Brisbane

Living in Brisbane

Brisbane South BankBrisbane LocationA 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 WeatherBrisbane 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 MapThe 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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{ 1210 comments… add one }
  • caleb August 30, 2018, 7:02 pm |

    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

    • BobinOz August 31, 2018, 4:28 pm |

      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.

  • Reason August 9, 2018, 7:51 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    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.

    • BobinOz August 10, 2018, 6:53 pm |

      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…

      https://www.bobinoz.com/blog/22396/finding-somewhere-nice-to-live-in-australia/

      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 🙂

  • Millie August 1, 2018, 12:35 pm |

    Hi Bob
    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!

    Millie

    • BobinOz August 1, 2018, 8:28 pm |

      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.

  • Natasha Harden July 2, 2018, 1:36 pm |

    Hi Bob
    My husband and I are are looking at moving to Oz. Ive lived there before in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne although I can’t really remember brisbane all that much. He’s a graphic designer and Im a hair stylist and have already checked out work possibilities. My question is more aimed at wheres best to live. We prefer semi rural if possible but close enough to a town or the CBD for work. Having researched standard costs of living, Gold coast and brisbane came out one of the best. We would be renting and want a decent area but nothing too pricey. Eating out is a big thing for us as we’re vegan and where we currently are those options are extremely limiting so its very disheartening. As I understand Australia is far more progressive than where we are currently so it’s an important part of our lifestyle change to move somewhere more modern. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
    Natasha

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