The number of Indians moving to Australia has been growing exponentially, with the last census indicating that there are now over 1.4% of Australians originally from there. This is great news for Queensland, which is fast becoming a ‘go to’ place for Indians to live, work and flourish. Moving to a new city or country is always challenging, so if you are from India and are new to Brisbane – no worries - you will find that there are plenty compatriots here to share the experience with, as well as friendly locals to help you on your way to settling in to your new home!
Where to live in Brisbane?
The first question many people have is “where are the Indian areas of Brisbane”? This is a good question because there really is no central “hub” or area you need to focus on, like the Chinese have in Sunnybank, the Italians in Newmarket/New Farm or the Greeks in the West End. Rather, Indians tend to spread out across the whole Brisbane area.
Having said that, there are some suburbs which are more popular, such as Eight Mile Plains or Kuraby in the south or, in the Northside, areas like Carseldine, Chermside and Zillmere in particular. In addition, new arrivals from India sometimes find it easy to find reasonable accommodation and quick access to the City from suburbs like Nundah and Mount Gravatt.
Much depends on your budget and circumstances, so it is good to focus on what suits you personally. Generally, families tend to look for more space and schools further out from the city, whilst younger people and those focussing on work in the city tend to look for easy access to the CBD. Of course, as always, in terms of costs, the general rule in Brisbane is the closer to the city, the higher the rent!
So, in short, there are Indians living all over the city and you don’t need to worry about finding the “right” suburb – you will be welcome anywhere. Instead, look at the other factors that define an area, such as commuting time, budget, schools, quality of life etc.
Indian Specific Resources and Information
To help you get started and feel connected to the Brisbane community (as well as enjoying a few of your favourite things from home), there are lots of services, resources, shops and cultural activities for Indians new to Brisbane. Here is a selection of some of the more notable:
India Day Fair - Marking India's Independence Day, India Day Fair in Roma Street Parkland is a colourful celebration of Indian culture. Held in August every year, you can feast on spiced Indian fare, explore market stalls, experience Bollywood music and dance and watch the vivid parades and fireworks display.
Diwali Festival of Lights – Probably the biggest Diwali celebrations in Brisbane each year are held right in the City itself and they’re free! This festival features fireworks, kid’s rides and entertainment, fantastic street food and dance performances – all that one would expect. It is a must do for Indians, friends and anyone interested in Indian culture. There are also other Diwali events in Rocklea and North Lakes so get ready to celebrate!
Holi Festival of Colours - If you are a new Indian living in Brisbane and are looking for an event that will make you feel welcome and at home, special mention goes to the Holi Festival of Colours, hosted at the Rocks, Riverside Park in Seventeen Mile Rocks and other locations from year to year. Brisbane is proud to host this fun and family-friendly event which is organised by the Indian Culture and Sports Club. With 2000 attendees last year, the festival continues to grow and is open to all ages from all backgrounds. Everyone splashes the colours around and it is very colourful!
BNE Indian Meetup Group - This meetup group is for expatriate Indians and all others who are interested in India and Indian culture. They meet up all the time. It is for anyone who wishes to meet and socialize with others who share an interest, a connection, or a passion with Indian culture! They watch Indian movies, go to see Indian music and dance performances, and participate in all manner of Indian cultural events. Great for the young and the young-at-heart!
Brisbane Indian Times – this is an excellent website for news and information about the Indian community in Brisbane. Particularly excellent is the “what’s on” section which provides lots of details of Indian community events and happenings in Brisbane. There is also a print version.
Bollywood Dhamaka - Bollywood Dhamaka is a popular bollywood dance school with students ranging from ages 3 to 50+ years from all cultural & ethnic backgrounds. It is also a Dance institute and Talent Agency and has cast artists for TV and Stage productions whilst providing regular training, coaching and management.
Internations – a good website for expats new or coming to Brisbane is Internations, which has an India page. Internations is great for connecting with other Indians and exchanging tips about life in Brisbane.
Community Groups and Associations
There are a wealth of community groups and associations that you may also wish to explore:-
Some say that if you want Indian groceries, regardless of where you live, you'll always end up in Woollongabba! That is because Wooloongabba offers authentic cultural food resources such as food shops and restaurants. But Wooloongabba is not alone – there are many stores offering specialty Indian foodstuffs around the city. Here is a selection of some of the more popular around the city:-
Malabar Centre, Annerley
All India Foods, Wooloongabba
Mirsch Masala Impex, Wooloongabba
Apna Bazar Supermarket, Zilmere
Zilmere Spice House, Zilmere
Myra Indian Grocery Store, Sandgate Road
Krishna Spice, Coorparoo
Monika Indian Groceries, Fortitude Valley
Chermside Spice Centre, Chermside
Swades Foods, Sunnybank
PepperBite Hypermarket, Archerfield
Brisbane is known for having lots of farmers markets and most of these offer a variety of Indian supplies, food and ready-made items. They are usually weekend affairs or follow a schedule of some description, so it is worth checking before you intend to go. Here are just some suggestions from a long list:-
Rocklea Markets – Rocklea - these markets are in fact, wholesale markets, but also sell retail. They are open weekdays. They are absolutely the cheapest and best place to stock up on vegetables, spices and many of the staples you will need for cooking your favourites dishes. One hint: bring you own shopping bags and it is handy to have a car to help you bring everything home.
Global Food Market – Logan - the Global Food Village market, a bustling multicultural food bazaar in Logan Central, is south east Queensland’s best kept secret. On Sunday mornings a colourful local crowd of Asian, African, Middle Eastern, Indian and Islander customers descend on closed-off Croydon Road to haggle over the cheapest and best selection of exotic fruits and vegetables in the region and feast on authentic South East Asian street food. Even if you just want to browse around and have a quick bit to eat, this market is a must!
Mt Gravatt Farmer’s Market – open every Sunday with $2 admission - specializing in fruit and vegetables, delicatesse, second hand goods and flea market stalls, the colourful Mt Gravatt Markets (situated in the Mt Gravatt Showgrounds) offer an overwhelming selection of produce: bric-a-brac, flowers, honey, pet accessories, plants and quality second-hand merchandise.
Mitchelton Farmer’s Market – the Mitchelton Market is on the first Sunday of every month and it has a village-like atmosphere. Bring your green bag and be prepared to come back home with local produce and deli-style goods from around the world, fruit and vegetables, meats, cakes, spices, oils, seafood, pasta as well as plenty of delicious bakeries that sell organic bread, spelt bread and sour-dough. This just one of the “Jan Powers Farmers Markets”, which include the Powerhouse and Manly Farmers markets as well. Usually held on weekends, it is important to check the schedule for opening dates.
We hope that the above information is useful and gives you a good place to start. There is a lot of work involved in moving to a new home in another country, but it is also exciting and fulfilling. At Habitat Relocations we like to help you with the former - so that you can enjoy the latter!
For more information or enquiries please contact Nicola Buck at Habitat Relocations.