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Please tell me EVERYTHING about Brisbane

(18 Posts)
katedan Wed 20-May-09 14:18:17

Dh has been offered a two year post in Brisbane we are really tempted but are worried about education for DS and me being lonely and isolated while DH is at work. Our children are aged 6 and 2 yr old twins and would really like info on good subarbs to live where there is lots for young kids, good schools, good toddler groups and pre schools and where I can go to meet other mums and make friends quickly. DH's office is central Brisbane city so he would not want to commute too far but our main priority is to live somewhere that me and the kids will be happy.

Advice please


LouLovesAeroplaneJelly Wed 20-May-09 19:11:12

Brisbane is basically divided into North and South. The river divides the two. Lots of fake rivalry about where you live. I am a southsider so more biased.

If you need childcare sign up NOW. There is a huge shortage of places but I like family day care anyway (like a childminder in a home)

The closer you are to the centre of town the more expensive the property. If her is working in town then you can live anywhere really. Most people commute. An hour trip on a train is normal. Public transport is not fab but it works (usually). I like areas like Red Hill, Yeronga, Oxley, Morningside and suburbs nearby. Go to to look at property. When you have an area in mind that school etc are easy.

Yes it is called a big country town. Very much six degrees of seperation but I love the place.

Lots of open places, shops etc. More malls then high streets. Also look at and for more info

Umm I will write more later but its time for dinner grin

katedan Thu 21-May-09 13:10:31

Thanks Lou,

I will not require childcare as i won't be working but would like the girls to attend playschool, pre school etc. How old are kids when they do this? Is there a big waiting list for this kind of care.

Also how often do you see spiders, snakes etc? and how hot does it get at it's worst?

I have so many questions but thank you for your help, RedHill has come up alot on my research.

snickersnack Thu 21-May-09 13:16:06

Lucky you! My father's family are from there and I've always thought it would be a lovely place to live. I don't know it well, but the quality of life is fantastic, particularly if you like the outdoors.

LouLovesAeroplaneJelly Thu 21-May-09 15:27:34

Red Hill is lovely. Lots of queenslanders (typical housing style), very laid back area and now excuse my inner snob, but it's a 'nice' area.
Snakes you will not see that often. My parents live out in the middle of woop woop and I see them every once in a while. Remember that they are more scared of you then you are of them.
Spiders you will see all the time. Most are harmless. Daddylong legs (differnt to the ones here) are in the corners but are small. Huntsmen are big and hairy and I like to catch and release if I can but if you are scared then use the 'spray it with flyspray until its white and foamy and dead method'. Redbacks you may find under things in the garage etc. yes they are posionous but no one has died for years and years. Just kill it and you will be fine.
It does get hot but only recently have people started getting airconditioning. You get used to using fans and remember the houses are built for the heat. It can hit the mid to high 30's in the summer and occasionally 40' as well. You will be spending a lot of time at the shops in summer as the aircon is great there grin
If one of the parents is SAHM/D then most kids might go to a day care centre just for some socialisation. Check out the playgroup website for a playgroup (informal setting).
There are a lot of schools near you. Private and public. You can go to any school you want really. If it is oversunscribed then they get more teachers. Very unlike the UK system.
The only problems with Red Hill is that it is close to Suncorp stadium where the broncos play (rugby league) and is near Coronation Drive which is an awful road. traffic is bad but not as bad as here I find.
There are great pubs around too. The normanby does fab steak.

sunshinefairy Sun 31-May-09 02:25:24

Hi if you need to hear an English accent you need to move to NorthLakes a very long commute to the City. or the Bayside;Wynnum, Manly or Cleveland all with train lines or closer to the city Hawthorne, Bulimba with a choise of bus or citycat. Bulimba has a nice villagey feel. Really good schools.

Gmarksthespot Sun 31-May-09 03:50:30

There is also a large English community in the Narangba area (Northside). Lovely schools with one including a fantastic playgroup as part of the school. There is a train station with a 45 min commute to the city. Trains run every 15 mins in the morning then 1/2 hourly the rest of the day. NO parking fees at train stations here in Brisbane!!!! Narangba is 15 mins from Northlakes where someone posted above that there is a large English expat community - 40 mins drive to Sunshine Coast - 1 1/4 hour drive to Gold Coast.

Having said all that - if you lived closer to the city you would probably access the city and southbank parklands more often than if further out. Guess it all depends on what your lifestyle is.

If your husband needs to commute by train (far better than buses) you need to look for suburbs with a train line and look at the timetables. Morningside is 5-10 mins from city but you can't get a train from the city after 11pm. City stops are Central, Roma Street, or Fortitude Valley. Website is here

phdlife Sun 31-May-09 12:00:37

brisvegas ROCKS

too sleep-deprived to offer sensible advice, sorry! grin

LouLovesAeroplaneJelly Tue 02-Jun-09 09:48:25

Public transport is pathetic. You cannot get home after midnight unless it is by taxi. There used to be some special night buses but they only went to the major suburbs and am not sure if they are even still running. You must live near a train station or bus stop as public trasport does not go everywhere like it does in the UK.

katedan Tue 02-Jun-09 13:39:27

Thank you for your wonderful advice about good suburbs. I had no idea how many areas there are surrounding Brisbane untill we started to look. We have been advised that pre prep places are very hard to get into (names down since birth etc) our twins will be nearly 3 when we go and i would want them to attend a pre prep/nursery place. Obviously we can't put their names down untill we get out there. We realise it is a wonderful opputunity but there seems to be alot of hiccups in terms of getting the kids settled.

Hope to chat to you all soon and please continue to post any advice on anyhting which you think will help us.


eidsvold Mon 08-Jun-09 02:47:45

actually if they want to attend a pre prep place it will depend on their birthday. You can access pre prep programs through childcare centres as well as C and K centres. If you google C and K ( creche and kindergarten assocation) it will tell you all about the enrolment procedures.

I live not far from North Lakes - yes lots of expats BUT crap public transport and tbh I find it very claustrophobic as an estate. It does have a large shopping centre and it is close to the Redcliffe peninsula.

We live about a 10 minute walk to the train for dh in the morning and he is able to get express trains during 'rush' hours - he commutes into just outside the city - Herston. We also are a major stop and so have more trains stopping at our station.

The dds (2 and 3) and I attend playgroup once a week - they are everywhere - playgroups which would be a fab way of meeting other mums. I used that when I came back from England to find new friends as most of my friends were still single or working and I was pregnant with dd2 and had dd1. You can look at the playgroup website.

The 6 yo would attend school - you can google education queensland with regards to schools and enrolments. The junior school my dd attends is absolutely fab - I can't say enough about it.

I am a Brisbane girl and returned to live in Brissy after 4 years in the UK. Although we don't live close to the city - we access the museum, south bank and the gardens often. There is so much to do in our own area also. We live very close to fabulous parks and bushwalking areas.

phdlife Mon 08-Jun-09 05:34:19

I'm also a Brissie girl (kinda), just moved back after 9 years in UK.

I'm in the process of finding playgroups - there are two regulars close by plus, apparently, a random one. We drive a lot but that is because we only go to my sister's and to a nearby shopping centre (too near to bus, iygwim). Dh buses into town for work though.

A thing I think worth mentioning is that Brisbanites are very open, approachable and friendly, at least compared to where I was in Wales. People will talk to you in the park, shops, anywhere, and you can just walk up to strangers and ask them stuff, usually they don't mind and the problem will be getting them to shut up after you've got the info (or realised they can't help).

And the other thing is, because of the weather there is a LOT to do outdoors (and free!) - places like Southbank, lots of outdoor play areas, parks, Mt Coot-tha, various Forest Parks, Nudgee beach, Redcliffe/Shorncliffe, North Pine dam if you're headed further north, etc. etc. And you will invariably find someone to chat to. We are finding that aspect of living here quite marvellous.

<<waves at Eidsvold>>

eidsvold Mon 08-Jun-09 22:58:17

hi phdlife - we actually live about 5 minutes drive from North Pine dam - we are there at least every second week for the girls to play in either of the fab parks there. Often have BBQ's or picnics.

chloeb2002 Tue 09-Jun-09 02:11:54

We moved to brisbane 18 months ago and lived initaly not far from eids and now still not far away but just off bribie island. We LOVE it. dd is six and settled into school after a bit of stress last year. The schools here are different to the uk and have very different expectations of students. with school not starting for a year later than the uk and a sort of non compulsary year when they are 5.. bit odd.. but so far dd's new school is very good and very student specific and i really am in no urgent need to go back to the uk. North lakes isnt my idea of a nice place to live but we like australia for all the space it has to offer. We live on 6 1/2 acres 10 mins to golden beaches of bribie. about perfect. North lakes is very little britain and i belive from friends i have working at a new jhealth complex there many social problems deveoping from a high uk population. gang violence and a bullying netowrk being rife as well as drug and alcohol abuse en mass. of course not rose coloured glasses these problems are apparent all over aus just heard from those dealing within the are it is very bad at north lakes. Bribie has a high uk population every other person is british at dd's school but without sounding snobish most of them are professionls ( doctors, nurses, teachers it bods etc) and even at her state school every other car is now a merc or BMW. with the very nice pacific harbour devepment changing the face of bribie. it doesnt appear to ahve the same hang ups of the very trueman show north lakes.. althoug it is a nice mall there!
We love the weather, but it does get humid in the summer and hot. it is hard to explain to someone really as how you will feel is very individual. our au pair is from the uk and arrived in april and is finding the nights cold and the day plesant ( in winter nearly!) but is chuckling allready at the saying how hot is is when it is 20 degrees. normally about 23 during the day now but up to 40 on stinkers in the sumer...but really its the humidity that is a killer here.
well we love it and would say come and give it a go. great place for kids, outdoor lifestyle, friendly people, playgroup for litlies if you enjoy it.. not totaly my cup of tea.. but lots of people like it. no shortage of stuff to do and lots of it is free...

phdlife Tue 09-Jun-09 12:46:06

hey eidsvold - we were up there last weekend, went to the Petrie markets, then up to Dayboro (cross to discover it was their Fair and we'd missed it), then back through Samford. Golly it's all changed so much! But we are in darkest suburbia Chermside now.

Say, are there ever any MN meetups in Brisvegas?

chloeb2002 Tue 09-Jun-09 22:33:56

id be up for a brisbane mn meet up... if it can be on a random day im not working... --pulling a sickie-- maybe?

vaseofwildflowers Tue 09-Jun-09 22:58:27

Brisbane takes some getting used to as it is so built up, it's a bit of a shock if you're from a rural or pretty part of the UK.

The skin cancer rate is through the roof so be very careful if you are fair skinned, lots of Oz women have leather looking arms and faces which is also pretty shocking (may think they are wearing a leather jacket when they are not).

Racist and sexist comments can seem pretty dated but are a fact of life here, more so amongst the males, who are fiercely nationalistic and rivalry between different cities is rather childish.

If you are from an awful, deprived part of the uk then Brisbane may seem paradise, but if you're well educated and from a nice area you may be disappointed.

If you like the experience of saunas you'll be ok with the humidity.

eidsvold Sat 13-Jun-09 05:16:08

phd if you went to Petrie Markets and then on to dayboro and so on you would have driven right past our street and dd1's school.

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