Brisbane : Australia


What It Is Like to Retire in Brisbane

Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. The metropolitan area has a population of 2.24 million and the South East Queensland urban conurbation has a population of more than 3 million. The Brisbane central business district stands on the original European settlement inside a bend of the Brisbane River, approximately 15 kilometres (9 miles) from its mouth at Moreton Bay.  The city played a central role in the Allied campaign during World War II as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur. 

For more about retirement see our Retirement Guide to Australia.


Where to Retire in Brisbane and Home Prices

The density of the city and inner city neighbourhoods has increased with the construction of apartments, with the result that the population of the central business district has doubled over the last 5 years.The high density housing that historically existed came in the form of miniature Queenslander-style houses which resemble the much larger traditional styles but are sometimes only one quarter the size. These miniature Queenslanders are becoming scarce but can still be seen in the inner city suburbs. Housing here like in much of Australia is expensive and dominated by many rentals. As of early 2020 the Brisbane median house price had risen to $503,000 (AUS), a bit lower than in either Melbourne or Sydney.  Most people live in tall apartment buildings, which are popular with young professionals as well as baby boomers looking for an urban lifestyle.


What Is Special about Brisbane

Brisbane has multi-campus universities and colleges including the University of Queensland (UQ), Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Griffith University.  It is a large city that is a bit more manageable and slightly less expensive than Sydney or Melbourne. It also has numerous festivals and many cultural resources.


What Is Not Special about Brisbane

Brisbane doesn't have the cachet as its larger sibliings, Sydney and Melbourne.


Who Will Like Retirement in Brisbane

People looking for a low key urban environment might like the Brisbane area.


Local Economy Is Driven by

As Australia's 3rd largest city, Brisbane is one of the major business hubs in Australia.Most major Australian companies, as well as numerous international companies, have contact offices in Brisbane, while numerous electronics businesses have distribution hubs in and around the city. The Port of Brisbane is very important to the economy.


Climate and Physical Environment

The city is on a low-lying floodplain in eastern coastal Australia. Many suburban creeks criss-cross the city, increasing the risk of flooding. The city has suffered three major floods since colonisation, in February 1893, January 1974, and January 2011. Brisbane has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and dry moderately warm winters. From Nov to March the area experiences thunderstorms.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) houses some of the most well-known pieces of modern art from within and outside Australia and is the largest modern art gallery in Australia. GOMA holds the Asia Pacific Triennial (APT) which focuses on contemporary art from the Asia and Pacific in a variety of media from painting to video work. The Gallery of Modern Art is located next to the State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Art Gallery. There are several theatres including The Brisbane Powerhouse in New Farm and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts on Brunswick Street. Major cultural events in Brisbane include the Ekka (the Royal Queensland Exhibition), held each August, and the Riverfestival, held each September at South Bank Parklands and surrounding areas.

As elsewhere in Australia, food, wine, and beer are growing in variety, stature, and quality.



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Medical Facilities

There are 8 major public hospitals and 4 major private hospitals, plus other facilities, in the Brisbane area.  Australians are served by the Medicare system.



Public transport is provided by bus, rail and ferry services. The Brisbane Airport has frequent service. There are miles of bike paths. Private auto is the most important form of transport.


Valuable Links

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What people are saying about Brisbane

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