Moving to Australia

Living In Brisbane

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.

Facts And Figures

The People

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Living in Brisbane Tips
  • Nicknamed Brisbanites
  • Population: 2.4 million
  • Average age of residents: 35.2
  • Average net monthly salary: $4,189
  • Top 5 overseas-born populations: New Zealand, England, China, India and South Africa

The Weather

  • Climate: humid subtropical with hot, wet summers and dry, moderately warm winters
  • Prone to serious flooding
  • Average temperature: 16.2-26.4oC (61-80oF)
  • Annual rainfall: 1,008mm
  • Find out more about Australian weather

Cost of living

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Brisbane Sign

Brisbane is a relatively affordable city to live in, although like many other large cities in Australia, rent is becoming increasingly expensive.

  • Median house price: $480,000
  • Monthly rent on a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre: $ 1,726
  • One-way ticket on public transport: $4.00
  • 1 litre of milk: $1.32
  • Loaf of bread: $2.15
  • 1kg of apples: $3.97

Transport

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.

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Brisbane Public Transport - Trains

Attractions & Sights

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:

  • The unusual man-made beach: a lagoon surrounded by white sand and sub-tropical plants
  • 17 hectares of lush parklands
  • The Eye of Brisbane with 360-degree panoramic views of the city from its air-conditioned gondolas
  • Walking, running and cycling on the many dedicated paths
  • BBQ and picnic areas
  • 3 x kids’ playgrounds including a water park
  • Open-air markets
  • A plethora of buzzing cafes, bars and restaurants on Little Stanley Street and Grey Street. Read our guide to eating out in Australia for some hot tips.
Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Eating Out In Brisbane

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.

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Koala - Lone Pine 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.

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Mt Coo-tha Brisbane

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:

Negatives To Consider

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Kangaroo Point 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.

Decided To Move To Brisbane?

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - The Wheel South Bank Brisbane

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.

References

Considering A Different City?