Brisbane has one of the best public transport networks in Australia. Information on bus, train and ferry routes and connections can be obtained from the Trans-Info Service (13 12 30; www.transinfo.qld.gov.au; 6am-9pm Mon-Thu, 24hr 6am Fri to 9pm Sun).
Bus and ferry information is available at the Brisbane Visitor Information Centre, the information centre at the Queen St Mall bus station (8.30am-5.30pm Mon-Thu, 8.30am-8pm Fri, 9am-4pm Sat, 10am-4pm Sun) and the Queensland Rail Travel Centres.
Fares on buses, trains and ferries operate on a zone system. There are 23 zones in total, but the city centre and most of the inner-city suburbs fall within Zone 1, which translates into a single fare of $2.20/1.10 per adult/child.
If you’re going to be using public transport more than once on any single day, it’s worth getting a daily ticket (per adult/child zone 1 $4.40/2.20, zone 2 $5.20/2.60, zone 3 $6/3), which allows you unlimited transport on all buses, trains and ferries.
You can also purchase off-peak daily tickets (per adult/child zone 1 $3.30/1.70, zone 2 $3.90/2, zone 3 $4.50/2.30), which allow unlimited transport but only between 9am and 3.30pm and after 7pm from Monday to Friday, and all weekend.
A Ten Trip Saver (per adult/child zone 1 $17.60/8.80, zone 2 $20.80/10.40, zone 3 $24/12) gives you 10 trips for the price of eight and is also valid on all buses, trains and ferries.
Brisbane’s nippy blue CityCat catamarans run every 20 to 30 minutes, between 5.50am and 10.30pm, from the University of Queensland in the southwest to Bretts Wharf in the northeast, and back. Stops along the way include North Quay (for the Queen St Mall), South Bank, Riverside (for the CBD) and New Farm Park. The CityCats are wheelchair accessible at the University of Queensland, Guyatt Park, North Quay, South Bank 1 and 2, and Hawthorne.
Also useful are the Inner City Ferries, which zigzag back and forth across the river between North Quay, near the Victoria Bridge, and Mowbray Park. Services start at 6am and run till about 11pm. There are also several cross-river ferries; most useful is the Eagle St Pier to Thornton St (Kangaroo Point) service.
Like all public transport, fares are based on zones. Most stops you’ll need will be city-based and will therefore cost $2.20/1.10 per adult/child for one trip.
The Loop, a free bus service that circles the city area – stopping at QUT, Queen St Mall, City Botanic Gardens, Central Station and Riverside – runs every 10 minutes on weekdays between 7am and 6pm.
The main stop for local buses is in the underground Queen St Mall bus station, where there’s an information centre. You can also pick up many buses from the colour-coded stops along Adelaide St, between George and Edward Sts.
Buses run every 10 to 20 minutes Monday to Friday, from 5am till about 6pm, and with the same frequency on Saturday morning (starting at 6am). Services are less frequent at other times, and cease at 9pm Sunday and midnight on other days.
There is free two-hour parking on many streets in the CBD and in the inner suburbs, but the major thoroughfares become clearways (ie parking is prohibited) during the morning and afternoon peak hours. If you do park in the street, pay close attention to the times on the parking signs, as Brisbane’s parking inspectors take no prisoners. Parking is cheaper around the South Bank than the city centre but is free in the CBD during the evening.
The fast Citytrain network has seven lines, which run as far as Gympie North in the north (for the Sunshine Coast) and Robina in the south (for the Gold Coast). All trains go through Roma St, Central and Brunswick St Stations.
It’s easy to find a cab in Brisbane, particularly around the city centre, and there are taxi ranks at the transit centre and at the top end of Edward St, by the junction with Adelaide St.
The two major taxi companies here are Black & White (13 10 08) and Yellow Cab Co (13 19 24).