Whenever I travel I think about whether I would like living in a city that I’m visiting. When I was in Brisbane, the answer was a resounding yes! While I liked Sydney and Melbourne, there was something special about Brisbane.
For those of you who don’t know much about Brisbane, it’s located between the Sunshine and Gold Coasts of Australia and from an outsider seems like the northern most “metropolitan” type of city in Australia. Granted, I only went as far north as Cairns, but it’s my impression, wrong or right.
As my guide (who grew up in Brisbane) explained, Brisbane had pretty much been a small town until the 1982 Commonwealth Games and 1988 World Exposition, since then it has grown into a one of the bigger cities in Australia.
I spent 2 and a half days there, including a walking tour and some advance tips on things to do and places to go.
The feeling I got of the city was that it is was both a city and also a small town, it very much had a community atmosphere that is rare for a city.
Streets Beach, located along the Brisbane River, is on the surface just a manmade beach, but it felt like much more. It felt more like a community pool you would visit in the suburbs, but way cooler since it’s designed like a beach.
There are several shopping districts in Brisbane, and they seemed to cater to both the locals and tourists, perhaps because it’s a smaller a city, but it really seems to work. It gives both types of shops a more authentic feel. Neither over run by busy locals or relaxed tourists. I think the pace of this more low key city allows both types to blend together nicely.
Some of the logistics of the city make it a good location too. Did I mention it’s between the gold and sunshine coasts? There is an international airport (it was actually my gateway to Australia), trains in all directions to a variety of destinations. I took the train from the Gold Coast up to Brisbane on a Sunday and it was an easy trip.
The weather seams ideal to a New Yorker who is sick of cold and snow! In reality the humidity would probably get to me, but the climate is pretty temperate. I visited in late November, which is late Spring and although it could get hot there, it didn’t seem oppressively hot while I was there. The winter temperatures also don’t get too cold and there doesn’t seem to be a threat of snow there either. Checks all my boxes!
Last but not least, it does offer many of the things you want from a city – opportunities for theatrical performances, museums, businesses and industry. But without the intense pace that sometimes overtakes a city.
So, if anyone wants to offer me a job in Brisbane, I’ll start packing my bags.