Heading to the University of Queensland or to Griffith University’s Brisbane or Nathan campuses? You’ll be in Brisbane, Queensland!
Brisbane is Queensland’s capital city and is the third-largest city in Australia after Sydney and Melbourne. With its multicultural population of approximately 2.4 million, it’s host to many large-scale cultural and sporting events, including the 2014 G20 Leaders’ Summit, the Rugby World Cup, and the Commonwealth Games.
Brisbane’s lower cost of living (compared to cities such as Sydney and Melbourne) and sunshiny weather are always drawing in new residents. The clear skies, warm, sunny days (300-plus days of sunshine a year) and mild nights promote an outdoor lifestyle!
- Third largest city in Australia (after Sydney and Melbourne)
- Lower cost of living
- Queensland doesn’t practice daylight saving time
- Brisbane offers two free bus loops throughout the CBD
Summer maximum average temperatures hover around 29°C and these months (December to February) do feature some hot and humid days. Winter months are mild and pleasant with average maximum temperatures of around 22°C and minimum averages around 9°C.
Okay, that’s the “official” Brisbane weather you can easily find on the internet. But what do we really think?
The Heat (September to March)
Hot. Be prepared for heat unlike you’ve ever experienced. It takes some getting used to! Even in spring, you’ll be grateful you have air conditioning (our advice: find a place with AC if you can!).
The Cold (April to August)
A lot of places aren’t insulated the way we’re used to in Canada. There are more like a cottage, so when temps dip, it can also get quite chilly! Brisbane in July can get cool, when the breeze sweeps off the Atlantic, yet at the same time, the sun still feels warm on your skin. On average, winter temps hover around 16°C – 18°C degrees—but with that cold wind.
Tips from OzTREKK Students
Getting Around Brisbane
Brisbane’s public transport system is far reaching and in a lot of cases centres on the Brisbane CBD, making getting around super easy. You can get around via train, bus, ferry, or tram.
While cash is acceptable for most services, the cheapest and most efficient way to pay is by purchasing a go card. It will set you back $20 (including $10 credit), but you can top it up anytime online, over the phone, or at a 7-Eleven convenience store.
Get details on the Brisbane TransLink website.
What to see and do in Brisbane
So what do OzTREKK students say?
- Go to the Sunshine or Gold Coast! Beautiful beaches only an hour away each direction.
- I haven’t been traveling much, but Mt. Tambourine and Gold Coast was nice!
- Anywhere along the coastline would be a great start. Beaches, beaches, beaches!
- In Queensland – Cairns (GBR) & the Whitsundays. Fraser island too! In Brisbane – Australia zoo, golfing, Queen street shopping and food
- Glasshouse mountains, Byron bay, Coolangatta
- Highly recommend going to Noosa, Burleigh Heads, Byron Bay for some amazing beaches and cute brunch spots. In Brisbane, I would recommend biking down the river by coronation drive from Toowong down to Southbank and around kangaroo point. Definitely go for a walk around Southbank.
- I really enjoy going to the city to shop there are great shops and they also have a cinema but they usually have great things going on at the King George Square. I’d also recommend checking out south bank. There is a koala sanctuary nearby as well and I’ve been wanting to go but haven’t gotten the chance to as yet.
- Mount Coot-tha is a great destination. Koala sanctuary and any of the beaches. Also some great restaurants to try. Farm markets are also great to visit.
- National parks! So much hiking to do like Spring brook. Beaches (gold coast, Sunshine Coast, Noosa). Site seeing near Brisbane (museums, art galleries, mt coot-tha, koala sanctuary). That being said easier to do things when you have a car (I do not) and also you spend a lot of time studying so take advantage of your days before school starts.
- Noosa National Park hike!! Australia Zoo. Cairns, sea kayaking!
- Museum of modern art is Brisbane is phenomenal (and free) do that.
- The Cineplex in Southbank only charges 5 dollars for a movie ticket and 5 for popcorn… Gold coast and sunshine are weekly staples for me.
- Explore. Do whatever interests you whether that’s going to the beach, hiking, tourist hot spots, or something a little quieter. Four years will fly by, so make the most of it while you can
- Learn to dive. Give yourself time to travel and have fun before the semester starts. Go for a trip down the coast. Stay diligent with the material, but make sure to have fun and make time for exercising and getting to know the people in your CBL.
- I would highly recommend checking out Rainbow beach – about an hour and a half outside of Brisbane city.
- Get as much beach time in as possible. Go on hikes. Attend a couple themed trivia nights (really popular at pubs all over). Attend some rugby and AFL matches.
- I consider myself pretty adventurous so If you’re in Brisbane, go check out the Gold Coast, go on Hikes (There’s plenty of them). On the mid-semester break at UQ, you get to have one week off. During that week I went camping to Fraser Island, it was a life experience. If you’re not about that Vibe, there is certainly many things to do in the City, being a city-bug I love checking out the farmers market on weekends, they are all over the city. Also, there is this cute food-truck market every weekend called “Eat Street Market”. I would definitely check that one out.
People to Follow
If you’re like us, you might enjoy those gorgeous travel blogs, interesting podcasts, and social media influencers who test things out to let you know if they’re worth the money.
Here are a few accounts to follow:
- For the Music Lover
- For the Foodie
- For the Person with FOMO
- For the Locavore
- For the True Crime Enthusiast
- For the Runner
- For the Sports Fan
- For the Adventurer
Catch a Lions game at the Gabba and try and try to understand how Aussie rules football works.
Spend a night in South Bank soaking in some modern art at the QAGOMA, roaming their night market.
Hit up the Fraser Coast to experience some island life and whale watching.
Catch “Riverfire” on the Story Bridge and celebrate the end of three weeks of Queensland’s largest arts and cultural event!
Go a little bit country while in the city at the The Royal Queensland Show (Ekka), Queensland largest annual event.
Spend a day exploring Mount Coot-tha.