Fondly referred to as ‘Brisvegas’ by the locals, Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia and has earnt a well-deserved reputation as one of the most liveable cities in the world.
It’s also one of the most affordable—making it a popular destination for Sydney-siders and Melburnites who want to escape the expensive city grind for a more relaxing lifestyle up north.
But what can you expect when moving to the Sunshine State’s capital city?
Home to 2 million people, and growing
Home to more than 2 million permanent residents, Brisbane is not the quiet, sluggish city you might imagine. It’s filled with cafes and award-winning restaurants, a thriving arts and live music scene, with more theatre and culture than you could possibly squeeze in.
Translation: Brisbane is no country town. It may have been founded as a penal colony in 1824, but it’s grown to become a cosmopolitan city in its own right.
Both home buying and renting is highly affordable, especially compared to Sydney and Melbourne, with apartment lifestyles favoured around the popular areas of South Bank and Kangaroo Point. Some of the other in-demand suburbs include Paddington, Teneriffe, West End, Sunny Bank and Sandgate.
Whilst it’s not near the ocean, Brisbane is centred around a river. Therefore, many suburbs of Brisbane boast stunning riverfront views, or vistas of Moreton Bay and the various islands that dot the coastline, like Moreton Island, Peel Island, St Helena Island and North Stradbroke Island.
An outdoors lifestyle
Brisbanites love the outdoors. The city is a part of Queensland’s ‘Sun Corridor’, and the sub-tropical climate makes it feel like summer all year round. As a result there’s never a lack of outdoor activities, and the 2.1 million people that live here like to take advantage of the year-round glorious whether.
A popular way to spend the day includes cycling, hiking, kayaking, cruising up and down the river, swimming, playing sports or soaking up the sun by the river or in the parks. Brisbane also has a man-made beach and lagoon right in the heart of the CBD, known as Streets Beach (part of the iconic South Bank precinct).
Brisbane experiences wet and dry seasons rather than the standard four seasons in the year, which may take some getting used to. Brisbane is also very humid, and mosquitoes are rampant after a big rain. The saying “when it rains, it pours” rings very true in Brisbane, with flooding and thunderstorms a rather common occurrence in the wet season, especially of an afternoon.
It’s important to note that some suburbs of Brisbane are built on a floodplain; you can get information on these riskier suburbs from the Brisbane City Council, so you avoid moving into a risky neighbourhood. There’s also no Daylight Savings but don’t let that worry you, because there’s still plenty of sunshine in a day.
Culture is a Big Deal in Brisbane, with a live music scene that rivals some of the best in the world and fashion that draws inspiration Milan. There are plenty of theatres, like the Lyric Theatre, the Playhouse Theatre, Cremorne Theatre, and plenty of art galleries and museums.
And even though Brisbane may feel huge, getting around to all these places is easy too, with your choice of trains, buses and ferries. The CBD itself is built on a grid: the one-way streets can trip you up, but overall it’s a relatively easy city to get around via car.
You can also take a hour-long journey to the Gold Coast to visit the beach, or spend a day at the theme parks like Sea World, Dream World, Movie World and Wet ‘n Wild.
Brisbane is packed with action and excitement, and the economy is rebounding after a sketchy few years following the mining downturn. There’s never a dull moment, and it’s a wonderful place to raise a family, retire, or embark on a new adventure.
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