The Greater Brisbane is a group of five local government areas which all make up Brisbane's two million inhabitants. The primary one is the City of Brisbane, which holds over one million inhabitants, making it the largest local government area in Australia.
The first five mentioned are the five local government areas that make up Greater Brisbane, which also correspond to tourism regions. The capital of Brisbane is mentioned first, while the rest are mentioned in a clockwise order starting south.
Moreton Island is technically not an LGA or a region, and is usually treated as a part of Brisbane, and the only way to access the island is via a ferry, and from a travellers point of view, it's not really a part of Brisbane, but a destination of its own. Moreton Island also has a completely different road and transport system to the rest of Brisbane, and hence, categorised under Greater Brisbane, not Brisbane.
The bustling state capital of Queensland and the largest local government area in Australia, the City of Brisbane offers fantastic shopping and dining experiences beside its winding river that characterises the city.
Just to the south of Brisbane, a rather much smaller city known for a mix of a city and rural feeling. Logan for the most part, is not on the bucket list for most travellers, but worth checking out if you're staying in Brisbane for a long period of time.
Just to the west of Brisbane nestled between the highly urbanised parts of the south-east to the vast open plains and mountains of the Darling Downs, Ipswich is known for having many heritage sites.
|Moreton Bay |
Just to the north of Brisbane and south of the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay is a popular destination to go for fishing on its long coastline. Its beaches are popular for surfing too.
|Redland City |
Colloquially called, the "Redlands", it is perhaps the most forgotten out of the five. Nestled south-east of the City of Brisbane and the Tasman Sea, it contains several cultural facilities, along with North Stradbroke Island, a large sand island.
|Moreton Island |
95% of this large sand island is contained within a national park and a popular destination for day trippers, four-wheel driving, camping, recreational angling and whale watching.
- 1 D'Aguilar National Park
- 2 Fort Lytton National Park – a key fort that played an important role in Brisbane's defence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
- 3 Gheebulum Kunungai (Moreton Island) National Park
- 4 Naree Budjong Djara National Park (Blue Lake)
- 5 North Stradbroke Island – located to the east of Redlands City, North Stradbroke Island is the second largest sand island in the world, just after Fraser Island.
- 6 Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park
- 7 St Helena Island National Park
- 8 Teerk Roo Ra National Park
- 9 Venman Bushland National Park
Greater Brisbane is what usually most non-Queenslanders usually call "Brisbane", and before a visit to South East Queensland, it is easy to assume that Greater Brisbane is the same as Brisbane, and it's often affiliated with Brisbane. Unlike the other state capital cities of Australia, Greater Brisbane developed in a way similar to the boroughs of New York City, but instead of boroughs, with local government areas instead.
The primary way that most will come from the south will usually be via Logan City, which is the closest point of Greater Brisbane from the south. This table below shows the distance from each city. Distances are in kilometres, and to the CBD of each of the five cities mentioned.
|Sydney (via M1/A1)||910||930||889||964||908|
|Melbourne (via M31, M39, A39, A2)||1665||1653||1655||1770||1747|
|Canberra (via M23, M31, M7, M1/A1)||1185||1205||1173||1283||1182|
|Gold Coast (via M1)||79||99||50||132||74|
|Sunshine Coast (via SR 70, M1)||106||144||138||64||128|
|Toowoomba (via A2, M2)||125||89||133||173||150|
|Tamworth (via A15, M15)||572||535||580||621||597|
|Gympie (via M1)||169||207||218||129||192|
|Dubbo (via A39, A2, M2)||842||806||832||890||866|
|Cairns (via A1, M1)||1681||1719||1713||1641||1704|
Some signs in the Greater Brisbane area refer to the city or Brisbane central business district as "BNE CBD". It may be confusing if you've never heard of "CBD" before, nor if you've not heard of "BNE" commonly used, but rest assured, it's not some random place with six random letters that are unphonetic.
Most of the motorway network in SE Queensland is centred around Greater Brisbane. Getting around most suburbs in Greater Brisbane can in most cases, be done entirely on motorways, though there are some notable exceptions where using a road that isn't a motorway is quicker and easier. The motorways and major roads are as follows:
- Pacific Motorway (M1, M3) – starts at Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, and first enters at southeast Logan City, and continues to Brisbane CBD.
- Logan Motorway (M6, M2) – a short motorway starting at the M1 Pacific Motorway in Loganholme to the M2/M7 Ipswich Motorway in Gailles. The motorway is tolled, and has two separate toll points – one at Heathwood which costs $2.98 and the other at Loganlea, at a cost of $1.81 (as at April 2022).
- The M5 is not one motorway, but a series of roads, including the Centenary Highway, starting in Ipswich, which heads north-northeast and becomes the Western Freeway passing the Fig Tree Pocket Road after which it heads northeast. After Indooroopilly, the M5 becomes the Legacy Way, which is tolled and is a tunnel, bypassing Brisbane CBD. As of April 2022, the tolls cost $5.79 per car and $2.90 per motorcycle.
- The AirportLinkM7 (M7) is a short tunnelled motorway linking Fortitude Valley north of the CBD to Brisbane Airport costing $5.92 for cars. The route continues further south as Clem7 which has a different toll, costing $5.37.
- The Port of Brisbane Motorway and Port Drive (M4, SR 24) is a short motorway from the Gateway Motorway to the Port of Brisbane.
- Gateway Motorway (M1) – a motorway just to bypass Brisbane CBD if you're heading from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast.
- Warrego Highway and Ipswich Motorway (M2, M7) – a motorway that's the continuation of the divided Warrego Hwy to Toowoomba that heads northeast to Rocklea, continues as A7 and eventually becomes the Clem7.
- The first 14 km (8.7 mi) of the Cunningham Highway (M15 / National Highway 15) is a motorway, which later continues down to Armidale and Tamworth.
By public transport
Buses, suburban trains and ferries all make up the public transport in Greater Brisbane, and TRANSLink is operates the public transport in Greater Brisbane. Bus routes were populariszed through special measures such as the creation of separate streets for buses only, the busways, some of which also run underground, and special train stations. The catamaran ferries on the Brisbane River serve the longer routes, plus there are some Cross River Ferries that only connect the two banks of the river. On the CBD section of the river from Sydney Street (New Farm) to North Quay, there are also the free CityHopper ferries, which are easily recognizable by their red and white lively colours, and run every 30 minutes from 6AM to around midnight. Information and timetables are available from the Transdev ferry operator. The CityTrain connects Brisbane with its suburbs.
Like in all major cities, you will need a transport card to use public transport in Greater Brisbane. The card you'll need to use in Greater Brisbane is GoCard, which is the BNE equivalent of New South Wales's Opal or Melbourne's myki card. Day-tickets have been abolished.
You will need to load money and have to validate the card every time you enter and exit a means of transport. The cost per trip is a lot lower than the other two major Eastern Australian capitals, there are off-peak discounts and from the tenth trip within a week you travel free.
Brisbane has many museums, and many museums of state significance are located in the City of Brisbane. Outside, most are generally just local history museums.
While many associate South-East Queensland beaches with the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast or Noosa, there are plenty of beaches in the Greater Brisbane region in the three cities that have a coastline; Brisbane, Redland City and Moreton Bay. As Brisbane's waters are the location of Brisbane's port, Port of Brisbane, the airport, and where the Brisbane River flows, it may not be the best spot to go and swim or surf, but the other two have plenty of beaches for swimming and surfing. If you're in Brisbane and are unsure on where to go, Moreton Bay is much better known than the Redlands for its beaches.
The place you could go to for food for a diverse variety of food is obviously Brisbane CBD, where you can pretty much get nearly every single type of cuisine that's available in Australia that you can think of. However, that should not be a huge surprise, as it's the CBD of Australia's third largest city.
A bit to the northeast of Brisbane CBD lies Fortitude Valley, which is Brisbane's Chinatown and there's plenty of Chinese restaurants, with both a mix of authentic Chinese cuisine and a bit of Overseas Chinese cuisine. As seafood is heavily consumed, the menus found tend to have a stronger emphasis on seafood, as opposed to the rest of Australia where pork or chicken is the main emphasis. Another place in Brisbane that has some good Chinese food owing to its large Chinese population is Sunnybank, which is Brisbane's equivalent of Melbourne's Box Hill or Sydney's Kingston. Outside Brisbane City, other places generally tend to just have what Chinese restaurants in rural areas have, and options are not the best, though the options in Logan are slightly better than the other three.