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Founded in 1824, Brisbane has evolved into a beautiful and culturally vibrant city which is home to more than two million people. It is also the third-largest urban area in Australia at 15,000 square km. However, despite its size, the city is accessible and easy to navigate. Brisbane prides itself on having built a highly efficient public transport system which makes transporting yourself and your family safe, comfortable, and straightforward.

With a vast web of roads and highways, coupled with various public transport options and green credentials, the city is a great example of excellent urban planning. Once you have landed at the airport, you can hop onto the Airtrain which will directly transport you to the city for a small fee (free for kids 14 and under). Once you have reached the town, there are plenty of public transport options available for you to choose from.

Here’s all the information you need to move around the city quickly, and as effortlessly as possible.

Making the most of Brisbane’s public transport facilities

The TransLink Go Card is what you need to get around the city. You can buy your Go card online from the TransLink website. However, if you can’t buy online, then you can purchase it from the airport terminal, or convenience stores and train stations scattered across the city. If you are a tourist or exploring your new home town, there may also be offers with the card for you to take advantage of and save a few bucks at the same time.

Once you have your card, you will need to charge it with money before you can start using it. You can either load up while purchasing it, or at fare machines and Go Card retailers. Once done, all you need to do next is to tap the reader on any public transport with your card, and you are good to go. Don’t forget to touch it again once your trip ends. The Go Card facility is available to use across southeast Queensland and also includes services from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast.

What are the types of public transport available?

Before starting your journey, it’s a good idea to plan your travel by visiting the Translink Journey Planner, or Google Maps. There are a few modes of transport which will get you from point A to point B without any hassle.

Brisbane trains

The city’s rail network is highly efficient and is a great way to visit attractions across the city and explore the suburbs surrounding it. Services run from early morning to late night, so you can plan accordingly. Central Station and Roma Street Station are two of the major stations in the city, and you can catch a train to most of Brisbane’s attractions from either. If you are new to the city, make sure you go to the Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Museum, and Fortitude Valley.

Brisbane ferries

If trains aren’t your thing, then you can use the city’s ferry service. Due to the Brisbane River snaking its way through the city centre, this mode of transport is popular—and a beautiful commute. Your Go Card can get you a ride on the CityCat ferry, which will take you to the City Botanic Garden, or the Eat Street Northshore, which has events happening nearly every day.

Brisbane buses

Another way to hop around the city is by bus. Brisbane has several separate busways, which ensure minimal traffic jams. In the city centre, you can use bus services from Spring Hill Loop or City Loop, which are free. Departing every ten minutes between 7 am and 6 pm, these buses are particularly useful if you want to visit King George Square, City Botanic Garden, and Queen Street Mall.

However, if you want to get out of the city, then the CityGlider bus service is what you need. Catch the Blue CityGlider from City Hall which will take you to West End, or the Maroon CityGlider if you want to reach The Gabba to catch a sports game. These services run every five to ten minutes, so if you miss one, there’s another one soon after. 

Are taxis and green cab services available in the city?

In addition to trains, ferries, and buses, Brisbane also has taxi and green cab services which you can use to get around the city.

The city prides itself on being environmentally friendly, and introduced Green Cabs to its transport system in 2009. These services have become relatively popular, and if you want to get around the inner-city, it’s the best way. However, Green Cab services run only at weekends, albeit at very affordable rates. You can hire one from the Wheel of Brisbane, South Bank and can be used to travel between Fortitude Valley and West End.

Another way to get around the city is a taxi or Uber, which might not be very environment-friendly, but will get you where you want to go without any hassle.

Cycling in Brisbane

If you are a health buff and want to drink in the beauty of the parks scattered across the city, then cycling is an excellent option. There are more than 150 CityCycle stations from where you can hire a bicycle at very nominal rates. The city has laid out more than 1,100 km of dedicated pathways which makes walking and cycling through the city a smart, simple, and fun way to travel.

Driving in Brisbane

Kiwis have an easy option- you can drive in Australia. Road rules are almost identical to NZ, and the networks are easy to navigate. However, after living in Australia for three months, you must get an Australian driver’s licence for the state you live in. In Brisbane, this is through the Queensland Government licence issuing centre.

Plenty of public transport options throughout the city

While travelling through a new city might at first seem intimidating and stressful, Brisbane’s public transport system is designed to be accessible, efficient and safe. Getting around is affordable, as the costs across zones are affordable and fair.

You will discover that many of the roads in Brisbane's city centre are one-way, making driving in the city a challenge for those unfamiliar. Like many city centres parking is limited the city centre. Roads become clearways at 4pm, so any car parked on the side of the road after this time will be fined and/or towed.  Traffic can become congested at peak times even in the suburbs. There are also a number of toll roads in and around Brisbane. You are permitted to drive in Queensland if you hold a valid Australian or foreign licence. If your licence is in a language other than English, you should carry an English translation of it when driving.

The Brisbane Airport is located 15kms from Brisbane City and has a number of transport options to get you there including the AirTrain, taxi's and bus services.

moving to brisbane trains

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