brisbane is blessed with so many minorities. It’s not like being in Asia, it’s like being in the third world Asia. Who wants to be in high tech Tokyo or Seoul, when you can be in Kowloon, Mong Kok, Tsing Yi, and third tier cities elsewhere in Shina? Tha’ts the Sunnybank we have and the CBD. Brisbane needs to embrace more of it.
Hi, My daughter has got admission in James Cook University Brisbane. She needs accommodation for some low costs. Please suggest some safe place connected with public transport facility to the university. And also the place should be like this where she can get some part time job also.
Hi Nishi, have a read of my article Finding a Job and Somewhere to Live in Australia, it should help.
My husband somehow got a job at this time of Covid19 and he is moving to Brisbane soon (from South Africa). He will be working in Acacia Ridge and has been given the daunting job of looking for a rental house for us. I am a process/chemical engineer and we have a toddler so he has to somehow look for an area that has good schools but also allows me to get a job in Brisbane without commuting for hours. I currently don’t have a job lined up in Brisbane as our toddler and I am only joining him next year (Covid travelling is HARSH!). Do you have any suggestions?
Well, firstly, congratulations to you both for plotting away into Australia in these difficult times.
Acacia Ridge is a bit industrialised and some of the surrounding suburbs aren’t great, so I’d be inclined to look somewhere closer to the river. Kenmore and Indooroopilly and the suburbs in between are really good residential areas and the schools are good too, although I only know about the high schools, not so much about the junior ones, but worth a look around there.
The downside is that your husband will have to cross the river at Indooroopilly to get to work, and that can be a bit of a pain. In that case it may be worth looking at Corinda, Sherwood areas to avoid cross that bridge.
Maybe somebody else who does know more about the junior schools will give you some help here, so keep an eye on this threat.
Good luck with your move, Bob
Try to look houses in Corinda, Oxley, Sherwood,Mount Omney. Corinda got a good junior school and high school and travel to acacia ridge is 10 min only…in droop illy and Kenmore is also good and not far , but may have heavy traffic in the morning and evening … I won’t recommend suburbs like Inala, goodna , wacol, darra or Richlands as they got bad reputation. Springfield, Forestlake and Heath wood also great suburbs and near to acacia ridge..
Looking to move to Brisbane for work at USQ Springfield campus and commuting to Toowoomba too. Where would you recommend renting initially?
Well, it’s an hour and 1/2’s drive between the two, so quite some distance for a commute. Are you considering maybe living somewhere in the middle or do you want to live in Springfield and commute the whole way to Toowoomba?
HI Bob We will be moving back to OZ early next year from London.We were living for 8 yrs in Canberra .We are wanting to move to QLD for a better climate for my asthma .we will be renting .It will be myself and hubby .I will be semi retired and hubby roofing / maintenance looking for work .Which suburb would you recommend? I was thinking Burleigh heads etc .Thanks Sue
That would be a good place to retire, I’d say, it’s at my favourite end of Gold Coast. As you are retiring though, or semi-retiring, you may want to also look at Sunshine Coast around Mooloolaba, every bit as gorgeous, but less commercial and therefore housing is cheaper.
There are more retirees up that way as well I would think, compared to Gold Coast which is probably more family orientated.
Hi Bob, I need to find a job in the regional part of Queensland as that’s the Visa criteria. I will be bringing my 2 kids along. Can you suggest where I should stay (rent) with a Primary and High school? Preferably a place with a decent shopping mall, public transport and not too expensive rental. Appreciate your kind response. Thank you.
I’m pretty sure Sunshine Coast is classed as regional, and that would most definitely be where I would be heading if I had to make this decision. Mooloolaba is my favourite, but I think anywhere that suits your rental budget would be a good choice. Just check you’ll be close to the schools you need. Good luck, Bob
Hi 🙂 my partner has just received a contract to work in brisbane city. we currently live in Melbourne and I have always wanted to live in QLD so im super excited.
So i was hoping to get some help on where we should live. I want to be close to the beach as well and close to the city so he doesnt have to travel as far for work.
We will be renting and have a dog and cat which i think might be harder. But suburb suggestions would be amazing, we want to live in a nice area maybe even near the river.
Brisbane doesn’t really do beaches very well, there is a link in the above article about that and you’ll see pictures of what our beaches are like. For great beaches you need to go to either Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast.
But suburbs in and around Sandgate to the north-east of the city are on the coast and there is a bit of sand, mostly at Brighton and further up in Redcliffe. I really like the look of Sandgate, and I think it now has a train line into the city.
You would also have quick access to the M3 and then M1 up to the Sunshine Coast, so you could be in Mooloolaba in about an hour and that has a great beach.
If you have any more questions, let me know and I or someone else will try and help.
Hi, anyone have any info on the Riverview, 4303 district? Why are houses cheaper there?
Houses are cheap for a reason in Riverview, and if you check out the following page and use it to look at the demographics of that suburb and surrounding areas, you will see that they are mostly, as we call it, socio-economically challenged.
You can use the same interactive tool to find suburbs and areas that are more affluent, but of course, houses would be more expensive there. If you can let me know what kind of property you want to buy/rent and your budget, and what you’re looking for in a suburb, maybe I can help you with ideas.
I’ve recently been offered a job and sponsorship to move over to Brisbane from the UK. The position would be based in South Brisbane near the Gabba and my wife would be looking for work in the nearby children hospital.
We would be moving over with our two kids under 6 years old. Therefore need to try find a nice family suburb in the south Brisbane, ideally on the train line
Would be grateful for any tips
Well I don’t know that side of the city too well, but I do know I like Bulimba, Hawthorne and Norman Park. All very nice suburbs, but not on the train line. Wrong side of the river but on a train line would be Windsor, Wilston and Newmarket which I think would be worth looking at.
Possibly the most sensible choice though would be something like Greenslopes, which I have driven through and looks very nice, or further out to Eight Mile Plains which I know very little of. Both of them are on a very convenient train line for both of you to get to work, and any of the three suburbs in between those two stations would also be worth a look. Just Google “Brisbane train map” to see what I mean.
Mount Gravatt, for example, has been spoken of highly in these comments before and it does have one of the biggest shopping malls, called Garden City, in Brisbane. Hope that helps, but if anyone else can add more, we love to hear from you.
Hi Bob (and all),
We are hoping to live in Brisbane eventually and I’m feeling conflicted in relation to what suburbs are the safest to live South of the City. On Homely reviews of; Birkdale, Carindale, Cleveland etc all look good – but on the police crime rate website, they are rife with criminal activity. I was particularly surprised with Birkdale being so high in the review ratings yet having a serious crime problem… I may be looking at the wrong things or misunderstood the data, but it’s left me feeling a little deflated. Can I ask for your opinion on where the safest suburbs are and what your knowledge is of the crime (perhaps some suggestions to avoid it too)? Many thanks, Sophie.
Hi Sophie, I live between Carindale and Birkdale. These suburbs are not bad. I wish we had better public schools around, but crime is not a big issue. There are break-ins and drugs,… like anywhere else in the cities, but we feel very safe.
Try to avoid the suburbs in the far south, I hear not much good things about Logan area.
Cleveland has some good but high priced areas, some not so good streets. Be careful there and south of Birkdale, Alexandra Hills.
I would move to Birkdale or Carindale.
I think sometimes statistics can be misleading, as far as I’m aware Birkdale is a pretty decent area to live in.
I think sometimes the socio-economic status of a suburb can tell you more about what it’s like to live there, and I have a page that can help you with that. Please click on the following link…
I just checked out the status for Birkdale and it ranks second highest on the socio-economic scale, which is good. The red areas are the least affluent, and the dark blue areas are the most affluent, socio-economically. You will see what I mean when you look at the page. Affluent areas aren’t crime free, in fact they probably do attract burglars, but that doesn’t mean the streets aren’t safe.
As Chris has said, and I agree with him entirely, burglaries can happen anywhere. Apparently the best protection is to buy a dog, burglars hate barking dogs 🙂
Generally speaking though, most of Brisbane is extremely safe.
Hope that helps, Bob
Hi Bob, a couple of months ago you and Mark helped me and my family with some tips on this page. I just wanted to say thank you! We are now living in Brissie for 10 months and loving it! Everytime I have to travel to Melbourne or Sydney for work, I’m happy to get back to Brisbane.
And if somebody is concerned of the lack of sandy beaches: I also love the bay now. There is so much beautiful nature, and so much to discover on the islands. Much more interesting than Gold Coast and Co…
Thanks again… And if somebody is thinking of moving to Australia: Come to sunny Brissie!
Excellent news! Sounds like you are beginning to love Brisbane as much as I do. Last time I spoke to Mark he was a convert as well, having moved up here from Melbourne.
Brisbane is definitely THE place to be in Australia, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. As you pointed out, sandy beaches are not essential, and anyway, if we want them they are not too far away.
Glad to hear it has all worked out, and thanks for letting us know.
I am planning to apply to the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). which suburb does that university fall under? will there be enough jobs around that place? I am asking because eventually my husband will have to work while i study.
Thankyou in advance.
Well, I had to google it, and apparently they have three university campuses, they are in Toowoomba, Springfield and Ipswich. Do you know which one you will be going to?
My husband and I (both 35 years old) are shifting from Mumbai, India to Brisbane, could you advice us where to live? I am an interior Designer and he is a financial advisor. There do seem to be plenty of work opportunities but we are confused on where to live. We would be renting out a place and would prefer a safe decent area nothing too expensive. We would be commuting by public transport (buses or trains) so some area which has a good connectivity to the center. Also it would be great if supermarkets are in and about. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Firstly, Brisbane is a very safe city, by and large. Like anywhere, some suburbs are ‘safer’ than others simply because they are more affluent than the socially economically challenged areas. So going for ‘nothing too expensive’ would be fine, just don’t go for the cheapest. The following page will help you with the socio economic standings of suburbs in the area…
For public transport, I would advise that you Google ‘Brisbane train maps’ to see which suburbs are on the train line. For ease of access into the city I would maybe choose something along the red line that goes out to Ferny Grove. The further out you go from the city, the more reasonable the cost of housing.
Also check out my page Which Suburb?, there are some very useful links on there to help you choose a suburb.
If you are going into rented at first, remember, you’ll probably only be tied to that place for 12 months, by which time you will know Brisbane much better and may want to move to a suburb that suits you more after that. Hope that helps, Bob
Hi Bob! Firstly, thank you for this amazing site that is so very informative and helpful.
I am a 36 year old kiwi, have just been offered a role in Woolloongabba.
Which suburbs would you recommend living in, that won’t take me long to get to work? I’ll be getting a car but imagine it could be better to train in as much as I can.
I’m not that social really, I’d prefer a quieter neighbourhood, not overly fussed on nightlife or cafes, food establishments etc.
Any tips much appreciated 🙂 Cheers Bob, have a lovely day!
Thanks Monique, Glad you like.
With ‘The Gabba’, as it’s called, being so close to the city, suburbs that are within easy reach are all a bit livelier than I think you would like. I’ve just been staring at the Brisbane train map for about five minutes and nothing springs to mind that will suit. Google it for yourself, at least that will tell you which suburbs you can live in that will get you to Woolloongabba easily.
If you can tell me whether you are looking to buy or rent a detached house, a townhouse or an apartment, that might help me pick something out.
Thanks for your prompt reply Bob. Initially I will be renting, most likely share with one other in an apartment. I’ve found one place within walking or biking distance from work, and reasonably close to supermarket. It doesn’t have a pool tho, which I’m minorly freaking out about as a kiwi. But as a friend said, its my first pad, not my forever pad. It is on Cornwall street in Greenslopes. And the housemate seems really nice so far (obviously and important factor!) Work is a 20 minute walk north, according to Google. I wonder how this sounds to you? Cheers, Monique
I think Greenslopes would be a very good choice, it’s a good suburb and as you say, well-placed for you to get to work. There are some very nice houses in Greenslopes, and whilst it does have some restaurants and shops, it is not known for its nightlife, which is what you want.
I had to read your line about the pool a couple of times though, I didn’t think anyone would bother with a pool in NZ. Must be too cold most of the time, surely?
As your friend has said though, it’s only a first pad, it’ll give you a great opportunity to find out about the area and surrounding suburbs for a while, and then if you want to go somewhere else that you prefer and at the same time you could go for something with a pool.
So anyway, yes, I don’t think you can go wrong with Greenslopes, I’d go for it.
I am moving from New Zealand to Brisbane next month. i want to know which place should i live in brisbane which can give me access to trains and malls so that I dont have to go far for shopping etc.
I wont have car so pls suggest best suburb to live to depend on public transport(Buses,Train)?
Looking forward for your reply.
By extraordinary coincidence these are the exact same questions asked by Bruno in the comment below, so please check out my answer to him, as it is also perfect for you. Good luck, Bob
Many thanks for your reply.
As per your suggestions I was checking some apartments on rent in the Indooroopilly area.
I wanted to know is it a good area to live in? The rent however is quite high, any other suggestions?
I want shopping mall, train or bus stations to be nearby.
I know the Indooroopilly area very well, it’s a good area to live in, for sure. The shopping centre is very big, about the third or fourth biggest in Brisbane, and transport links are very good. I don’t know other areas quite so well, but given your requirements I would definitely opt for Indooroopilly as I don’t think the other places with big shopping malls will have more to offer.
Fist of all thanks for helping people like me,your website is amazing.
I am 30 years old,single guy,I lived in New Zealand for 8 years,looking to move to a warmer place,I will be moving to Brisbane late next month.I got some questions,1-I wont have car,Best suburb to live to depend on public transport(Buses,Train)?
2-Any suggestions on a suburb which could offer good acesse to trains and an average night life(Pubs,Restaurants,Sports bars)?
3-Can a live without a car in Brisbane?
Again thanks for your website.
First thing you need to do is to Google ‘Brisbane train map’ to find out which suburbs are on a train line. Your nightlife will be best found in Paddington (Caxton Street has possibly the busiest sports bars), nearest train stations Roma Street and Milton. Nightlife can also be found in Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley, known as The Valley and South Bank/West End.
So if you can live in any of those suburbs or in a suburb that gives easy access to get to the train stations closest to the suburbs, you’ll be fine and although a car is definitely handy, you’d be able to live without one.
Suburbs like Chermside and Indooroopilly have good transport links, Chermside has a bus terminal and Indooroopilly a bus terminal and also a train station as well as a Pig ‘n’ Whistle pub which shows sport on the TV. Both of these suburbs also have a bit of nightlife and large shopping malls, so you’d be able to get everything you need by foot, and then for proper nightlife, catch transport to one of the places already mentioned.
I can guarantee you one thing, you are definitely moving to a warmer place. Hope this helps and good luck, Bob
I’m so confused by where to settle. I have young kids and need s family friendly place with good parks and day care. I also struggled to use the flood map. So far I’ve narrowed it down to Kenmore and Springfield Lakes. Kenmore seems safe but pricey when it comes to rentals. Seems to also have some flooding issues. SL is cheaper but my research shows a surge in crime and population growth. Please help
Springfield Lakes is very much a new town and it just keeps growing and growing. Of the two you mention, I would go to Kenmore all day long over and above Springfield Lakes.
There are some very good schools in the Kenmore areas as well, but as you say, it is a bit dearer in the area. I’d suggest heading slightly further away from the city past Kenmore and take a look at Moggill and Bellbowrie.
Yes, it did flood in those suburbs, but only houses on lower ground. Plenty of houses were as dry as a bone, just go for something that is on higher ground and then doublecheck on the flood map and asked some friends or relatives to check it with you if you get serious about buying anywhere in any area of Brisbane.
For sure though, Moggill and Bellbowrie is a very family friendly place with plenty of parks and a couple of day care centres. I should know, it’s where I live.
My video from the flooding is probably worth a watch…
Thanks a million Bob. I’ll be sure to buy you a round when I move.
I’ll look forward to that 🙂
Hi, I’m a mature age single Mum of one and currently live in Melbourne. I’m a Neontal Nurse and I’m considering moving to within 30 minutes drive of the Brisbane Royal Womens? I’ve been contemplating Caboolture as well but am scared after reading some very negative things about the area. I’d be extremely grateful for any advice about a safe and affordable, family friendly area to move to that is within a reasonable drive time from one of the Neonatal hospitals please? Thanking you sincerely ?
Caboolture is a lower socioeconomic area. There can be issues living in this area, however it is a growing area and things are developing ie. better infrastructure, a more diverse population. If you are thing of working at Royal Brisbane the drive in peak hour can be more like 45 minutes or generally more. Caboolture has great access to Bribie Island, about 15 mins away, and Sunshine Coast about 35 mins. What is your budget? Are you intending on renting or buying? Personally, I would try and find somewhere a little closer to the hospital. I would suggest you come up for a weekend and check out the areas. Places like Chermside, Aspley, Lutwyche, Wooloowin, Kedron might have cheaper rents than other inner suburbs and are about 20 minutes plus closer than Caboolture.
Sound advice from Bronwyn, I am in full agreement, FWIW. As for socio-economically challenged areas, I have an interesting map for you which will help you find the areas you may prefer to avoid.
Hope that helps, Bob
Hi Bob, My husband and I are currently living in the US. He is originally from Melbourne, VIC. He is securing an employment near Brisbane CBD. We have two older elementary kids. Would you recommend us to live North or South of Brisbane river? How bad would his commute be if we live near Salisbury, Mount Gravatt or Carina area? Is Bribane train system as nice as Perth’s? Thanks! Beth
I think a lot of people do seem to say that south of the river is, generally speaking, better than north of the river, but it’s probably not as clear-cut as that.
I live north of the river, but south of Brisbane, which is western suburbs. On the map that’s Indooroopilly through to Kenmore and down to Moggill. All very nice areas, but once you get past Indooroopilly, no trains.
So, yes, I prefer south of Brisbane, to the north of Brisbane, but not too far south. Closer to the river the better.
Of the places you mention, Mount Gravatt has been highly spoken off in these comments by one or two readers and it is on a train line. Not direct, but only one line change to get to the city.
Salisbury would be on a direct line, but I don’t know too much about what it’s like around that way. Carina probably not a great idea because it’s not close to a train station.
Google the Brisbane train map for more ideas. Perth’s trains, from what I can remember, were quite modern, but so too are most of the Brisbane trains so I don’t think you’ll find much difference.
Thank you so much for responding to my questions.We really appreciate you, your time and advice!
By the way, you know how we were told to avoid Dandenong, Footscray or Frankston when we used to live in Victoria. Is there any area in Brisbane that we should be aware of?
Yes, you will probably want to avoid the red areas. To understand what that means, check out the following post…
Hi Bob, this site has helped me so much in knowing the proper steps to take to start my move to Australia. We are planning to move to Brisbane. I have so many questions. I guess my biggest one is what is Brisbane culture like. Are they accepting of interracial couples? How do they view Black American Men? How would you describe the parenting style? We currently live in Philadelphia and man is it rough. Racist with helicoptor parents everywhere. We are looking forward to the more layed back vibe that Australia boasts, but it would be nice to have some insider information.
THanks so Much Bob for all the hard work that you have put into this site. We are definately going with the MARA agent you recommend.
Thanks, glad to hear my site has helped you.
Brisbane is very laid-back, easy-going and we all very much enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. Kids seem to enjoy plenty of freedom around here, so I don’t believe parents are overly protective.
Difficult for me to answer the interracial couples question, me being a white boy married to a white girl. Brisbane though, as Australia wide, is very multicultural and I can’t imagine too many people would even be bothered to notice.
You may want to read the following posts…
I think Brisbane would be a great choice for you, and definitely a step up from Philadelphia.
Good luck with your plans, I hope it all works out and I know my MARA agent will do a great job for you.
Thanks for answering my questions so quickly. Your site has been a great resource for us, and I hope you plan to continue helping others make the move!!!
I’m not sure what to say about the racism question as Brisbane is a multicultural and ethnically diverse city and I have never witnessed overt racism. However there are definitely racist people here although they are a minority and the vast majority people won’t notice or care that you’re an interracial couple. I think being black AND American could be an advantage as many people will go out of their way to make your husband feel accepted and welcome, due to the novelty of being American and black.
Thanks Adam. We are very excited to start our new life in Brisbane. There is so much to do!!!! Do you have any insights on the parenting style there. As a teacher, we are finding that parents in America are getting in the way of their children’s success. Being way too involved, giving them everything, not allowing them to struggle to solve their own problems, and generally promoting laziness and a “whatever” attitude. Any thoughts on this topic and how it could be similar or dissimilar in Brisbane?
Hi there! We are thinking of moving to QLD from SA and wondered if you could give any advice on Runaway Bay. We are looking to live within an hour of the city and airport with good primary school and private hospitals. Water view waterway or beach and pool on site essential. Welcome your knowledge on this area or suggested others for family life. Saw there were lots of complexes here and at Bigera waters…
I’ve never been to that area, been to neighbouring areas and also much of Gold Coast, seems fine to me, but hopefully a local will see your comment and be able to give you more solid information.
I have to say though, it’s a tough one hour drive to the city or the airport, you’d probably need little or no traffic to achieve that. On a bad day, it would definitely take longer than an hour, on a really bad day, may be closer to 2 hours. The motorway between Gold Coast and Brisbane can sometimes be a bit frustrating.
I certainly wouldn’t want to do every day.
Hi Bob, thanks for such a nice blog and reply to all comments. My question is I will be moving to Brisbane and probably will work in eagle street. Could you please suggest the best suburb considering I have kid who is 4 years. As we are new to country so looking for a budget house to rent with proximity to all basic basic location. Thanks in advance for your help
Eagle Street is in the heart of the city overlooking the river, so you will need to look at living outside of that area and commuting in.
The further away you live, the cheaper the accommodation costs will be, so if you are looking for a budget house to rent, then you will need to balance cost with how far you are prepared to travel each day.
Have a look at my page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia to research rental costs, and also Google ‘Brisbane train map’ to see which of our suburbs are close to the train line. You can do a similar thing with bus routes.
Looking through the many comments already made here will tell you a lot about the suburbs and by doing research I’ve mentioned above, you should be able to whittle it down to something suitable.
Thanks a lot for your reply, how about auchenflower? I heard it’s good to start and close to city with decent price for rent. Please advise as I m looking for 2 room house within 350 AUD PW and traveling time not more then 30 mins with public transportation.
Auchenflower is quite nice, it’s in a good position and as you say, close to the city. The Milton Road that runs through it gets very busy though. Not sure how much it is to rent property there though, but you can check it out on the page I gave you a link to previously.
My partner and I are just doing some research on nice family suburbs to live in the Brisbane area. If we were to locate, he would be based at Acacia Ridge which I believe is predominately industrial. We are avid runners, enjoy the gym and enjoy recreational walks etc and out door social activities. We also love great cafes and to sit and enjoy a nice wine with a great meal. We also require high school for children and would prefer to live within a safe family orientated environment.
I think you’re right, Acacia Ridge is a little bit industrial, as is neighbouring Archerfield above it and Willawong is where the rubbish tip/recycling plant is. Probably best to look elsewhere for a nice family suburb. I would suggest checking out Chelmer, Sherwood and Corinda (although traffic along that stretch of road that connects these three suburbs can get quite tedious), as well as the suburbs a little further west like Westlake, Middle Park, Mount Ommaney and Jindalee.
Seventeen Mile Rocks is also worth a look, it has a great Riverside Park with riverside walks (or runs or cycles).
My choice though would probably be Kenmore, because it has a great school in Kenmore State High School and is a very family friendly and safe suburb. You will have to cross the river by the M5 to get to work though, but I think it’s worth it. It’s quite a lively suburb with café’s, restaurants and a pub. Traffic isn’t too bad going across the bridge, it’s slow but it does move, and it’s not a toll bridge or anything like that.
Hope that helps, Bob
Thankyou Bob, Ill certainly look into them
Hi. Myself and my cousin are Looking at moving to Australia from Liverpool, UK in September 2019. we’re 26 and 22 and it will be on a working holiday visa.
We’re looking for somewhere not to expensive for rent but need to be pleanty of short term jobs. We’ve been looking at areas in and around Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The more we look the more undecided we become any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.
Well, I think the whole point of the working holiday visa is to travel around a bit and explore as much of Australia as you can when you get here. I certainly wouldn’t recommend you going to say, one suburb in Brisbane because it’s cheap and staying there all the time you’re here.
Most people like to travel up the coast a bit and stay in backpackers, which are cheap accommodation and also a great place to meet other youngsters travelling around Australia. The last thing you want to do is rent a house for 12 months to stay in.
Check out my pages See Working Holiday Visas and Backpacking in Australia.
Hi Bob, how’s it going?
My boyfriend and I are looking to move to Australia and we’re researching about the best cities to work with culture and education. I teach English to foreigners and he works with video/film production, he’s also a photographer and he has experience in show business (as in producing events, concerts etc.). So my question is, which city do you think has a more vibrant cultural life and would present more opportunities for working with culture? We’re thinking about Melbourne or Brisbane. Sydney is way too expensive, but it would also be an option.
Thanks in advance 🙂
Well, as someone who lives in Brisbane and loves it here, it kind of pains me a little to say that the answer is most definitely Melbourne.
Melbourne undoubtedly has the most opportunities when it comes to show business and film production, it’s the artistic capital of Australia. I don’t think anybody would doubt that Melbourne produces the most TV shows and films of any city in Australia.
It would also have many more international students and generally more non-English speaking foreigners moving to it than Brisbane, which will mean more opportunities for you to teach English.
We call it ESL here; English as a Second Language.
Brisbane is a nicer place to live though 🙂
Good luck, Bob
Oh, well.. I really liked the idea of moving to Brisbane, as it is a warmer place and I personally hate the cold =/
Anyway, thank you so much for the tips!
Well, if your preference is for Brisbane, and I don’t blame you for that, then I wouldn’t discount it completely. There may be MORE opportunities in Melbourne for both of you, but you only need one good one each.
I would do some research first to see what Brisbane has to offer workwise, my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship will help with that, and if it does look promising, then why not Brisbane?
Definitely a warmer place, more laid-back and cheaper housing. Good luck, Bob
We are a British family of 5 looking to relocate to Brisbane/surrounds this coming Aus summer 2018.
We have friends on the Sunshine Coast & in Beerwah. We find the SC a little too remote for us. Ideally we’d like a great communinty around 30-45min from the city itself, preferably North to make access to our friends easier.
Our children are primary and high school ages. We’re happy to go private with schools to eliminate the catchment necessities and ideally co-ed so all 3 can be in one place.
We’re open to suggestions as we are new to this location search…..
I don’t really know the northern suburbs that well, all I can tell you is that I like it around Sandgate and Deagan and location wise, they would probably suit you.
What it’s really like to live in either of these places, or what the schools are like, I don’t know. I do have a page called Which school? that might help you choose decent schools for your kids, and therefore help you decide where to live.
People speak well of North Lakes as well, which is very much a new development, so maybe worth a look but I wouldn’t go any further north than that.
Hopefully somebody else will see your comment and give you more advice, and definitely worth talking to your friends in Beerwah to see what they think, although I’m sure you’ve already done that.
first of all thank you for your great effort with this website and for sharing all this information. I really appreciate it.
I’ll move to Brisbane from Germany next year and will work as a software developer for our ozzy subsidiary. My office will be located in the CBD near eagle street pier.
I thought about moving to west end as this will give me the opportunity to go either by bike or citycat to the CBD and west end seems to offer some good lifestyle. I enjoy small Cafés, Bars, markets and a rather alternative lifestyle. But I’m open to nearly every inner city suburb.
But a detailed research is rather hard. The real estate agencies only mention the silver linings. I once have spoken to a guy who lived in Brissy and he told me for example that you don’t want to live in Fortitude Valley because of a lot of drug and violence problems around there.
So can you recommend some suburbs close to the CBD (max. 30 min public transport) which are safe and offer some good lifestyle?
Haha, I just found your article about crime statistics https://www.bobinoz.com/blog/21582/crime-statistics-in-australia-finding-safe-suburbs/
I will now do some research with the provided Information 🙂
If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them anyway.
Yes, that page about crime statistics will help, but I find it a nightmare trying to dig through the information provided by the police for each state. I have another page though, this one comes from information gathered by our latest census in 2016 and highlights suburbs into five categories.
Basically from the most socio-economically advantaged to the most advantaged and that can tell you a lot about an area. The page is here…
And the link to the heat maps can be found right at the bottom.
Fortitude Valley can get a bit lively, it’s where all the nightclubs are and it probably isn’t the best place to live. West End, on the other hand, is probably just what you’re looking for. It’s quite lively, it’ll have the bars and restaurants you want, without the drawbacks. Not that I’ve ever really seen any trouble in The Valley, but then I don’t go there that often.
Another consideration might be Paddington, that’s got quite a trendy feel about with a cafe culture and some bars, it and is also pretty close to the city.
Hope that helps and good luck with your search.
oh yes, this is even better.
And I’m glad to hear that my research hasn’t been completely wrong. I read about Paddington one day and it sounded good as well. Will definitely consider it.
Hi bob , I live in Adelaide born and bred here. Since travelling overseas and then coming home I’ve realised I need to make a change! Love Adelaide but everyone knows everyone and there isn’t a whole lot to do. Would you consider Brisbane as still being laid back? I’m worried about moving to a city as I’ve always lived on the beach and a very cruisy life style but gc is far too touristy for me. I also work in child protection as a youth worker
Yes, I’d say Brisbane was still pretty laid-back, but it’s certainly not the country town it was 20 years ago. I’ve visited pretty much every Australian capital including Adelaide, and I’ve still not found a city that I would prefer to Brisbane.
I really don’t think you would be disappointed. If you think you are going to miss the beach though, because Brisbane really doesn’t have any decent beaches, you might want to consider Sunshine Coast.
That’s even more laid-back, the beaches are gorgeous, there seems to be a bit of a buzz about the place at the moment and they tell me is getting better for job opportunities. It doesn’t have the nightlife of Brisbane though, but if you’re not worried about that, it might be worth a look.
If not, live in Brisbane and visit the Sunshine Coast when you need to feel the sand between your toes.
I’ve been an avid reader here in your website and find it truly helpful and informative. I was hoping if I can have a good insight from you as it had been crossing our minds for a long time now, for me and my partner to uproot from Sydney to Brisbane. We are both nurses and were wondering if you would have any suggestion of good locations to start of with in Brisbane. We plan to rent initially then have our first home down the track.
I was hoping if you can suggest of any suburb close enough to hospitals with good transportation services. It doesn’t have to be that close to the CBD as we also don’t mind being in a quiet area. Any suggestions or insights would be truly helpful and be much appreciated.
Glad to hear my website has been helpful. I think moving from Sydney to Brisbane would be a very good idea, you will enjoy a much more laid-back lifestyle for sure.
I suppose the answer much depends on which hospital or hospitals you will end up working in, as they are quite spread around the city. We have some in East Brisbane, and then there are hospitals in Herston, Auchenflower and Greenslopes that I know of, there are probably more.
Without knowing exactly where you’ll be working, it’s difficult to suggest a suburb.
I’d be inclined to Google ‘Brisbane rail map’ and go to a suburb that does have a station, maybe go somewhere on the Ferny Grove line from say Enoggera to further out, that would be quietish with good transport into the city. I think that would be as reasonable a place to start as any, and then when you do know where you’ll be working, make a more permanent decision then.
Once you’ve lived here a few months you’ll get a better feel for the suburbs and nothing beats walking the streets before deciding where you really want to live. Hope that helps a bit, Bob
Thanks Bob for the suggestions! Will definitely look into our options in Brisbane and thank you for your website. This is the most comprehensive and informative one I’ve seen. All the best!
Hello – I am moving to Brisbane and am looking for work. I am a teacher. I want to be in a good area as I have children but also in an area where there are secondary schools so that I can be a relief teacher if there are no vacancies for me. Can you suggest Suburbs please. Thank you
Probably best to secure the job first, and then move somewhere close to that. My understanding though is that Kenmore State High has a very good reputation and it’s quite a big school. Nearby Indooroopilly State is also pretty good, and the whole area around both schools is also good. Maybe that’s a starting point for you.
Me and my wife are planning to move to Brisbane. The problem is, my Job will be based around Brisbane city and my wife’s will be in Broadbeach, Gold Coast. We are looking for a place to rent in Brisbane, not very expensive, such that travel to Gold Coast is easier for my wife. She will only be based in Gold Coast for around 6 months and then her job will also be in the Brisbane city. Any suggestion would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
This is going to be a tough one, neither of you will have a pleasant commute. I assume you are both driving? I’d be looking somewhere close to Browns Plains, but I have to tell you, there are some not so well off suburbs around the area.
Parkinson might be better, according to the tool I have to check out the socio economic status of various suburbs which you can find here…
Choosing somewhere in that area would give your wife an hour’s drive to Broadbeach, and about 45 minutes for you into the city. Add more for traffic 🙂
my and my partner are thinking about moving to Brisbane from New Zealand. we are both in our 20s and are keen surfers so somewhere near the beach but not too far out of town would be ideal. I’m a vegan and we both enjoy organic, fresh produce so somewhere that has a local farmers market nearby would be a huge plus. We are big on our health and fitness also, so being able to cycle/walk places would be a huge plus!
let me know if you have any recommendations, cant wait to come to aus!
I’m just going to deal with the surfing question for now, because Brisbane is not the place to be for that. We just don’t get the waves, being as we are in a bay and we have islands off the coast.
The nearest places for good surfing are Caloundra about an hour’s drive to the north or Surfers Paradise a similar drive to the south. No guesses which of the two is best, the clue is in the name.
So, my question to you, is are you happy to drive that kind of distance and live in Brisbane, or do you want to live closer to one of those beaches?
If you can let me know, we can take it from there.