Life in Brisbane: the pros and cons

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Brisbane is a really beautiful city, a place where you can live a nice, simple life. I have lived in Brisbane five months now, and struggled to think of any legitimate cons to the lifestyle here. Anyway, below are what I believe to be the many pros and several cons to living in Brisbane:

Pros:

  • The weather (excluding the dreaded heat in summer). The weather in Brisbane is amazing. You get non-stop sunny weather which will probably prompt you into wanting to go outside rather than staying in all day. Personally, I’ve found that the weather here really affects my mood in a positive way. It’s lovely to wake up every morning to clear blue skies. Another bonus, is that you get seasons, meaning you won’t get habituated to the same season and weather each month. In winter it can get a bit chilly and in summer you get thunderstorms. Most days are clear and sunny. But you also get a bit of variety which is nice.
  • The architecture. Tax here is high, but you can see where the money goes. There is so much beautiful and interesting architecture in Brisbane. I live in South Bank where there is a man made beach, a ferris wheel, flower tunnels, statues etc. The architecture in Brisbane really adds to the overall look and feel of the place.
  • There is enough to do. What I mean by this, is that Brisbane isn’t an overwhelming place like Hong Kong, but it also isn’t as dull as life in say, Auckland. You get a really good balance here. There is always something to do and see – there are various parks, a man made beach, the markets, boat rides, cafes and restaurants, shopping malls etc. You can also explore places a bit further out, e.g. the Gold Coast or Stradbroke island (which is breathtaking).
  • The wildlife and nature. There is a lot of greenery in Brisbane – the flowers, the tree’s the parks and grasslands. The wildlife is also really interesting; at night bats and possums come out. And during the day you get to see a whole range of different bird species, as well as lizards. If you travel out of Brisbane, for instance to Stradbroke Island, there you will be able to see kangaroo’s, stingray, dolphin and turtles.
  • The people are very friendly. In South Bank, I often feel as though I’m experiencing a scene from the Truman show. There are people riding bikes, everyone is walking around happy and smiling, children are running around playing. There is definitely a happy, friendly and positive vibe to Brisbane.

Cons:

  • The dogs. For me this is the biggest con to living in Brisbane because I am terrified of big dogs. However, this point comes down to personal preference, if you are a dog-lover then this is probably more of a pro. There are a lot of dog owners in Brisbane, particularly owners of dogs that resemble pit bulls. So it can sometimes be a bit of a daunting place if you are afraid of dogs and have to encounter them on a daily basis.
  • The public transport. I would say the train system here is reliable, however, it is very slow. You can’t really compare it to the MTR in Hong Kong. And I would not even bother with the bus system. 75% of the time the busses are significantly late, and 25% of the time they merely just don’t show up. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been on the phone trying to find out if my bus is actually coming or not. On the plus side though, there is the City Hopper, a little red boat that is not only a good way to see Brisbane, but its free too.
  • The swooping birds. There is a “swooping birds” season here in Brisbane, where birds become quite aggressive in order to protect their offspring. Be prepared to duck and run during this season. The first time it happened to me, a bird ran straight up to me (which at first I found quite funny), but then it started swooping at my head. A rather traumatic experience.
  • Sometimes Brisbane can be a little bogan. Probably don’t need to expand on this point as it’s rather self-explanatory.

Overall, Brisbane is great. It’s a place I would be glad to call home, and I am quite sad to be leaving. The pros to life here, far outweigh the cons. If you’re thinking of moving to Brisbane, I would say, go for it!

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