Getting About

Brisbane Transport: Translink and the Rest

Brisbane transport is usually good, with most services running on time and rarely packed outside of rush hour times. If you have to use central city services during rush hour, be prepared to be smushed up next to the people around you.

The best part of Brisbane transport is that the CityCat (above), CityFerry (below), buses, and trains are all run by the Brisbane City Council and you only need one ticket to ride every service. If you get a daily ticket, you can ride every service in your zones as many times as you want all day. Ticket prices depend on how many zones you are travelling in. The city centre is zone 1 and the zones radiate out — all the way to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, which are both in the zone 17+ range.

To figure out how much each ticket costs is a simple matter of knowing how many zones you will be crossing and then checking the corresponding price (get a map from transportation information centres). For example, if you’re going from Zone 7 to Zone 4 you will be travelling through 4 zones (zones 4, 5, 6 & 7) and will be charged $3.80 for a single adult. There are also child rates and full-time Queensland student rates.

If you don’t know which zones you’ll be travelling in, don’t worry the drivers/ticket sellers can figure it out for you (this is probably an easier option than trying to figure it out yourself). If you will only be travelling between 9am and 3:30pm or after 7pm then you can get an off-peak daily, which will be cheaper than a regular daily ticket. Tickets can be bought on CityCats, City Ferries, buses, and at the entrance to train stations. If you’re unsure as to the best way of getting to your destination, the website has a journey planner which will tell you the best ways to get there and the fare you’ll pay.

Brisbane Transport: Buses

The city buses run an efficient service around the city and out to the suburbs. Most city bus stops have electronic display boards which tell you the exact time of each bus, however, there is always the possibility that the bus just never comes. While this doesn’t happen frequently the buses are far from perfect. In the city there are two major underground bus stations, one under the Queen St Mall (photo shows buses leaving underground station) and another at King George Square in front of the City Hall. Time tables for the buses are available from the Council Customer Service Centre, the Queen Street Station and most newsagents and libraries.

Downtown Brisbane has a free bus service that runs from Central Station, Queen St Mall, Botanical Gardens, Riverside Centre and the King George station, which can be useful if you are tired from walking around the city all day. There’s also a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus which runs throughout the city and up to other attractions, such as Mount Coot-tha.

Brisbane Transport: CityCat/City Ferry

While the Brisbane river is a beautiful addition to the city it is also troublesome if you’re trying to get to the otherside of it. With only 4 vehicle bridges that cross it (and all of them in the city) it makes going to the other side of the river a hassle as you have to drive through the city (never easy) just to get to the other side. The best way to shorten your trip is to take either the CityCat or City Ferry across the river.

City Ferries are smaller boats serving the inner city between North Quay and Sydney St and are similar to the CityCats.

Brisbane Transport: Trains

The train system around Brisbane is the easiest way, apart from driving, to get to more outer locations. It can take you from the Gold Coast up to the Sunshine Coast and out west to Ipswich and east to Cleveland as well as most of the surrounding suburbs of Brisbane.

The Airtrain shuttles to and from the Brisbane airport; however, it is more expensive than the regular City Council transport.

If you’re flying into the Gold Coast airport you can take transportation up to Brisbane. It takes about 2 hours and about 3 or 4 transfers, which is longer time and more hassle than renting a car and driving. It may still be worth considering if you aren’t familiar with driving on the left.

Brisbane Transport: Bicycling

If you want a great way to explore the city consider renting a bike for the day and using the over 500km of bikeways around. If you’re an avid cycler or just really adventurous you can cycle all the way out to Moreton Bay from Brisbane.

Brisbane Pictures