Expat guide to Brisbane, capital of Queensland

18th March 2019
Expat guide to Brisbane, capital of Queensland

If, like many others, you are planning on moving to Australia one of the places that should consider is Brisbane, the capital of Queensland.

Sitting proudly on the East Coast of Australia, Brisbane is a modern metropolitan home to just over 2 million people. Moving to Brisbane as an expat will certainly place you among many others in a similar situation. The 2016 census showed that 32% of residents in the city were born overseas, with many of them coming from New Zealand, China and England.

Despite being one of the oldest cities in Australia, Brisbane has an undeniably modern feel, especially as you get into the Central Business District (CBD) where you can find some of the tallest skyscrapers in Australia. The tallest of these buildings is the recently completed Skytower at 222 Margaret Street, which stands at 270m tall. Just a 7 minute walk away, past Parliament House, you can find the second tallest building in the city - the government-owned office building at 1 William Street, which is 260m tall.

Along with other nearby skyscrapers, these buildings set the modern tone for the CBD which is considered to be one of the main business hubs in Australia. Accommodation near the CBD is hard to come by, so if you have your heart set on living in, or near, the business heart of the city you should be prepared to pay a premium price for it.

As you would expect in any major city centre, the traffic in the Brisbane CBD is notoriously difficult to negotiate, so many locals opt to use the well-connected public transport system for their commute.

Heading away from the inner-city you have the choice of around 450 suburbs. With so much choice, Brisbane has the diversity and wide selection to rival any other city in the world. You certainly won’t have a hard time finding your perfect home here.

One thing to keep in mind is that most corporate and tech-based companies tend to be based in the central areas of the city. Whereas, the industrial, more ‘blue collar’ industries can be found in the Southern parts of Brisbane. If you have a job lined up before moving to Brisbane, knowing where the company is based and where other employees live will certainly have an impact on your choice of home suburb.

As with many other countries, there is no National Health Service like we get in the UK, so when you move to Brisbane, or anywhere in Australia, be sure to get health insurance as soon as possible to avoid any expensive medical bills.

Other than that, there are many similarities to living and working in the UK - office based jobs are commonly 38 to 40 hour weeks with plenty of paid time off for holiday leave, ‘dress down Fridays’ is more commonplace in Brisbane and all the usual holidays (such as Christmas, New Year and Easter) are observed along with a few other local celebrations (including The Royal Queensland Show, affectionately known as Ekka).

Moving to Brisbane is very exciting, but there are many things that you need to consider and get organised before you move. For more information on how we can help you, get in touch or visit our specialist moving to Australia page here.

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