No matter where you live in Australia, there is always a good excuse for a weekend retreat or a mid-week escape to Brisbane. There really is no ‘bad’ time to visit Brisbane. March to May offers the better temperatures thanks to the autumn calm that settles on the Southern Hemisphere around this period of the year. The winter, June to August, and spring running from September to November are also popular times. During these months, you will experience mild temperatures and less rain. However, winter and spring also involve increased costs for flights to Brisbane and hotels. In fact, most hotels are booked well in advance for September due to the all-month arts celebration, known as the Brisbane Festival.
Cheap domestic flights to Brisbane are offered quite frequently by Virgin Australia, Air Express, JetStar, Tigerair, Australian Air Express, and Qantas. Just remember when booking your flights to Brisbane that you must carefully look at what is included for that discounted price. You could end up paying more for baggage costs than a higher priced ticket.
The Airtrain connects the city centre to the airport and runs every 15 minutes during peak travel times. There are stops at Central, South Bank, Fortitude Valley, and Roma Street stations. An adult one-way fare is $18 AUD and return ticket is $34 AUD). Purchase tickets at all Airtrain station kiosks. If you buy a one-way or return ticket online, you get a 10 percent discount, but only if your journey starts at the airport. Travel time is up to 30 minutes to city centre, and trains run starting from 4:30 am to 10:00 pm.
You can get a shuttle transfer to Brisbane City and the Gold Coast. Adult tickets are $16 AUD one-way to the city centre and one-way to Gold Coast runs cost $49 AUD. Fares are cheaper with round-trip ticket purchases. The wait, however, is up to one hour. So, pre-book your Coachtrans. Travel time will depend on traffic but will be an average of 20 to 60 minutes.
Spend $4 AUD and you can get to city centre right from the airport. Take the free T-Bus to Skygate (known as Airport Village), then from Skygate take the Translink Bus 590 to Toombul Shopping Centre (which has two stops). From there, catch a train to the city. The fare is $4 with a Go Card during off-peak hours. Single tickets are more expensive. At the Airtrain station, you can purchase your Go Card for $30 AUD ($10 AUD deposit, and $20 AUD used). There are no Go Card purchases at Airport Village.
Ride into the city centre in style by pre-booking a private limousine service. It is the fastest and most comfortable way, but it is also the most expensive.
You can also hail a cab from the airport to the city centre for $35 AUD. It is a good option if you are travelling with friends and want to share the cab fee.
You can save money and explore the area driving on your own. Book your rental car with momondo.
Brisbane transportation is plentiful, and the best method is by using their public transit system. Brisbane is rich in transportation options, and using their combination of buses, ferries, trains, and trams all operated by TransLink will get you through the central business district (CBD) and suburban areas quite easily.
CityCat Ferry has 21 separate ferries running in 25 terminals along Brisbane River. They run from the University of Queensland to Northshore Hamilton. They run from 5:15 am to 12:45 am about every 15 to 30 minutes. Pre-loaded cards are cheapest with rates around $4.60 AUD per trip.
Buses are the best way to get around the CBD. The City Loop makes stops in all the top CBD locations and runs Monday through Friday every 10 minutes starting at 7:00 am and until 6:30 pm. The Spring Hill Loop offers a way from Roma Street Parkland into CBD and out during the week from 6:00 am to 7:15 pm.
The CBD and suburban areas are serviced by the TransLink light rail, which has six different lines. Fares will depend on the day of the week and how many stations you are passing, but a single ticket starts at $4.60 AUD. Go Card fares are cheaper at $2.56 AUD per person, while a SeeQ Card costs $79 – $129 AUD for adults and $40 – $65 AUD for children.
There are over 300 miles of bike pathways in Brisbane that let you tour on two wheels. You can rent a bike from shops around city centre for about $20 AUD per day for 1.5 hours of use. There are over 140 CityCycle stations in the downtown area and in suburban areas as well. The bike-share program lets you use a bike for less than 30 minutes for $2 AUD.
Brisbane is walking-friendly. You can explore downtown and enjoy boardwalks, walking paths, and bridges that run 12 miles along the river.
Rental cars are available at the airport, and while you could rely on public transportation, if you prefer your own vehicle, you can use it to venture outside the city and enjoy areas like the Redlands. Plan ahead and look for deals on car rentals with momondo.
Downtown has plenty of taxis, but they are expensive. Travel fees will depend on the time of the day, and they start at about $3 AUD and then charge per kilometre after that.
Brisbane has more than enough to see and do, but a few places that are key include: Moreton Island and Tangalooma, South Bank Parklands and Cultural Centre, North Stradbroke Island, the Australia Zoo, China Town, and Mt. Coot-tha and Botanic Gardens. If you have time, stop in at the XXXX Brewery and Ale House or the Wheel of Brisbane. There is also the Treasury Casino to try out or the Brisbane Story Bridge Climb adventure. Take a cruise on the Brisbane River or enjoy the afternoon at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
Like other cities in Australia, tipping for excellent service has become much more widespread; therefore, adding a tip to your bill is always appreciated. If you want to get the most out of the city without spending the maximum, buy a Go Card for your trip. You will save approximately 30 percent on a single ticket. If you want a true Brisbane experience like a commoner, find a hostel, and see if you can get your room for free. Many will give you a discount or free night’s stay just for cleaning for a few hours. Brisbane is home to plenty of internet cafes, but connections are rather slow. Also, you must try goon, which is a perfect wine to take to the park for a picnic.