In this Brisbane Transport guide we have provided information to help you get to Brisbane, use Brisbane public transport and hire a car once you are in Brisbane.
Brisbane Public Transport
We found the public transport system in Brisbane to be very good for what we needed which was generally to move around the city centre and immediate surroundings, travel to some events and get to and from the airport a few times.
It is run by Translink which operate throughout south-east Queensland. They offer excellent transport and have a large network of trains and buses and also run some ferries and the CityCat on the Brisbane River.
Within the city there are five main train stops which all have either four or five lines running through them so if you simply want to travel between these stations you should never have to wait very long for a train. There is an extensive network allowing you to travel as far out as Gympie on the Sunshine Coast and Robina on the Gold Coast by train.
The bus service is also good but obviously these depend a bit more on the road traffic conditions so can be a bit slow during rush hour especially on the main routes in and out of the city centre.
The CityCat runs from the University of Queensland to Apollo Road with four or five stops in the city. Even if you don’t actually need to use the Cat as a means of Brisbane transport it is worth going on one just for the experience. It is a fun way to travel and lets you view all the sights along the Brisbane River and visit some of the suburbs you may not choose to visit otherwise.
Cross river ferries operate at three points on the river and the inner city ferry runs from North Quay to Sydney Street.
You can find more helpful information about all of these services on our Translink Brisbane page.
If you prefer not to use Brisbane Transport but would rather make use of the extensive network of bikeways then why not hire a bike. There is a wonderful shared bike path along both sides of the river and this is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the sights along the way. Brisbane boasts more than 700km of bikeways so there are plenty to choose from both on road and off, some shared and some dedicated to bikes
Arriving in and leaving Brisbane
There are three main ways of arriving in Brisbane (other than by private car).
There are flights to Brisbane from many destinations both domestic and international. Brisbane airport is 16km outside the city and you can get information about transport to and from the airport below.
Buses run to Brisbane from many towns in Queensland and other places in Australia. The main company operating long distance buses is Greyhound and all of there buses arrive in Brisbane at the Roma Street Transit Centre. If you are going to be travelling a lot by bus then you must check out the wide range of travel passes that they offer so that you can choose the best one for you. Tickets and passes can be bought online or in the Transit Centre.
Roma Street Transit Centre is also where trains from as far away as Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns arrive in Brisbane. All trains are operated by Rail Australia who also offer a range of travel passes which can either be bought online or in the station.
Getting to and from Brisbane airport
There are various ways of getting to and from the Airport and the one you will use will depend on where you are staying and what your budget is.
The cheapest option is to catch the Brisbane Airtrain which runs from the airport to Brisbane city and on to the Gold Coast. It runs every half hour throughout the day and every 15 minutes during peak hours and takes about 20 minutes to get to the city centre and around 1 hour and 30 minutes to Robina on the Gold Coast. There are plenty of stops in Brisbane so you should not have to walk too far to your accommodation. This train connects with all the Translink train routes so if you are staying out of the city you can catch the train that you need.
If you prefer to get a taxi there are lots of them waiting just outside the arrivals lounge at both the domestic and international terminals. A taxi into the city centre will cost at least AU$30 and will take at least 30 minutes and a lot more during peak hours.
There are various companies offering Brisbane airport transfers to destinations in and around Brisbane especially on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
Brisbane River Cruises
Although you may not classify this as Brisbane Transport it is possible to do Brisbane River cruises some of which are aimed at sightseeing while others involve lunch or dinner. You can choose between a trip on a wonderful Mississippi style paddle wheelers or on more modern boats, a short cruise along a section of the river or a longer cruise as far as Moreton Bay or what about a cruise that will take you the 19km to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and back.
Rental cars Brisbane
If you are arriving in Brisbane and prefer to drive yourself there are plenty of companies offering rental cars. Be advised that during school summer holidays in December and January there may be no cars available so you should book one as far in advance as possible.
Click here for more information about Brisbane Transport.