Brisbane, also known as the ‘River City’ by locals is a warm cosmopolitan place with all the benefits of living in a city but retaining a relaxed, fun and less stressful vibe than its southern city neighbours - not to mention housing costs are way more affordable. Having helped many families, young professionals, singles and couples from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and overseas over the years, we discuss some suburbs popular for newcomers to Brisbane, so you can hit the ground running with some experienced local advice.
To commence our series we head to a few of the popular suburbs in the Brisbane Inner City. This location in popular with young and older professional couples without children and singles given its to work, entertainment and dining and leisure options. Certain areas are popular to some degree for families with children used to living in more densely populated urban environments and looking for quality public or private schooling close by. Given the area is so close to the city, rents are relatively high and living space is smaller than outer suburbs. The majority of homes will be units or townhouses but as you head towards New Farm and West End there are house options (albeit quite expensive!). New Farm This is a perennially popular area for locals and new arrivals alike with its easy proximity to the city, character filled, tree lined streets, friendly shopping village and iconic New Farm Park. Young professionals and empty nesters alike enjoy the easy commute to the city by bus, ferry or under their own steam along the riverfront walkway. The area borders Fortitude Valley for those seeking night-life, restaurants and high end shopping at James St. The Powerhouse entertainment precinct sits at the edge of New Farm Park and regular weekly farmers markets are held behind the building. Hip and happening Howard Smith Wharves precinct on the northern shore of the Storey Bridge is nearby. Families flock to one of the best playgrounds in Brisbane woven amongst the giant Moreton Bay Fig Trees in New Farm Park, New Farm State School and many private schooling options in surrounding suburbs are easy to reach. Residents enjoy the extensive riverfront walkways, abundant coffee shops and the legendary family run New Farm Deli uphold the area’s Italian traditions with its quality casual Italian food and supplies and the local Merthyr Rd village caters to everyday shopping needs. Accommodation ranges from exclusive riverfront properties and apartment complexes, to older art deco buildings, expansive Queenslander homes, and compact cottages (both old and new) closer to Fortitude Valley and James St. Teneriffe
The area is notable for its tree lined main street bordered, historic wool store buildings and riverfront pathway. The area is popular for those looking for some industrial character and charm in wool store apartment conversions and there are also more modern units and homes in the area on Tenerife Hill and along the waterfront. It is a short but sweet ferry ride to cross the river to explore Bulimba and the suburb boasts easy access to the city, hidden coffee roasters and micro breweries as well as nearby dining and shopping along Commercial Road and bordering suburbs of Newstead, New Farm and Fortitude Valley. Newstead A recently revived area of the city and still under development, this area is high density with many newly built apartment buildings boasting the latest in amenities such as rooftop pools, gymnasiums, resident herb gardens, outdoor cinemas and so on. There is high quality food shopping in the Gasworks precinct as well as funky restaurants, cafes and Newstead Brewing. The area is very popular for young professionals looking for a state-of-the art property and convenience to the city. There is also a reasonable supply of furnished apartment options in the area. South Bank / South Brisbane This area is busy, vibrant and full of action bustling with office workers, TAFE and Griffith university students, tourists and locals residents.
The area is dominated by Brisbane’s cultural facilities including the Performing Arts Centre, Queensland Museum, Art Galleries, Science Centre and Convention Centre as well as popular tourist attractions such as the Wheel of Brisbane, Streets Beach and the beautiful Bouganvillea walkway that winds through the area. Grey St, Fish Lane and Little Stanley Street are lined with a variety of restaurants and people spill out onto the grass at River Quay Green and shop at regular markets in the area at Stanley St Plaza. Various outdoor events are held along the waterfront throughout the year, buses and trains make moving around all parts of the city easy and the city is only a short walk away across one of 3 bridges over the Brisbane River. Brisbane’s only select public high school is in the area. Accommodation is predominantly modern apartments in resident only as well as combined short and long term buildings. There is a good supply of furnished apartments in the area as well as short term serviced apartment options. West End West End is a youthful, offbeat and gritty suburb full of diverse residents and very popular for newcomers to Brisbane seeking apartment living and proximity to social hubs. It is a multicultural area and home to Queensland’s largest Greek community. Bars, cafes, live music venues, boutique stores, local small businesses and multicultural dining options line Boundary and Vulture Streets. Several multiple building apartment and retail complexes are being built in the area taking over former light industrial sites and transforming and revitalizing the area. The suburb is sought after by young professionals looking to be close to the city and seeking modern apartment buildings with modern facilities and design along the riverfront. Riverfront views west across the river are beautiful but do be aware of the searing western sun in the summer! University students studying nearby share basic houses as well as contemporary apartments. Families looking to be in the well regarded Brisbane State High School or West End State School also seek homes or apartments in the area. Davies Park markets are held every Saturday with organic produce, flower, vintage clothing and bric-a-brac. The riverfront walkway has been revamped and is a pleasant walk or ride from South Bank all the way to the West End City Cat stop at the end of Montague Road with views towards Toowong and Mt-Cootha.