With an area of 1,727,000 square kilometres, Queensland is the second largest state in Australia and home to more than 4.6 million people. More than half of its residents live outside the greater metropolitan area of Brisbane—a large proportion compared with the rest of highly urbanised Australia.
Queensland is famous for its natural beauty and sunny climate. The relaxed lifestyle, opportunities for outdoor adventure, urban living combined with world-class education makes Queensland a very popular destination. Queensland has five of Australia’s eleven World Natural Heritage areas, including the Great Barrier Reef – the world’s largest coral reef – in northern Queensland.
With a population of 2 million people, Brisbane is a vibrant, multicultural city, making it the perfect place to live and learn. Brisbane is renowned for its relaxed, outdoor lifestyle and offers a wide range of activities including sports, arts and entertainment, shopping, dining and great nightlife. From Brisbane you can explore stunning national parks and the world-famous beaches of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
Brisbane is widely considered to be one of Australia’s most liveable cities. With a multicultural population, Brisbane has all the advantages of a large modern city – cafes, restaurants, galleries, museums, sporting events, and shopping districts – yet retains the friendliness and charm of a small regional town. The subtropical climate, lush landscape, and unique Queensland architecture all contribute to this safe and welcoming environment.
An hour’s drive south of the city are the golden beaches and theme parks of the Gold Coast. North of Brisbane are the Sunshine Coast beaches, national parks, rainforests and attractions like Australia Zoo. Just off the coast are the pristine Stradbroke and Moreton Islands, both popular day-trip and holiday destinations for locals and visitors alike.
With a population of over 500,000, the Gold Coast stretches along 57 kilometres of coastline and is one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. Covering an area of 1,400 square kilometres, the City’s boundaries extend from just south of Beenleigh to Coolangatta, taking in South Stradbroke Island and part of Moreton Bay and extending west to the hinterland of Mount Tamborine and the Lamington and Darlington Ranges.
Townsville is a regional city in far northern Queensland, approximately 1,300 kilometres from Brisbane with a population of around 200,000. Together with Cairns, which is 350 kilometres further north, Townsville is the gateway to popular tourist destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef.
Rockhampton lies 636 kilometres north west of Brisbane on the Fitzroy River. It is the administrative hub for central Queensland, the major industries around which are livestock grazing, coal mining and tourism. With a population of over 61,000 it is a small but dynamic regional city.
Maroochydore is the major commercial area of the Sunshine Coast, just over 100 kilometres north of Brisbane. It is a popular tourist destination for the many Sunshine Coast attractions including the coastal beaches, rivers, hinterland and national parks. It is a vibrant small centre of around 50,000 people.
Toowoomba is a picturesque mountain city located in south east Queensland, 127 kilometres west of Brisbane. With a population of over 90,000 people, Toowoomba is Australia’s largest inland regional city and is the commercial and economic hub of the Darling Downs, serving a population of over 250,000 people.
Major industries include manufacturing, wholesale, and agriculture and with more than 23 private schools, a technical college, and university, Toowoomba can be considered a major educational centre.
Brisbane has a subtropical climate with warm or hot weather for most of the year. It boasts around 2,800 hours of sunshine annually. Summer (December through February) can be very humid as most of Brisbane’s rainfall occurs at this time of year. Winter (June through August) is dry and sunny, with an average temperature of 21 degrees Celsius during the day.
Getting around the city is easy as Brisbane has one of the most comprehensive public transport systems in Australia. The services provided by Translink run on convenient and regular schedules. You can catch a bus across town, ride the ferry across the river or jump on a train up the coast all for an affordable student concession rate.
Cost of Living:
Brisbane is an affordable city but you will still need to plan and budget carefully to make sure you have enough money for your living expenses. You will typically need approximately AU$18,000 a year to pay for accommodation, food, study materials, transport, entertainment and personal expenses.
The cost of living in Brisbane will vary according to your lifestyle and requirements. Your budget should be flexible enough to allow for unexpected costs such as emergencies and health expenses. Keep in mind also that the cost of living in regional centres is generally less than in capital cities. Detailed information on living costs is available at http://www.uq.edu.au/international/living-costs