Brisbane Travel Guide

Brisbane Travel Guide - Useful Information and Quick Facts

Here's a quick reference guide to Brisbane Australia.

Including useful information for interstate and overseas visitors!

Use the links below to jump straight to the information you are looking for.

Otherwise scroll down the page to read information for visitors, tips and other facts about Brisbane.

Brisbane Travel Guide General Information Brisbane Travel Guide Transport & Mobility Information Medical Information for Brisbane Area Australian Government Information

Brisbane Travel Guide

Language English (Australian)
Population Population of Brisbane: 2,043,185 estimated resident population 2010 (Source: ABS)
Location Brisbane is located on East Coast Australia in Southern Hemisphere
Brisbane is in the state of Queensland and sub-zone South East Queensland
Latitude: 27° 28' South; Longitude: 153° 01' East.
Time Zone Brisbane Time Zone is Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): GMT (UMT) +10 hours
Note: Queensland does NOT observe daylight savings.
NSW observes daylight savings from 1st Sunday in October to the 1st Sunday in April. Clocks move forward 1 hour in October and are moved back 1 hour in April. NSW Daylight savings projected dates.


Seasons in Brisbane are:
Summer - December to February
Autumn - March to May
Winter - June to August
Spring - September to November

Note: Seasons tend to merge during the cross over months. Weather is also relative to where you are coming from. You need to consider the season, temperature and humidity of your departure point relative to Brisbane, when planning your trip.

Warmer months in Brisbane - September to April.
Cooler months in Brisbane - May to August.

Seasons and Brisbane Australia weather information

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Guide to Weather in Brisbane
Average Summer Temperatures: 20C to 30C (or 68F to 86F )
Average Winter Temperatures: 11C to 23C  (52F to 73F)
In Australia temperatures are generally stated in degrees Celcius or Centigrade (°C).
General Brisbane Seasonal and Weather Information
Current Weather Forecast Brisbane Australia

Currency & Money Matters

Australian Currency Information
Australian Dollar (AUD) Symbol $ or A$
$1 = 100 cents
Coins: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, $2
Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50, $100

Currency conversion information: Travellers Cheques (checks) can be exchanged at banks and Bureau de Change.

Australian Banking hours:
Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 4pm,
Friday 9.30am to 5.00pm
ATMs available 24 hours various locations

Major credit cards accepted in Australia - Visa, Mastercard, Diners Card and American Express. Check each establishment for exact methods of payment. In Australia it is legal for establishments to charge a credit card fee depending up on the type of card used, not all shops, restaurants, accomodation or retail outlets charge this but some do.

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Weights and Measures Metric System Used - weights in kilograms, volumes in litres (eg. Petrol sold by the litre) and distances in kilometres (eg. road signs show distances in kms).
Telephone Public phones and international dial cards available.
Mobile/Cell: GPRS and 3G
Country Code:+61
Emergency #
Police Fire Ambulance
Fixed lines: Dial 000
Mobile/Cell phones: Dial 112
Electrical Plug

220-240V 50Hz

Australian plugs have two thin flat angled blades and one vertical grounding blade.

Universal 110V shaver sockets in most accommodation.

Airport & Flights

Brisbane Domestic and International Airport
Full international airport
Code: BNE
Distance to Brisbane City Centre: 15 kms approx about 20 minutes by car or taxi, longer by train or bus.
Transfer Options: AirTrain, airport shuttle bus, hire car or taxi cabs.

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Rail Travel

Brisbane Rail and Train Travel Information
Brisbane has an extensive rail network and is a hub for interstate trains to Sydney, NSW (New South Wales) as well as country trains to other destinations in Queensland.

The local network is run by Queensland Rail CityTrain and the AirTrain runs to and from Brisbane Airport to the city as well as down to Gold Coast area. AirTrain only runs during the day from approx 6am to 7.30pm check arrival and departure times, as this can be quite frustrating.

A useful link when planning a journey with local rail, bus or ferry transport in Brisbane is the Journey Planner.


Driving Tips for Brisbane Australia
Here are a few basic Brisbane travel guide tips on driving in Australia in general. For more information for driving in Queensland check out the Queensland TMR Website (official Qld Government Authority governing roads and transport in Queensland) .

Drive on the left hand side of road, cars are right hand drive. 

You must be licenced to drive the vehicle you are driving in Australia. Bona Fide visitors to Australia may drive on their licenses for up to 3 months. You must carry your licence with you whenever you are driving in Australia. If your drivers license is not in English, a verified translation must also be carried.

Speed limits: Residential speed limit is 50kmh. Near schools limits drop to 40kmh at certain times. Highways are 100 to 110kmh as per speed limit signs. Watch for signs.

Seat belts are mandatory - must be worn by all drivers and passengers at all times. Children must be in age appropriate seat belts or specialty car seats.

Strict drink driving laws apply. You can still enjoy your holiday but catch a taxi, hire a limo, walk, catch a bus, ferry or train! 

Driving whilst using mobile phone, texting, calling or otherwise is illegal and will result in prosecution and fines.

To hire a car you usually need a current drivers licence or international licence and a translation of your licence if it is not in English.

Note: Driving rules are more comprehensive than those shown here, these are some of the major ones. You should ensure you understand the road rules before driving in Australia. There are also differences in road rules between the Australian states.If you plan to drive make sure you understand these before making your Brisbane travel arrangements.

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Disability Access

Disability Access and Resources for Brisbane
Many facilities, accommodation and tours have some wheelchair and disability access. Check with individual locations for more information or you can check for ratings and other information on the Brisbane access website.

Medical Facilities

Hospital and Medical Information for Brisbane
Brisbane, being the capital of Queensland has some of the best medical facilities in the state. Hospitals include The Wesley, The Princess Alexandra (PA), The Mater and the Royal Women's and Children's Hospitals.

Medical and Travel insurance are highly recommended for travel in and to Australia. Medical treatments in Australia are on a user pays basis.


About Alcohol in Brisbane Australia
Legal drinking age is 18 and over.
ID is required to prove age.
Alcohol is only sold in licensed liquor outlets (bottle shops, pubs and hotels) and may not be consumed in public places without a license.
Alcohol is not sold in supermarkets.


About Smoking in Brisbane Australia
Smoking is not permitted in indoor public places, hotels (pubs), restaurants, cafes and some outdoor places. Please check for smoking signs to ensure you are following the strict laws in Queensland.

Cigarettes are only available for purchase to 18 year olds and over.

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Post Offices

Australia Post is the postal service carrier. Australia Post can be found in most major centres.

Red post boxes are for general post, whilst the yellow post boxes are for the Express Post and Premium services as indicated on the boxes.

Australia Post outlets are generally open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday  with some open 9am to 12pm Saturdays.

Religion & Worship Venues

Australia is multicultural and there are many religions represented.
Temples, mosques, synagogues, prayer rooms and Christian churches can be found across Brisbane.

Some restaurants and attraction venues also cater for dietary requirements including halal and kosher and may provide prayer rooms too.

Some restaurants add halal menus during the months of July and August.


Tipping is not compulsory, but to some extent is expected within the travel industry and in Australia in general. Some restaurants charge a surcharge on Public holidays and sometimes on Sundays. These surcharges should be noted on the menu and often on the counter near the cash register.

Brisbane Travel Guide Tip: If you get good service then tipping 10% to 15% of the bill would be appropriate.

Australian Visas

Every traveller to Australia except (Australian and New Zealand Citizens with passports) require some kind of Australian travel visa.

Certain visitors are eligible for Electronic Visas or ETA's.

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Customs, Quarantine and Duty Free Shopping

Australia has limits on imports and exports of certain items. Please check the Australian Customs website for more detailed information. Some general areas to consider are:

  • Customs declarations need to be made on entry to and exit of Australia.
  • Quarantine declarations are also made at point of entry.
  • If travelling from a Yellow Fever infected zones such as Africa or South America you may be required to have had vaccinations. Check this information.
  • Some heritage items may be protected against export so check before you buy.
  • There are duty-free limits on imports.
  • Permits are required for commercial goods.
  • Medications - make sure you bring a letter or prescription from your doctor and declare through customs.

Official Australian Customs information


Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% is payable on most goods and services. Travellers from overseas may be eligbile for a GST refund on departure through customs.

Tourist GST Refund Scheme

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