Brisbane is a green city with an enviable subtropical climate and diverse population. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in Australia and is known for its vibrant urban precincts, outdoor lifestyle and friendly locals. Get to know Brisbane better. From climate to currency – we have you covered.
One of the best ways to get to know Brisbane is through the eyes of a local. Our friendly Greeters are proud and passionate volunteers who want to share Brisbane’s best spots and introduce you to our vibrant city. We have more than 200 Greeters who can help you find your way in more than 25 different languages. Book your free greet here, or call 07 3156 6364.
Whether its tour and accommodation bookings, events and entertainment information, brochures and maps, or general tourist advice you need for the Brisbane and Greater Brisbane areas, the many Accredited Visitor Information Centres located across the Greater Brisbane Region have it all covered.
This guide provides visitors with a comprehensive overview of things to see and do across the city and surrounding regions. Produced bi-annually, it showcases the latest experiences and events on offer as well as providing information that helps support the visitor experience.
Home to an award-wining airport, a fully integrated public transport system makes getting to Brisbane easy.
Lockers are available at the International and Domestic Airports as well as the Roma Street Transit Centre in The City.
Thanks to Brisbane City Council, you can jump online and receive free wi-fi in the Queen Street Mall, Reddacliff Place, Victoria Bridge and 33 Brisbane libraries. Wi-fi access is also available in 22 outdoor locations across Brisbane, including the South Bank Parklands, City Botanic Gardens, King George Square, New Farm Park, and the entire CityCat fleet. Plus you can stay connected at many local cafes, restaurants and hotels that provide free wi-fi to customers. Find out which CBD businesses offer free wi-fi here.
Brisbane follows Eastern Standard Time throughout the year. Unlike Australia’s southern states, Queensland does not have daylight saving during summer. Be careful to check the time if travelling to or from another state.
Passports & Visas
For all visa enquiries, please contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship office in Brisbane on 13 18 81 or visit the website.
Electrical Power Points
The Australian electrical current is 220–240 volts, AC 50Hz. The three-pin power outlet is different from some other countries, so don’t forget to buy an adaptor.
Brisbane’s public transport system is a clean and green network of trains, ferries (CityCats) and buses that have been integrated so commuters can travel seamlessly between each service when using a go card.
Blessed with the perfect subtropical climate and an average of eight hours of sun per day, Brisbane is the ideal destination for life in the great outdoors.
- Summer (December to February) Min average temp is 21°C and max is 30°C
- Autumn (March to May) Min average temp is 16°C and max is 26°C
- Winter (June to August) Min average temp is 10°C and max is 21°C
- Spring (September to November) Min average temp is 16°C and max is 26°C
Brisbane is home to blue skies and sunny days, so it’s important to keep sun safe. When in the sun, always wear a shirt, hat, sunglasses and SPF 30+ sunscreen. If spending the whole day outdoors, reapply sunscreen regularly. Stay out of the sun during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Money & Shopping
The unit of currency in Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD$). All Brisbane areas are serviced by cash machines which accept Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro cards. The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and their affiliates. If you are bringing travellers’ cheques, these can be exchanged at banks, bureau de change booths, hotels and post offices. Banks and foreign exchange services are also available throughout the city centre.
Goods & Services Tax
A 10 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) applies to most purchases and is included prior to bills being totalled. You may be able to claim a refund of the GST paid on purchases if you have spent $300 or more in one store, no more than 30 days before departing Australia. Tourist Refund Scheme facilities are located in the departure area of international terminals. For further information contact the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service call 1300 363 263 or visit the website.
Tipping & Bargaining
Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill. In upmarket restaurants, it is usual to tip waiters up to 10 per cent of the bill for good service. However, tipping is always your choice. It is not custom to bargain in Australia.
Trading hours vary across Australia but shops in tourist and city areas are generally open seven days until 6pm, with late-night shopping on Thursdays in suburban areas and Fridays in the city centre.
Post offices are usually open 9am–5pm, Monday to Friday, with some city post offices open on Saturday morning. Travellers can arrange to collect mail at post offices throughout Australia.
Australia’s Country Code is 61. Queensland’s area code is 07 but the zero is left off when calling from outside Australia. Local calls from public pay phones are untimed and charged at 50 cents. Mobile, long distance and overseas calls are usually timed. Mobile phone network coverage is available across Australia; however coverage may be limited in some remote areas.
Brisbane’s accessible facilities
Many of Brisbane’s public facilities are disability-friendly. Brisbane City Council’s Access and Inclusion program provides information about accessible features at swimming pools, parks and libraries, and other useful guidance for visitors with a disability.
Further help can be found here including Mobility Maps for the CBD and Mt Coot-tha, detailing features such as accessible buildings, slope gradients, accessible toilets and disability parking.
Navigating the CBD for people with a disability
If you have a disability, Brisbane’s city centre is increasingly easy to get around.
• Australia’s longest continuous Braille Trail extends down from Reddacliff Place through the Queen Street Mall as far as Anzac Square, helping people with vision impairment navigate the CBD.
• All CBD street crossings and many suburban crossings have kerb ramps and audio-tactile crossing signals. Around half of them have braille and tactile street signs.
• Wheelchairs, walkers and prams to make it easy to explore the surrounding streets are available for loan at the reception desk of Brisbane City Hall.
• Accessible toilets can be found at various locations including City Botanic Gardens and City Hall.
• All Brisbane City Council buses have low floors and wheelchair access ramps. (Ramps are deployed by the bus driver on request.)
Brisbane is generally a safe destination, with tourists enjoying unhindered travel experiences in terms of their personal safety. In the event that you require emergency assistance, you can contact police, ambulance and/or fire brigade by calling Triple Zero (000).
Brisbane has a number of public hospitals and medical centres should you experience illness or injury while visiting. It is important that your travel insurance is up to date so you are covered should any emergencies arise.
- Princess Alexandra Hospital
- The Prince Charles Hospital
- Mater Private Hospital
- Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
- Greenslopes Private Hospital
- Wesley Hospital
- Mater Public, Children's Private and Mothers' Hospital
- Lady Cilento Children's Hospital
Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places. This includes restaurants, bars and clubs. The Queen Street Mall in the city is a totally smoke-free area.
The legal drinking age in Australia is 18 years. Identification is required to enter licensed premises or to purchase alcohol. All licensed premises in Brisbane are subject to a 3am lock-out. Patrons who are inside licensed premises at 3am may stay until close of trade but no other patrons may enter or re-enter after that time. In Queensland it is an offence to drink alcohol or possess an opened alcoholic drink in a public place.