Sunny Brisbane knows how to lay on the charm. The CBD and suburbs are hilly and picturesque, nestled around a bend in the Brisbane River.
Jokingly nicknamed ‘Bris Vegas’, it has long been described as a big country town by both its critics and biggest fans.
While this is changing in many respects as Brisbane earns its place as a true world city, the friendly and welcoming vibe isn’t going anywhere.
Brisbane is a relatively affordable city to live in, although like many other large cities in Australia, rent is becoming increasingly expensive.
Brisbane has a very good public transport system, with trains, buses and ferries called CityCats. But many residents still rely on cars to get around, particularly those living in the outer suburbs. Visit https://translink.com.au/ for detailed information on Brisbane public transport.
Find out more about Australian public transport in general.
Many of Brisbane’s best sights and activities take full advantage of the city’s glorious weather.
Head to South Bank on the southern banks of the Brisbane River to enjoy:
South Bank is also home to an extensive arts and cultural precinct, so after a day in the sun you’ll be a stone’s throw from:
Enjoy some of the best views of the city from Mt Coot-tha. Why not pack a picnic to enjoy as the sun goes down? Top tip: it can get surprisingly cool and windy up the mountain in winter, so dress warmly.
Ready to tick ‘cuddle a koala’ off your bucket list? Cosy up to one of the 130+ residents at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
Architecture buffs will enjoy a drive or walk around the suburbs to see some beautiful examples of iconic ‘Queenslander’ houses.
This style of residential architecture is defined by timber construction, corrugated iron roofing, high ceilings and large verandas, usually built elevated on stumps (also known as stilts) to keep the house cool and avoid flooding. The suburbs of Ascot, Bulimba, Paddington and Ashgrove are home to some of the best examples of this style.
Work up a sweat rock-climbing at the Kangaroo Point cliffs. From here you can also climb the iconic Story Bridge and kayak on the Brisbane River. Kids (or the young at heart) will enjoy the other outdoor activities on offer here too, including laser tag, Segway tours, cycling, scooters, kick bikes and rollerblading.
While Brisbane doesn’t have its own natural beaches (although it does have bays), it’s lucky enough to be within day trip or weekend getaway distance of two hugely popular holiday destinations: the Sunshine Coast (1 hour 45 minutes north) and the Gold Coast (1 hour south).
Both can get very busy, especially in peak holiday times, but the beaches are truly spectacular and there are plenty of theme parks, shopping, restaurants and nightlife to keep you busy too. Check out our learning to surf article for some beginner tips, and read our beach safety article to learn how to stay safe.
Read about even more fun things to do in Brisbane:
While there are certainly many positives to living in Brisbane, consider any potential challenges before you make a decision on your new home in Australia.
For example: it may be harder to find a job in Brisbane than some other cities as not as many large companies are based there; and if you enjoy cutting-edge fashion and design and big, bustling cities where there’s always something happening, the more traditional feel and comparatively slower pace of Brisbane may not be for you.
Congratulations! You’ll need to get the essentials sorted before you leave or soon after you arrive. Here are some tips on setting up the basics you’ll need to start your new life.