Which is the best city to live in Australia?

Today I’m bringing you a guest post from the lovely Courtney, because I will always take the opportunity to share internet space with a friend when I can. Welcome, Courtney!

Hi friends! Some of you might know me from the expat blog circuit, but if not- I’m Courtney and I blog over at Alkeks Abroad. Rachel and I have been “blog friends” for a few years now, following along on each other’s adventures. So, imagine my excitement when she announced she was moving to Australia! Last July while she was in Brisbane we got to meet up for lunch and finally become “real life friends” too! It’s always fun chatting with other expats about their experiences and comparing the differences between our two cities.

Earlier this year, Rachel and I both were given the opportunity to participate in a project with Currency Fair, helping people who are thinking of making the move down under. We discussed why our cities (Sydney and Brisbane) were good fits for our stages of life. Of course we had plenty to say on the topic, so we decided to continue the conversation on our blogs. Today I am sharing 5 Reasons Brisbane is the best city to live in Australia. I have chosen to live here the past three and a half years so it must be pretty special, right?

Big City, Small Town Feel

Brisbane is the capital city of the second largest state in Australia, so you have the perks of a major city (plethora of options for restaurants, shopping and an international airport). Although with a population of 2.3m and a sprawling layout it feels more like a small town than a congested city. You still run into people you know walking through the city and everyone is generally quite friendly. I have made good friends chatting on the ferry, playing at the park with my daughter, even at a local workout studio.

The Weather

Brisbane is pretty much sunny skies and warm weather year around. Summer can get hot like the rest of the country, but we don’t see those triple digit highs nearly as much as some of the other capital cities. The dead of winter is actually my favorite time of year in Brisbane. It’s sunny but not too humid and the temps are in the 70’s (low 20’s). You get some wear out of your winter coats and boots in the mornings and evenings, but by midday it’s shorts weather. I have even been to the beach on several winter’s days. Overall Brisbane climate is temperate, which is perfect since there is so much to do outdoors!

Day Trips Galore

What do you feel like doing? Going on a hike to a waterfall, laying on the beach, kayaking down the river, checking out an island? You can do all of these things when you live in Brisbane. Sandwiched between the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast (the two main holiday destinations for Aussies) you are spoiled for choice with beaches an hour each way. I can’t even count how many national parks are within an hour radius of my house, so you never run out of hiking options. The hinterland areas (mountain regions from the coast) are stunning and a perfect place to spend a day checking out wineries, unique shops and cafes in their small towns. Brisbane is also home to three of the four largest sand islands in the world, and they are all accessible by short ferry rides.

Outdoor Activities Galore

I realize I already mentioned several day trip ideas to get outdoors, but within Brisbane city limits there are plenty of options available. The Brisbane River runs straight through the city and there are always people kayaking, boating, jet skiing- you name it. The riverwalk is a hot spot for runners, bikers and moms pushing prams. Brisbane is full of green space, even in the middle of the city, and has some of the biggest, most well taken care of parks and gardens. South Bank even has a manmade beach right on the banks of the river if you don’t feel like making the drive to the coast.

Family Friendly

One thing we knew for sure once we settled into Brisbane, it would be the perfect place to raise a family. Not only is their maternity hospital one of the top in the world, but the support and resources available after you have a baby are phenomenal. There are tons of different mother’s groups and playgroups in every suburb. Parks , playgrounds and libraries are on every corner with activities going on (mostly free) daily. Plus Brisbane is a very safe city, which puts any parent’s mind at ease.

Well, I hope I have convinced you to move to Brisbane ☺. Thanks Rachel for letting me take over and thanks to Currency Fair for the opportunity to share about our adopted homes. If you are interested in moving to Australia, you should check out their very comprehensive moving guide.

Thank you Courtney for your post! What I love is that we share many of the same loves for our cities. Thank you to Currency Fair for sponsoring this post, the fee for which has been donated to Baptist World Aid. If you’re looking for ethical gift ideas, do check them out. There’s a range of gifts for all budgets and interests. 

Linking up with Kristen and Gretch for What’s New With You

Pin me to continue the friendly disagreement:

Are you considering moving to Australia? Do you know which city to pick? Here Courtney and I run down the old Sydney vs Brisbane debate



  1. 6th December 2017 / 18:51

    I’m with Courtney and move to Brisbane on Friday after spending 4 months in Northern Queensland! Already have weekends booked in Gold Coast hinterland and the Sunshine Coast hinterland! Can’t wait!!

    • 7th December 2017 / 10:01

      You will love Brissy! The hinterland is my favorite. Maleny and Montville are the cutest little towns.

  2. 6th December 2017 / 20:10

    I love visiting Brisbane so I can totally understand why it would be an awesome place to call home!

  3. 7th December 2017 / 00:18

    I’d love to visit Brisbane and in fact Danny and I, if we ever move to OZ (which has been discussed) are thinking of there (or Sydney). I love the big city small town feel of my sister’s city Newcastle too. Best of both worlds.

  4. 7th December 2017 / 00:36

    i had no idea brisbane was such a rad city. and with so much nature and good temperatures. so lovely! sounds like the perfect place for someone like me who likes a city but also a small town feel. very nice 🙂

    xoxo cheshire kat

  5. 7th December 2017 / 06:51

    I love how many trips y’all always taking and how close everything is to Brisbane! And I can’t believe how mild the weather is in Brisbane during the winter! It sounds a little bit like Houston winters!

    • 7th December 2017 / 09:51

      Last year it was warmer one day in Houston over Christmas than in Brisbane and it was summer! It’s humid like Houston too 🙈.

  6. 8th December 2017 / 00:02

    I’ve never been to the continent at all, but Australia is actually a very popular destination for Malaysian students who want to study abroad or Malaysians looking to get international work experience, so I have a number of Malaysian friends scattered among a few of Australia’s big cities. Maybe one day we’ll take a trip, it’s not so very far!

  7. 8th December 2017 / 03:37

    What a fun an interesting read, I learned a lot I never even knew.

  8. 8th December 2017 / 05:40

    i’m glad you love living there so much 🙂 i honestly would never move to brisbane lol but only because if we ever move back home it would be to sydney or melbourne. i think my family would disown me if i moved home but not home-home. i have only been to brisbane once, hopefully next time we go home we’ll get to visit. we weren’t able to make the visit last time, multiple reasons, but i wanted to!

  9. 8th December 2017 / 18:35

    haha, yes! You know I just have to agree with this post. I love Sydney for the things to do and see, and Melbourne for the shopping, but Brisbane will always be my favourite (I may be biased, ha!)

    Hope you are having a good week so far and all your Christmas preparation is going well! I’m so behind with wrapping presents – need to do more this weekend!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  10. 9th December 2017 / 12:50

    And, now I want to move to Brisbane 🙂

  11. 11th December 2017 / 10:02

    I’m ready to pack my bags! Haha! I have friends all over Australia and have got to visit one day! I feel like it’ll have to be a month long vacation because it’s so far away and there is so much to see all over the country!

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