Right at the heart of Australia’s beautiful East Coast, Brisbane is nestled neatly between the sun soaked playgrounds of the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. As the capital of one of Australia’s richest and largest states, this city rivals Sydney or Melbourne for financial benefits and career opportunities. Yet, for all its strength and vibrancy, Brisbane retains a friendly, small town atmosphere and feels far more manageable than its larger neighbours. It is understandably popular with expats and Aussies alike and its population is the fastest growing in Australia. So, if you’ve decided to move to this exciting, attractive destination, we can help you decide where to live in Brisbane with this guide to just a few of the city’s beautiful suburbs.
Bulimba is an affluent, pretty suburb particularly popular with aspirational professionals and families. It is just a 15 minute drive from the city centre or you can even enjoy a pleasant ferry ride through some of Brisbane’s most popular hot spots right into the central business district.
While the bright lights are just a short hop away, this friendly, community centred has more than enough to keep you busy. There are well-stocked bookshops and cafes as well as bustling pubs and a great cinema. Oxford Street is the main shopping street with everything from unique boutiques to supermarkets attracting residents from all nearby suburbs.
There is an abundance of new developments with modern apartments to rent or buy that would suit most budgets. If you’re after a slightly larger property with plenty of outdoor space, expect to pay close to £500,000.
Hamilton is one of Brisbane’s fastest growing suburbs offering glamorous waterfront living and chic shops and restaurants. It is slightly more affordable than Bulimba, despite being closer to the city centre. There are beautiful riverside apartments and pretty townhouses ideal for younger expats and professionals. The suburb has excellent links to both the CBD and the airport and is also close to the cities largest golf and race courses, perfect for weekend days out.
Around Portside Wharf Cruise Terminal you will find up market restaurants, designer boutiques as well as an art-house cinema and busy weekend markets. The Northshore Hamilton development has made the suburb one of the most up-and-coming areas in Brisbane. Over the next decade, a large, riverside industrial area will be fully transformed into a vibrant, modern precinct including very desirable apartments, shops and offices.
This inner west suburb is an increasing popular choice for families and professionals wondering where to live in Brisbane. There is something for all tastes along Latrobe or Given Terrace, from antique shops and grocery stores to restaurants and boutiques. The buzz of activity from this busy thoroughfare quickly gives way to pleasant, leafy streets lined with attractive period properties, with the occasional modern development.
It attracts artistic types looking for a more creative vibe due to the abundance of interesting architecture and quirky independent shops and cafes. You can find anything from vintage clothing and rare books to organic carrot cake and artisan tea blends. There’s also a young, edgy music and art scene, although Paddington has definitely mellowed over the last decade or two as more young families move in.
If you’re looking for somewhere a little further away from the hustle and bustle, the coastal suburb of Manly offers bayside living within 30 minutes of the city. Located in the stunning Moreton Bay, this suburb is ideal for those wanting to enjoy Brisbane’s sunny climate and be close to the great outdoors. You can spend your weekends and evenings canoeing, cycling, swimming or simply strolling around the picturesque harbour and esplanade.
It’s perfect for families with excellent schools nearby including the very well-respected Moreton Bay College. There’s even a sea water splash pool for the little ones to play in. As it a little further from the city, house prices are generally cheaper with average property prices around £250,000 and rentals generally more reasonable too.
Laid back, multicultural and incredibly welcoming, West End is a great place to immerse yourself in relaxed, Brisbane life. There’s a fantastic market each Saturday offering fresh food, antiques and clothing as well as live music. There are international restaurants and independent cafes galore with little room for big chains and fast food joints.
There are some new developments and renovated factory apartments as well as period homes. Boundary road is the main shopping street with everything from organic whole food shops to tattoo parlours. West End is particularly popular with singles and professionals as it’s just 2km west of the city centre.
Murarrie is a pretty, green suburb 15 minutes east of the CBD located right on Brisbane River. Families flock to this neighbourly suburb for the good schools and pleasant parks. The Murarrie Recreation Area is ideal for picnics and play dates with some lots of shops and cafes nearby.
It is a relatively quiet suburb, yet the bars and restaurants of Bulimba or Camp Hill are just five minutes away. House prices and rentals are quite affordable, particularly when compared to more central suburbs. Murarrie is an excellent choice for those considering where to live in Brisbane long-term. There are some large plots of land available for purchase ideal for building you dream home in Australia.
Recently topping a survey of Queensland’s most in-demand suburbs, Holland Park offers family-friendly living and great links to the city centre at a reasonable price. There are plenty of green spaces including the spacious Glindermann Park and sought-after local schools.
Compared to Bulimba or central Brisbane, you get much more home for your money and there is a wealth of large character properties. With prices predicted to rise, a home here could also be a good investment. There is a busy shopping street with some popular cafes and large shopping centres in neighbouring Mount Gravatt and Greenslopes.
If you’re looking for a family friendly suburb close to the centre of Brisbane, Hawthorne could be right up your street. There is far less congestion here compared to most central suburbs and feels far safer. Hawthorne boasts plenty of good local schools, both private and state run.
There are so many activities for all ages, from swimming clubs to pilates classes to kid friendly cafes and a great local cinema. Hawthorne feels quiet and friendly yet is just a stone’s throw Fortitude Valley or the CBD. There is also far less congestion here compared to most central suburbs and feels far safer. Hawthorne boasts plenty of good local schools, both private and state run.
Brisbane has so much to offer adventurous, ambitious expats and is rightly one of Australia’s most popular destinations. The city offers excellent career opportunities and a high standard of living as well as year round sunshine and beautiful beaches to the north and south. If you want to find out more about where to live in Brisbane, there are plenty of resources online to help such as these suburb profiles and realestate.com.au which offers neighbourhood guides and property searches.
If you’ve decided where to live in Brisbane, visit our moving guide to find out more and see how we can get you there.