Cheap flights to Brisbane are available from Sydney, Cairns and Melbourne domestic airports. Departures from Perth have an average flight time of four and a half hours and cheap flights can include a transfer via Sydney. Flights are available from Darwin and often these route through Cairns or Sydney. Launceston and Hobart departure points offer cheap flights that may include a transfer, typically through Melbourne. A cheap option to consider may be an arrival into the Gold Coast as Brisbane is only a one hour drive from Coolangatta Airport. The Brisbane Domestic Terminal is 20km from the heart of the city. There is a taxi rank right outside the terminal. The line may look long but staff are generally efficient in moving passengers through. The AirTrain operates services every 15 minutes and children under the age of 14 travel free to the city with an accompanying adult. Adult tickets are quite expensive in terms of public transport so if you’re travelling as a group, this may not be the best option. There are a number of car hire companies that operate within the domestic terminal. For a cheap rate, book online or listen to your flight attendant’s announcement as to their preferred partner. Approaching the desk of your airlines affiliated ground operators will help you secure a good deal. Offsite there are a number of camper hire operators that have great rates when you rent the vehicle for a period of 5 days or more. You won’t be travelling in ultimate luxury, but they’re generally cheap with character and style to suit your needs.
Brisbane is an easy city to navigate, is well signed and extremely congested in peak hour! Oddly, the congestion doesn’t seem to be within the traffic of the CBD. The surrounding suburbs are quite spread out so the easiest way to get around is by car, against the traffic. Within the city itself, most destinations are an easy, eye-catching wander away. The inner-city streets are like a grid with female streets (Elizabeth, Adelaide etc) running parallel to each other and male streets doing the same. CityCycle provides cheap bicycle rental with stations every 300 or so metres, but you will need to set up an online account before you decide to hire. A huge benefit to using the CityCycle scheme is that you can return your bike to any CityCycle station. The public transport system provides frequent and cheap rail, bus, CityCat and ferry services. Maximise your efficiency by purchasing a GoCard from a newsagent or train station.
Brisbane is a laid-back city offering something for everyone. The South Bank Parklands have it all – cinemas, shopping, swimming, bars and The Wheel of Brisbane. Take a train to the Gold Coast and spend the day at Dreamworld, Movie World or Wet ‘n’ Wild. If you’re out for a relaxing day, enjoy a Mirimar cruise along the river bound for Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. The XXXX Brewery offers tours and is only a few blocks away from the gorgeous figs of Gregory Park in Paddington. For a cheap Brisbane experience, head out to the Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha in the late afternoon and witness the magical views from the lookout as the sun goes down. Visit one of the world’s biggest sand islands, Stradbroke Island and snorkel in the crystal clear water, laze in the sun or try out your surfing legs.
Eating is one of the best ways to spend your time in and around Brisbane. West End has a huge concentration of café’s, bars and restaurants. Try a $4 falafel roll at King Ahiram’s or a cooking class with a banquet dinner at Mondo Organics. Gambaro in Paddington delivers an unforgettable seafood experience and The Breakfast Creek Hotel will win you over with their delicious menu and vibrant, Brissy atmosphere. If by chance you’re around for a full moon, make your way out to The Full Moon Hotel at Sandgate – it’s one of the best vantage points in the world to view a full moon – even NASA says so! Direct Factory Outlets are conveniently located just off Airport Drive and have a huge range of discount retailers. The Queen Street Mall houses everything from big department stores to exclusive boutiques and the West End Markets or South Bank Twilight Markets are great for finding those things you don’t really need. Sip cocktails on the rooftop of Fortitude Valley’s Limes Hotel or in the city’s gorgeous Port Office Hotel. For cheap drinks, check out some live music at The Boundary Hotel in West End or The Royal George in the Valley. Pretend you’re pockets are lined with gold at Cloudland or if you just want to party, head to Birdee Num Num for a night of fun – Brissy style!