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Getting around Brisbane

Your guide to getting around Brisbane quick and easy.


By Ashlea Wheeler

Brisbane is an easy city to get around. The metropolitan area has a great range of options for public transport, driving, and walking. This practical information on Brisbane’s public transport system will make moving around the city very simple.

Public transport

To use public transport including buses, trains, and ferries in Brisbane, it’s recommended that you purchase a TransLink Go Card. You can purchase a Go Card for a $10 deposit at the Airtrain ticket booth at Brisbane Airport, or from convenience stores and train stations throughout the city. The deposit is refundable, so when you have finished exploring the city you can request a refund.

Initially you’ll need to load the Go Card with some money to cover your fares, which you can do at convenience stores and train stations. For travel within the city, fares should be between $2.60 - $4.00 per ride. To start your ride, tap your card on the reader when you board your selected mode of transport and be sure to tap off when you disembark.

The Go Card is available to use on the TransLink network throughout southeast Queensland, and includes services from Brisbane to the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast.

Trains

Brisbane’s rail network is a great way to visit attractions across the city and reach the surrounding suburbs. There are train services running daily from early morning to late at night. Major stations in the city include Central Station and Roma Street Station. From either of these stations, you can catch a train to reach attractions including the Queensland Museum or the Gallery of Modern Art, and destinations such as South Bank or Fortitude Valley.

To get between Brisbane city centre and Brisbane Airport (both domestic and international terminals), catch the Airtrain from Central Station. Travel time between the city and airport is around 20 minutes, with services running every 15-30 minutes. You can use a Go Card for your fare or purchase single tickets for travel, which cost $18.50 each way or $35 return for adults. Discounts are available if your tickets are purchased in advance though the Airtrain website.

Buses

Brisbane has a number of busways which separate buses from general traffic on the roads. The bus network is an efficient way of hopping around Brisbane and its neighbourhoods.

There are free City Loop and Spring Hill Loop bus services in the city centre. These bus loops run in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions, and depart every 10 minutes between 7AM and 6PM. These buses are particularly useful for travel between Brisbane’s downtown hotels and attractions, including King George Square, Queen Street Mall, and the City Botanic Gardens.

The CityGlider bus services will take you a little further out of the city. To reach West End by bus, catch the Blue CityGlider from City Hall or Central, or to reach The Gabba for a sports game, catch the Maroon CityGlider from Roma Street busway or King George Square. These services run every 5-15 minutes.  

Ferries

The Brisbane River makes its way straight through the centre of Brisbane, so ferries are a popular way to get around. The free CityHopper ferry operates between Sydney Street and North Quay terminals, and is an easy way to move between the city centre and South Bank. With a Go Card you can also catch the CityCat ferry, which will take you to attractions like Eat Street Northshore and the City Botanic Gardens. If you don’t have a Go Card, single tickets can be purchased on board.

Find more information on getting around Australia.