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If you haven’t visited Brisbane before, deciding where to live will probably be one of your main concerns. The deciding factors are usually budget, distance you are willing to commute from your workplace and the type of lifestyle you prefer.

  • Budget:  Brisbane is Australia’s 4th most expensive suburb, behind Darwin, Sydney and Melbourne and rental prices can come as a surprise to people relocating.  You can expect to pay a premium for housing closer to the city, beaches or transport links. Rental prices are quoted per week but most are paid monthly. This means $250 a week does not instantly equate to $1000 a month as there are a different amount of days in some months. This can make a difference to your assumed budget – so ensure you do the math.

$250 a week x 52 weeks a year = $13,000

$13,000 : 12 months in a year = $1,083 per month.

Websites such as and will give you an idea of size and quality of accommodation you can expect in different areas. Want local knowledge and expertise? Try Opal Relocations

  • Distance to work: The distance one is willing to commute, where you work and your preferred mode of transport will all factor in to this decision. During rush hour driving in and out of the CBD can be slow but often leaving 20 minutes earlier or later can make a considerable difference. Trains tend to be the fastest mode of transport in Brisbane and so proximity to a train line is seen as desirable if you live outside the city.

 To work out estimated commute times go to  - this is a great website that allows you to enter your start destination (either by address, train station, bus stop or landmark) and time you need to arrive by and it will calculate travel routes available and times.

  • Lifestyle Factors: Lifestyle is the most personal of the three key decision making factors. For some having the beach on your doorstep or being walk to the local school matters most. For others it might be great shops, a bigger backyard or peace and quiet. 


New Farm is considered one of Brisbane’s best suburbs. It is close to the city and easily accessible to shops, restaurants and nightlife which means you can survive without a car. Lovely parks and a good mix of historic homes, new and older apartments make it popular with the executives, hipsters, empty nesters and couples that live here. Its popularity is matched in the high prices. Try also Newstead.


Spring Hill and Cooparoo are worth looking at if you want to be really close to the city but also with proximity to parks and reserves. From both of these sububs there are excellent train and bus services but also the Pacific and Gateways motorways for those who need to travel. Units in small blocks of six often nestled among more substantial homes in good residential streets still represent good value and many are being completely renovated.

Ascot and Hamilton are the suburbs where ‘old money’ lives with big houses, private schools and a smart shopping village. Would suit affluent families and well paid executives that enjoy the proximity to the river and parklands and who are not put off by the high prices. Try also the more affordable near by Clayfield.

If you are looking to be a bit further out of the city (10km) and value convenience (schools, shopping, centres on your doorstep) then you could try Chermside on the North side or Mt Gravatt on the south.

If you want a beachside vibe then you may prefer to live on the Gold Coast , about 1 ¼ commute by train, with it’s great beaches, shops, restaurants and nightlife. The Northern End of the Gold Coast is considered the ‘better end’. Try Main Beach, Southport or Sanctuary Cove.


For those who love nature this write up comes from Jude who migrated from Malaysia and who now lives minutes from the Gold Coast:

The bushy forested waterways  strip is a natural corridor within our unique property.This area with mixed giant trees and bushy undergrowths is  a natural lair for the wild animals like turkeys, flying foxes, possums, kangaroos, birds of many types, snakes, spiders,  butterflies etc... whatever animals call it home (mostly  after dark).

The boundary of our property terminates at the river, overgrown with lots of she oaks, sand paper figs, huge camphor trees, giant gum trees and other wild trees, is a Nature's sanctuary for wild life. Beneath these giants are many different types of marshy plants,  like a variety of taros, which can be eaten if properly cooked. The pumpkins also run wild.

The river bed itself is thick with water weeds, provides a healthy breeding ground for all types of fishes ( mainly mullets), shrimps, clams etc.

In the open areas we have planted lots of seasonal vegetables, herbs &  various permanent fruit trees like the  Pachira insignus-Melabar chestnuts, the hermaphrodite papaya-Hawaii solar cultivars,  sugar bananas, Moringa oleifera-drumstick, red and yellow dragon  fruits, a couple of avocados, guavas, pomelos, Sterculia Lanceolata -Chinese pea nuts,   Castanea Sativa chestnuts, Anastasia Jack fruits, half a dozen Ginkgo biloba trees,  the common  mango,   a couple of passion fruits vines creeping onto gum trees, big bamboo clumps and a couple of different flowering trees like the Varieties of Shangrilai trees and the South American ant tree...the Triplaris Americana.

This bottom area, besides the main fruit orchard at the top end of our property (where there full of nectars bearing sweet fragrant flowers-fruit trees and the enticing  GAC vines are grown) provides another heaven for our for native bees too. A hive or two of the European honey bees will be ideal to harvest the rich flora's nectar.

Then lower down the Northern side is the fast moving  river where there are lots of water ducks, egrets, moor hens, herons,  cormorants, the giant  eagles, king fishers, iblis, various brightly coloured parrots, noisy miners, friar birds, honey eaters, crow pheasants, night owls and many more.This is also the home of the Fierce owl, the biggest of all owl in Australia.

The river is a beautiful seclusive private spot for a picnic and for cooling down during the summer hot days. The only noises that break down the quietness is that of the laughing kookaburra. They go where food is, and the BBQ attracts them most.

All over our property,  besides the  normal kangaroo/wallabies , (I have observed a few dark rusty brown wallabies that will dashed into the bush as soon they see humans). The flying foxes also come here to feed on the camphor berries and luckily they have never roosted on these trees.When the camphor berries ripen, then the area becomes a free  for all types of birds that feed in the day and the flying foxes after dark.

Noticeable is a flock  of about 40 white headed big pigeons that feed on the camphor berries. There are also other types of doves/pigeons of different colours, some bright and some dull. They move in pairs or in very small flocks,  and are basically found feeding on the ground. The list of other varieties of birds are numerous, such as the ever noisy currawongs , the beautiful musical tunes of the butcher birds, the sharp whipping 'tangs' of the whipper birds, the large flocks of Fairy-wren with the single red male and a harem of about 30 females dashing low among the bushes. 

Then there are the sweet musical soft chattering whispers of the gentle grey Willie Wagtails ( can also be the fan tails) that occasionally come just next to our house to devour the insects or pecking for spiders/moths underneath the tree leaves.They are the most friendly of all birds and they often stoop down wagging their tails while I am working among the trees. They are restless. The long list  goes on.

There are also different types of colourful parrots and rosellas, attracted by the  bananas, passion fruits and other cultivated crops like the pigeon peas, guavas, dragon fruits etc. The yellow tail giant black cockatoos come in seasons and feed on the pine cones seeds of the pinus radianta. The sulphur yellow crested cockatoos also regularly feed on these pine cones and they are more frequent visitors. Also like the black cockatoos they make the loud noises but the two calls are distinguishable  The wise nocturnal owls are a delight to hear them tooting  in the night,

Those who enjoy nature will find this little piece of Australia offers them the tranquility and the peace of mind, body and soul .

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