South Bank, Brisbane, Queensland © Tourism & Events Queensland
Getting around Brisbane
With riverside expressways and an extensive public transport system, getting around Brisbane is straightforward and efficient.
By Mark Sariban
Brisbane is an easy city to get around. The metropolitan area has a great range of options for public transport, driving, cycling and walking. Here’s how to move around the city with ease.
Transport in Brisbane
- Airport Transfers
Brisbane has an extensive public transport system of buses, trains and ferries. To use the network, it’s recommended that you purchase a TransLink Go Card. You can also purchase pre-paid paper tickets at stations and fare machines before boarding a bus, train or ferry service.
- Use a Go Card on the TransLink network throughout southeast Queensland, including services from Brisbane to the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast.
- Purchase a Go Card and load it with funds at designated retailers at Brisbane Airport and convenience stores, and at train stations throughout the city. Go Card also has specific offers for visitors and tourists. You can add money to the card at fare machines and Go Card retailers across the city.
- Tap your Go Card on the reader when you board your selected mode of transport and be sure to tap off when you disembark.
- You can also pay for selected train fares with contactless credit cards, debit cards and mobile devices, with smart ticketing being rolled out across the public transport network.
Tip: If you are using a credit card, debit card or mobile device instead of a Go Card, be sure to use the same payment method when you tap on and tap off.
Brisbane is serviced by domestic and international terminals at Brisbane Airport (BNE). There are several options for reaching the city from the airport.
- The Airtrain runs from the domestic and international terminals to stations in Brisbane’s city centre. Travel time between the airport and the city is around 20 minutes, with services running every 15–30 minutes. Use a Go Card for your fare or purchase single tickets for travel. Purchase your tickets in advance through the Airtrain website for discounted fares.
- You’ll find taxi ranks and rideshare pick-up areas at the front of each terminal – simply follow the signage. The journey from the airport to the city takes around 20 minutes outside of peak periods.
- If you’re travelling with a lot of luggage, you can book a door-to-door airport transfer with Con-X-ion.
Tip: Even if you’re travelling in a group of four or more, it will be less expensive to travel to the city by Airtrain than taxi or rideshare.
In Australia, airlines, trains, buses and ferries have accessible options for people using mobility devices, as well as services for hearing and vision impaired travellers.
- Brisbane Airport provides special assistance for people with disabilities and can help with baggage, getting around the airport, and getting on and off the plane.
- The majority of trains have accessible options – check the TransLink website for information on using public transport before your trip.
- All Brisbane City Council buses have low floors providing level access, as well a wheelchair ramps.
- All CityCat ferries and most terminals are fully accessible. However, CityHopper and Cross River Ferry services are not accessible.
Getting around Brisbane on public transport
Brisbane has a number of busways that separate buses from other traffic on the roads. The bus network is an efficient way of hopping around Brisbane and its neighbourhoods. Use the Journey Planner tool to map your route.
- Free City Loop and Spring Hill Loop bus services operate in the city centre. These bus loops run in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions, and depart every 10 minutes between 7am and 6pm.
- CityGlider bus services pass through the city centre on two routes: from West End to Teneriffe; and from Ashgrove to Coorparoo. These services run every 5–15 minutes.
The Brisbane River makes its way through the centre of Brisbane, so ferries are a popular way to get around.
- The free CityHopper ferry operates between North Quay terminal in South Bank and Sydney Street wharf in New Farm. You can use this service to travel to the Howard Smith Wharves dining and entertainment precinct.
- Use a Go Card to catch the CityCat ferry, which will take you to attractions like Eat Street Northshore and the City Botanic Gardens.
Getting around Brisbane by car
Driving in Brisbane is straightforward and safe, but you may want to check whether your hotel charges a daily parking fee.
- Brisbane City Council operates two centrally located car parks, at King George Square and Wickham Terrace.
- You can also book tours to many of the stunning destinations outside of Brisbane and leave the driving to someone else.
- You can hail a taxi on the street or at taxi ranks in built-up areas.
- Secure taxi ranks operate late at night on Fridays and Saturdays in busy locations.
- You can also book a taxi by phoning individual companies, downloading their apps or using the GoCatch app.
Tip: Female travellers can also book a ride with Shebah, a rideshare service with all-women drivers catering to women. (Adult men can use the service if they need to transport a child who requires an approved child safety seat.)
Make the most of your time in Brisbane with a guided tour. There are numerous tour operators providing customisable half-day and full-day tours of the city and surrounds, including Prestige Day Tours and, for foodies, Delectable Tours.
Other forms of transport in Brisbane
- Cycling & scooting
Joining a sightseeing river cruise is a great way to get to know Brisbane.
With an extensive network of separated bike paths, including along the riverbanks surrounding the city centre, cycling around Brisbane is easy.
Tip: E-bikes and other e-mobility devices are not permitted on roads in the city centre, however, you can ride them on the CityLink Cycleway.