Insider Tips for New Families Moving to Brisbane
Here’s the good news — Brisbane is an absolutely awesome place to live and an even more awesome place to raise kids! We have wonderful weather, a great outdoor lifestyle, beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife, loads of cool things happening and brilliant facilities and services for residents. But because we know that relocating to a new city or even a new country can be extremely difficult and stressful, we’ve put together some great tips to help make the moving to Brisbane transition smoother, and help you and your kids to settle in, find friends and discover everything that this amazing city has to offer!
Know what to expect when moving to Brisbane
Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia, with a population of over two million people. The beautiful Brisbane River snakes its way around the city, and leads out to Moreton Bay. While the coast in Brisbane is more wetland than beaches, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are within easy reach for a fun day trip, and the man-made beach and lagoon at South Bank Parklands bring the beach to the city for all to enjoy. Brisbane has all of the services and facilities you would expect of a modern, cosmopolitan city, as well as a diverse range of leisure and cultural services, world-class attractions and amazing year-round weather. You can find more information about Brisbane here.
Find an awesome place to live
Choosing where to live in Brisbane will of course be a very important decision. While in and around the city centre may be convenient for work, it is also more expensive, and heading out to the suburbs can get you more for your money and more family-friendly areas. For an overview of some of the main Brisbane suburbs, including their location, a brief description, distance to the city and median house prices, you can follow this link. If you are yet to find an apartment or house in Brisbane, the main search engines for rental and sales properties used by locals are realestate.com.au and Domain. For share houses and other options, you can also check out the local ads on Gumtree.
Get health care
There are excellent health care services in Brisbane. The health care scheme Medicare provides free and subsidised health care for those with a Medicare Card, which is available to Australian citizens, permanent residents and visitors from certain countries.
Important telephone numbers
> Emergency services: 000 > Non-urgent health advice: 13 43 25 84 (13 HEALTH) > Poisons advice line: 13 11 26 > Family Care (after-hours in-home doctor service): 13 74 25 (13 SICK)
In Brisbane, you are not limited in terms of which GP (general practitioner/family doctor) you wish to visit or register with, so you are free to look around for a doctor that you trust. Of course, for convenience, your local medical centre would be the best place to start. There are also after-hours doctor services and late night chemists available all around the city.
There are many excellent private and public hospitals in Brisbane. For hospitals and other medical facilities near you, you can click on your area on the left of this page (usually Metro North or Metro South). If you are new to the area, it is definitely worth finding out where your local Emergency Department is, just in case.
Brisbane has an excellent public transport system and with the new integrated go card ticketing system it is even easier. There are trains (including the Airtrain servicing the airport), buses, taxis and the Citycat ferry service, which is one of the most enjoyable and scenic ways to explore the city! (Check out our post on Fun on the Brisbane River!) You can visit Translink to plan your journey on any of these modes of transport.
Find services for babies
If you are moving to Brisbane with a new baby, there are many free services offered by the Community Child Health Service. They provide child health clinics all over Brisbane, which offer services such as baby check-ups, drop-in baby weighing, parenting courses, new parents’ groups, baby feeding help, childhood immunisation clinics and specialist services. For more information or to find your local clinic, call 1300 366 039.
Explore your childcare options
Do you need to find childcare for your kids in Brisbane? If so, you can visit careforkids.com.au to search for child care centres, family day care providers, before/after school care and more in your area and see information such as their locations, contact details, fees and availability.
Search for kindergartens and schools
Kindergarten (‘kindy’) is a non-compulsory early childhood education programme for kids in the year before they start school. You can visit this site to learn more about the kindergarten programme in Queensland, and to find you nearest kindergarten provider. Prep is the first year of a child’s official schooling in Queensland and children must be aged 5 by 30 June in the year they enrol. Visit the Education Queensland website to find your nearest state, independent and church schools.
Find a local parents’ group
The Community Child Health Service organises parents’ groups for parents of newborn babies (0-12 weeks). These groups are a great way of meeting other parents of babies of the same age, which can be a great ongoing source of support and friendship if you decide to keep in touch after the initial organised sessions. To find your nearest one and book your place, you can call the on 1300 366 039.
Join a playgroup
A great way to make connections with others in your local community is by joining a playgroup. If you have kids aged 0-5 years, it can be a great way for them to make loads of new friends and enjoy the stimulation of learning through play. To search for a local playgroup, you can visit playgroupqueensland.com.au, and for more details about playgroups seeking new members, click here.
Find other groups, classes and activities
There is a free Kids Club at South Bank that runs cool activities during the week and is a great place to meet new people and have fun with your kids. There are also lots of classes and activities for kids run through organisations such as the YMCA and PCYC, and so many more listed and reviewed on the Brisbane Kids website! Brisbane City Council, Logan City Council and Moreton Bay Regional Council all run regular events for families too, so keep an eye out for free local activities hosted by your council.
Head to your local library
Kids love heading to the library to choose new books, DVDs and CDs to borrow. Many Brisbane libraries also have awesome kids’ areas, and offer free events such as ‘Toddler time’, ‘Babies, books and rhymes’ and ‘Children’s storytime’. Click here for more information, or visit your local council website to search for what’s on at your local library.
Make the most of Brisbane Kids!!
Yes, we’re biased, but Brisbane Kids truly is the most awesome official guide to child-friendly Brisbane!! Search our events calendar to find out what’s on, and explore our site for brilliant ideas of things to do, information about classes, services, special needs and much much more! You can also follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with what’s happening around Brisbane and be a part of this amazing online community.
We love Brisbane and we hope you will too!
Brisbane Kids has created an exhaustive list of Helpful Phone Numbers for families in Brisbane to print and pop on your fridge to cover every imaginable situation. We have also put together a guide to Crisis Help for Brisbane Families in Need. This guide includes information and contact details for the services available to families in a crisis and is a wonderful source to refer to when in need of some extra support.
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