Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and is the third most populous city in Australia. I’ve been living here for almost two years and have had many experiences and many different feelings from the beginning until now, I want to share all that I have found here with everyone who wants to come to this part of the world and explore this amazing city.
Before I start to talk about Brisbane I would like to talk briefly a little bit about me. I’m Santiago, a Colombian guy looking for some new experiences and opportunities. I’m a professional in Marketing and Advertising and as many of the professionals here in Australia, I’m just working on many different things other than my profession. However, I can tell you something, this has helped me a lot lo learn and grow up personally and as a professional and I have gotten to know more about this city that sometimes I think is unexplored by tourists, students, and locals.
I arrived in Brisbane in November of 2014. At the beginning, I felt a mix of feelings, probably because my expectations were so big and it was the first time I was that far from my hometown Bogota (Colombia) or maybe just because I arrived in a big city with not much previous research so I didn´t know what to expect really. I took the train to the International Airport and since that time I started this adventure.
First steps in Brisbane:
Transportation from the airport
Probably the first thing you should know is that is easy to get the train at the airport. Brisbane Airtrain, I think, is one of the cheapest options (Between $14,87 to $17,50 one way) to get into the city, unless you know someone here who has a car and can pick you up at the airport. You can get also a taxi, bus or call an Uber which is another good option especially if you are with more people because you can split the fare and the final price you will pay, could be less than the Airtrain. My last tip in relation to the transportation from the Airport, is Like on Facebook all those fan pages related to international students or backpackers, sometimes you can find someone who can pick you up there and they will charge less money than these options I was talking before (here some useful fan pages and groups: International Students Brisbane, Backpackers Brisbane, Backpackers in Brisbane, Brisbane Students).
Exploring the City
I remember when I was waiting for the train at the airport, I was very impressed looking around and realizing that in Brisbane you can find people from everywhere. On the platform, next to me, there was one girl from Spain talking with another girl from Taiwan and next to them were a couple from another Asian country. Once I was on the train the same story, more people from other countries were there. I arrived at South Bank station and there began my real adventure because I didn´t know many things about this city, I just had some directions in my memory that my agent in Colombia gave to me before I came. So I started to walk around South Bank to find the meeting point with my agent here in Brisbane and once I got there we went for a walk around the City.
The first thing that my agent showed me (that is something that I have to be very grateful for) was the different methods of transportation in Brisbane. When you get into the city you should know that you can get around by bus, ferry (CityCat) or bike using the same card, the TRANSLink GoCard. To cross the river by ferry is one of my favorite things and I have an extra tip for all who like to save some money and have a lot of free time, there is a CityHopper that is a free ferry.
The CityHopper service allows you to rediscover Brisbane for free with ferries running every 30 minutes between 6am and midnight, seven days a week. The CityHopper travels along the Brisbane River, stopping at North Quay, South Bank 3, Maritime Museum, Thornton Street, Eagle Street Pier, Holman Street, Dockside and Sydney Street terminals.
This option is good to have a relaxing time and if you wait till the sun goes down it’s probably one of the best spots to see the sunset on the river. Then at night you can cross the river from Eagle Street pier to Holman Street Ferry Terminal and see all the buildings lights and the Story Bridge that is one of the attractions here in Brisbane.
If you are looking for something more active, probably walk around the city and use the CityCycle service could be a good option for you. I think this is one of the best ways to know and explore the cities. Personally,
it’s one of the options that I like most. Brisbane has Bikeways and shared pathways that you can use everywhere. It’s just amazing because you can ride the bike along to the river and go to different places. If you start from Eagle Street you can go through the New Farm Pathway and you could go to the New Farm Park, visit Brisbane Power House (this place is great and it has many different performances and events during the year), go to Teneriffe (nice suburb to visit) and finish your trip in Newstead Park next to the river. Then you can go back to the city trough the shared pathway in New Farm, Fortitude Valley and then you can find a CityCycle station to leave you bike and go to eat something in James St where you will find different kind of restaurants and places to enjoy and have fun, the same in Fortitude Valley, Eagle Street Pier and the City.
Walking or riding a bike on the other side you can explore West End where you can find restaurants, museums, night clubs and more things that in my opinion are awesome and you would like more if you like art, music and chill plans. You could walk through the Orleigh Park next to the river, then explore Southbank, take a photo with the Brisbane sign and keep going till you see the Street Beach Southbank where you can relax, go into the pool and then walk around to visit some restaurants or just to walk on the pathway, for sure you will find interesting places. If you decide to keep going, hire a bike a go again on the bikeway to Kangaroo Point where you could find many things to do, from Point Cliffs that you can climb till kayaking or stand up paddleboarding to enjoy the Riverlife. At the end of the day, you can go to Brisbane Jazz Club and enjoy a good gig in this traditional Jazz place.
Rated as one of Brisbane’s top live music venues, Brisbane Jazz Club is the only venue totally dedicated to live jazz. We host quality performances every Thursday to Sunday, with a broad range of musicians from across the diverse art form that is jazz. The riverside location of our historic clubhouse offers stunning views of the city skyline from inside the club and out on our river deck.
If you don’t like any of these options you can take a GreenCab and make a tour with them. It is not the cheapest option, it’s just another one of the different ways that you can use to enjoy this beautiful city. For sure, whatever option you choose, you will find many museums and galleries, the Art Centre, the GOMA, Botanical Gardens and much more around the city.
Living in Brisbane:
Once I discover these little and basics things about how to move in Brisbane, I started to enjoy the life here more. At the beginning, I thought that this city didn’t have any interesting things and in my mind was a boring place to live, but then, living as a student, I found different things to do and I realized that during the whole year Brisbane has activities, multicultural events, concerts, all kind of markets and many other plans to do. Another thing is the fact that you all the time share with people from other countries and everyone has different goals and purposes in Australia, so that make you have always people to discover new places in or around the city with.
There are hundred more things that you should know about Brisbane but this is a good start to research a little bit more and I hope this information helps in knowing a bit more about Brisbane City. Explore the links that I left in the article and use Google and Facebook as a tool to discover more and more about this incredible place. Then you will find more and more things, not just about Brisbane, for sure you will find much other useful information about Queensland and the wonderful neighbor cities next to Brisbane