International Moving to Brisnabe | I Love International Moving

Essential Things You Need To Know Before Moving To Brisbane

Posted Country Guides / August 20, 2013
Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

Australia is home to millions of expats from all over the world due to its most popular cities, Sydney and Melbourne. But, If you would like to move to a smaller city with international amenities, consider moving to Brisbane.

As the capital of Queensland, it is situated on the Brisbane River and can boast on average 283 sunny days each year and mild winters. Located within the South East Queensland, which is noted as one of Australia’s fastest-growing regions, Brisbane is often called Australia’s most lively city. If you’re not sure whether Brisbane, dubbed Brissy, Brisvegas, and River City, is the right choice for you and your family, the fact that it is packed with neighborhoods with a low crime rate might persuade you to think about it as one of the best places to live abroad with family.

Before moving to Australia, do some research and find more information about Queensland and what amenities a relocation to the so-called Sunshine State will provide you with. Some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches are situated north of the city, such as the Sunshine Coast, while the impressive Gold Coast is to the south.

If you’re wondering What do I need to know before moving to Brisbane, we’ve summed up a selection of the community’s best features, including some facts you should keep in mind before living overseas.

There Are 44 Possible Visa Options – Choose the Most Suitable for You

There are different visa types if you would like to move to Brissy, but the exact one you have to apply for depends on several factors –  the reason for relocating and the planned duration of your stay. Besides visit and tourism, study, and join partner or family options, the most wanted type is a work visa, and you can apply for it if you plan to spend several years working in the country. A number of categories are included in these work visa options, of which some are valid for up to four years, while others give you the right to stay in the country permanently. If you want to start your own business in Brissy, you can apply for a temporary or permanent solution, depending on your business intentions.

For additional details of any of those visas, you should visit the Australian Government website and explore all visa options.

Housing Issues

Moving across the world might cause a lot of doubts and some questions like, Is it expensive to live in Brisbane? When it comes to the cost of accommodation, thanks to Brisbane’s status as one of the major cities in the Land Down Under, prices are higher here than if you choose a home further out in the suburbs. According to Expatistan, average rent prices per month are from $1,070 to $1,500 USD, depending on the size and location.

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Pro: Less Money for More Space

If you’ve given up from relocating to Sydney and moving to Melbourne, you’ve made the right decision. Compared to homes in Sydney and Melbourne, properties in Brissy cost less and you can get more space. That being said, rent prices are 38% lower than in Australia’s capital, making Brisbane an excellent place to choose the area to your liking. Luckily, Brissy is perfect for young professionals, students, and family people as well.

There Are More Than 200 Neighborhoods

This is the third most populous metropolis in Australia, and given its size, not all of its districts will be appealing to you. Are you wondering Where should I move in Brisbane? Luckily, there are places with almost everything you need for a fulfilling day-to-day existence. Before getting professional international moving services, find out what it is like living in Brisbane, thanks to some fantastic neighborhoods. Since we couldn’t list them all, we’ve selected several to make your choice easier.

If You’re Looking for Most Lively Area, Consider Moving to South Bank

Short commute to the center, beautiful parks, and excellent dining scene are amenities of living in the South Bank neighborhood. Located on the Brisbane River’s southern banks, this is a place where hundreds of exciting events are held all year round. Thanks to these advantages, this area has been named Queensland’s most desirable location.

Residents of Dutton Park Live Slow-Paced Life

Just four kilometers from Brisbane’s Central Business District (CBD), Dutton Park is a perfect district for families with kids and all those looking for a tranquil lifestyle. Due to its proximity to the center, you’ll need 10 minutes drive by car, or about 20 minutes if using public transport.

Inner Area of Brisbane – Spring Hill

If you work in the center or often go there, this might be an excellent choice for you since Spring Hill is located only two kilometers from CBD. Also, it’s packed with parklands and beautiful Victorian-era landmarks. When strolling along the streets, you’ll come across many top-notch eateries, cute coffee shops, vibrant nightspots, and historic pubs.

Pick the Traditional Queenslander-Style House in Corinda

This riverside neighborhood boasts plenty of greenery, and it’s rated highly as a liveable area for young families. With its excellent access to schools, trains, and top marks for open space and tree cover, Corinda is located nine kilometers from the CBD. If you have kids that don’t stop, this might be your best bet.

The Greenest Spot of the Capital of Queensland – Samford

Samford Valley is a green paradise just 30 minutes from the center. This scenic village contains lots of preserved heritage buildings, a century-old pub, a traditional Saturday market, and cafes perfect for gourmets. Located north-west of Brissy, Samford may be the ideal spot to raise children. It boasts a fantastic range of family-friendly events, parks, and places to eat and visit.

Living in Kangaroo Point Shortens Your Commute Time

Standing atop the ancient cliffs, Kangaroo Point takes pride in the unmatched natural beauty. As the inner-city area of Brisvegas, it’s an excellent spot for families and young professionals. It provides easy access to some of the best schools in Brissy – Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University.

Did You Know There Are Free Transportation Options in Brissy?

The Central Business District (CBD) is organized into a simple grid shape, and its walkability is something that leads to happy people with healthy habits. If you prefer public transportation, it offers many options, such as buses, trams, and ferries. The conditions here are suitable for bike riders, too, and if you have your own vehicle, your commuting time won’t be as bad as in New York or Washington, which are considered to be the cities with the worst commutes.

Certain buses and ferries around the city don’t charge the tickets:

  • The City Loop (a bus route)
  • The Spring Hill Loop (a bus route)
  • The CityHopper (free ferry service)

In case your new work is going to be in a remote location, you can always ship your car from the US using overseas vehicle shipping service. Your old license should be ready for use if all the following criteria are satisfied:

  • Your old license should be valid
  • You must be medically fit to drive
  • You should have an official transition for any non-English license
  • If you are resident of Queensland for less than three months

Keep in mind that Australians drive on the left side of the road, which can be difficult to get used to it due to the opposite side of all the controls.

Short Healthcare Guide

You’ll be positively surprised to hear that Australia’s healthcare system, called Medicare, is free. However, all expats need private insurance coverage, except those from the UK and New Zealand. Australia’s healthcare is considered one of the most reliable and efficient in the world, supported by the fact that Aussy people claim one of the highest life expectancies.

Public Healthcare and Medicare

When it comes to treatments in public hospitals, there are occasional waiting lists for non-urgent surgeries. Also, costs for expats and temporary residents non-eligible for Medicare services are in line with prices in the private medical sector. That’s why most expats choose private healthcare. The government supports Medicare, and it’s available to all Australians and permanent residents. It’s paid through taxes imposed on individual salaries.

Since Medicare covers treatments in public hospitals, eligible expats wishing to use it must register with the passport, permanent visa, and travel documents. But, to see a specialist and cover all the costs, it’s necessary to get a referral from a general practitioner beforehand. Still, keep in mind that even if you are eligible for Medicare, some services might not be covered. Therefore, it’s recommended for expats to think about private medical insurance.

Private Healthcare

Most private healthcare packages include non-emergency surgeries, such as orthopedic surgeries or dental care, and glasses. That’s why many Australians and overseas residents take out additional private healthcare insurance.

Job Market and Industry Strength

About 12.4 million people are employed in Australia, of which around half work in some of the five largest employing industries:

  • Healthcare and Social assistance
  • Retail trade
  • Construction
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
  • Education and training.

If your profession is related to some of these industries, you might find a job as nursing support, a technician, trade worker, software and applications programmer, graphic and web designer, etc. Some of these occupations are jobs in demand and defined as the most paid professions. If you’re lucky enough, experience and knowledge might be your keys to present you as a skilled person and help you get the dream job.

The Highest Paying Jobs

Whether you want to take advantage of your experience or just considering employee relocation, you should be familiar with the latest salary trends in the Australian market. So, let’s take a peek at the highest paid jobs right now (on an annual basis) based on Michaelpage data:

  • In-house general counsel: from $310,000 to $390,000
  • General manager: from $285,000 to $385,000
  • Head of operations: from $285,000 to $320,000
  • Chief Financial Officer: from $250,000 to $320,000
  • Head of Technology or Chief Technology Officer: from $230,000 to $285,000.

Other Things to Know When Moving to Brisbane

So, you’ve decided to relocate to Brissy, leave your old habits behind, and turn over a new leaf. Besides the community’s easygoing ambiance, this place offers much more – high standards, cultural events, breathtaking landscapes, unusual food combinations, and affordable cost of living in Brisbane Australia.

The River City has something to share with everyone, and you can rest assured that you’ve made the best choice for you and your family. Pick the right neighborhood, then stroll down the streets with beautiful beaches or visit some exhibitions and museums. After that, boost your energy by enjoying a scenic sunset view while eating brunch and sipping a macchiato.

If you’re not sure what to expect in an unknown environment, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll share some of the most exciting things to know about this metropolis and things to do while there. Let’s start with an excellent education.


For parents with kids, education is probably one of the most crucial factors. Whether you have a toddler or a pupil, you should be familiar with educational institutions in Brissy.

Most children study in public schools, while others (about 33%) attend independent facilities. Some schools offer international study programs for kids that come from non-English speaking countries. Also, there are plenty of private primary and secondary schools. If higher education is your field of interest, you will find three world-class universities – Griffith University, the Queensland University of Technology, and the University of Queensland.

Cultural Life and Entertainment

As a multicultural melting pot with visitors from all over the world, residents, expats, and students, Brissy boasts an extensive calendar of events and festivals held year-round. If your relocation happens at the beginning of 2020, there are plenty of festivals you shouldn’t miss, such as:

  • BrisAsia Festival
  • Alliance Francaise French Film Festival
  • Spanish Film Festival
  • Buddha Birthday Festival
  • Luminous Lantern Parade
  • Queensland Multicultural Month.

One more family-friendly event, well-known all over the world, is Ekka, where you can enjoy food stalls, animal shows, and petting zoos for ten days. In 2020, the festival is planned for the middle of August, so if you want to take part in the celebration of agriculture, start planning on time: make memories of the most exciting events in your new environment.

Brissy Is Awash With Beaches

If you’ve always wanted to dive into the sea after strolling on a hot summer day, know that Streets Beach is an oasis in the middle of Brissy that can afford you that pleasure. Brisbanites can use it for free, and lifeguards patrol all year round, so it’s suitable for families with small kids, and seniors as well. There are plenty of beaches near Brissy – surf beaches, no-wave beaches, bayside beaches, dog beaches, and many others. Some of the most famous are:

  • Ocean Beach (Bribie Island)
  • Main Beach (North Stradbroke Island)
  • Honeymoon Bay and Cowan Beach (Moreton Island)
  • Suttons Beach (Redcliffe.)


Australia is not unique just by its culture, friendly people, and an exceptional standard of living, but it attracts attention with its specialties and delicious dishes, as well. Even if you’re a picky eater, you can surely find food that will please your palate in countless restaurants and cuisines worldwide. Here are some of the most interesting options:

  • Gnocchi with pork and fennel sausage
  • Gonuts – a mix of croissants and doughnuts
  • Bee sting wings
  • Tonkotsu ramen
  • Brissy Cheeseburger
  • Breakfast carbonara.

Best Restaurants for Gourmets

1 Little Valley (Fortitude Valley)

The menu is a fusion of traditional and modern Chinese cuisine and dim sum menu options if you prefer something light. If you decide to order plates of crispy truffle, potato spring rolls, prawn har gow, or smoked garlic bread, keep in mind that these specialties get their pure flavor only if combined with excellent wines. Little Valley welcomes you!

2 Julius Pizzeria (South Brisbane)

Whether you need a place to spend a romantic evening or schedule a business meeting, Julius Pizzeria will satisfy all your expectations. And appetite. With fresh, wood-fired pizza, words are needless, and after delicious dough with truffles, gorgonzola, and pancetta, you’ll realize that excellent food is a cure for all potential dilemmas. So, come here, be full and happy.

#3 OTTO (Brisbane City)

When you wish to feel mouth-watering ravioli or spaghetti al’dente, Italian food is all you need. One of the top-notch restaurants in Brisvegas, OTTO, serves excellent Australian wines and seasonal Italian dishes. A combination of modern Italian fares and regional produce brings you nothing less than la dolce vita.

#4 Happy Boy (Fortitude Valley)

If you’re looking for authentic Chinese cuisine in the middle of Australia, you’ll find it in Brisbane: Happy Boy serves real masterpieces. You can choose between crispy roast duck, fried rice, prawn and pork wontons, name it. Whatever you try, you can’t go wrong.

#5 Hellenika (Fortitude Valley)

For all Greek food lovers, this place is a must. Located within breathtaking Calile Hotel, Hellenika will fascinate you both with its decor and dishes. Spanakopita, zucchini chips, and slow-cooked lamb will leave you speechless.

Living Here Will Make You Happy

The capital of the Sunshine State is a community surrounded by misty blue hills, whose scenic beauty and pleasant climate are well-known all over the world. Because of its mild weather conditions, you can enjoy spending time outdoors all year round. If you’re a family type of person who wants to raise children in a friendly environment with plenty of entertainment and activity, Brissy will welcome you kindly.

However, it’s not all about great food and fantastic landscapes – it stands out as a cultural mainstay with world-class cinemas, events, galleries, and museums. With an affordable cost of living in Brisbane, top-rate education, and healthcare institutions, this might be the best journey in your life. So, stop asking yourself how to live in another country, or Is it worth moving to Brisbane. Instead, pack your belongings, and hit the road!

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