Brisbane Travel Guide

Flights, Train & Cruise

By plane

Brisbane Airport (BNE) is 20 km (12 mi) north-east of the city centre at Eagle Farm, north of the river.

There are direct flights from all Australian capitals and numerous regional centres. Major carriers include Virgin Australia, Jetstar, and Qantas. The airport is serviced by many regional airlines and it is possible to fly daily to most Asian centres (and on to Europe), the United States and New Zealand, without flying via Sydney or Melbourne.

There are International and Domestic terminals, but some domestic flights leave from the International Terminal and some international flights (via other Australian cities) leave from the Domestic Terminal. Check which terminal your flight uses and don't presume based on whether it is an international or domestic flight.

Transferring between terminals

Allow sufficient time for the transfer between terminals. The terminals are 3 km apart and it's not practical to walk with luggage between them; the main road that connects them has no pedestrian walkway and is very busy.

Transfers between the airport terminals can be made on the Airtrain service. It offers connections during the day with a train every 15-30min. The train fare is $5, $4.50 if you book a ticket online beforehand, and the trip is 2min long. The Airtrain fare is included by Virgin Australia and by Qantas when connecting between their flights; just present your boarding pass to the Airtrain station staff.

Domestic to International Transfers operate M-F 05:40–21:59, Sa Su 06:00-21:59 (last service).
International to Domestic Transfers operate M-F 05:30–20:56, Sa Su 05:30–20:57.

Another option is the TBus service. Services operate every 20 minutes and bus stops are located outside the Qantas and Virgin Australia arrivals hall at the Domestic Terminal, and outside the arrivals hall at the International Terminal. All trips are $5, children under 4 are free. This bus also services Airport Village, which is close to the Direct Factory Outlet (DFO), a small shopping centre that specialises in clothing and homewares stores, but also contains a food court. It's expensive, but worth checking out if you've got more than a few hours between flights. Be careful though, as the last bus back to the airport terminals is at 18:20.

Outside of Airtrain hours or if you have a limited connection time, a taxi is your only option.

From the airport to the city
Airtrain connects to the city from the airport every fifteen minutes during peak times and stops at Central, South Bank, Fortitude Valley and Roma Street stations. An adult fare to the city stations is $16.50 and a return ticket is $29 and can be purchased at Airtrain stations. There is a 10% discount for purchasing online for one-way or return journeys, but only if you are starting at the airport. Travel time to the city stations can be up to 30min. Trains start running about 05:00. The last trains leave the city around 21:00 and the airport before 22:00. It is possible to take the Airtrain direct to the Gold Coast, although it is necessary to connect to a bus service at Nerang Station to reach Surfers Paradise, or at Robina Station to reach Coolangatta.
CoachTrans also provides transfers via shuttle bus to Brisbane City accommodation and to the Gold Coast. Adult fare (one way) to Brisbane City is $20, and an adult fare (one way) to the Gold Coast is $44. Fares are cheaper if you buy a return ticket. You can end up waiting up to an hour if you try to book when you arrive at the airport, so pre-booking is a must and no refunds are allowed. Travel time varies depending on the number of passengers on the bus and traffic; it could be anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes.
A cheaper public transport alternative is to use the Brisbane Airport Courtesy Bus to DFO/Number 1 Airport Village, and transfer to the 308 bus (direction Chermside) to Toombul Interchange, where you can catch a train to the city. This costs under $3 with a go card, off peak; and under $5 for a single ticket.

A taxi from the airport to Brisbane central costs approximately $35. A good option for getting into the City can therefore be for two or more travellers to share the cost of a taxi to Brisbane Central. All taxis are metered, and it is possible to share a cab (either officially, where each group pays 75% of the fare), or by informal agreement with the passengers before boarding (with multiple drop-off points, and a fare paid at the final destination). From Brisbane Central or Roma Street station a traveller can get to just about anywhere else in Brisbane.

The airport hosts all major car rental companies.

From the Gold Coast

Surfside buses regularly ply the route from Tweed Heads all the way along the Gold Coast, with connections to the train to Brisbane at Robina. You can buy a single ticket to cover the trip, costing around $17.

The Gold Coast Airport a.k.a. Coolangatta Airport is a low-cost carrier hub, serviced by AirAsia X, Jetstar, Pacific Blue and others. It is NOT a 24hr airport and closes at night, so don't plan on spending the night before an early morning flight. It is around 30 minutes drive to Surfers Paradise. There is a shuttle bus connecting the airport to the main Surfside buses route on the Gold Coast Highway between Tweed Heads and Surfers Paradise.

By train
NSW Trainlink operates two daily rail services from Sydney, with connections from Melbourne and Canberra.
Queensland Rail has services from most centres in Queensland
By car

Visitors from southern states can reach Brisbane by either the New England and Cunningham or Pacific Highways.

The A1 Bruce Highway connects the northern coast of Queensland to Brisbane.

The M1 Pacific Motorway connects Brisbane to the Gold Coast continues south along the New South Wales coast.

The M2 Ipswich Motorway connects to Ipswich and surrounding Western Brisbane areas.

The A2 Warrego Highway links Brisbane to the west through the Lockyer Valley, Toowoomba and the Darling Downs.

The 15 (A15) Cunningham Highway links Brisbane to Southern Queensland and Central western New South Wales.

By bus

Premier Motor Service links some centres on the east coast of NSW and Queensland to Brisbane, as well as connections to Melbourne.

Greyhound Australia link to most other locations to Brisbane.

By ship

Brisbane has recently become the home to an international cruise terminal titled Portside Wharf

source: Wikivoyage

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