Brisbane is better than Sydney

OoooOOooooOo controversial! He he – it’s actually more or less my clickbait attempt.

One would think that since I am a born and bred Brissie girl I would be writing this with bias. However, you should note that I left Brisbane in 2007 because I became bored of the city and wanted to seek new adventures. 

It has only been on my last few visits to Brisbane where I have realized how quickly the city has grown, and see it for the amazing place it truly is.

On our recent trip to Brisbane, I took Gambit out and about to see different parts of Brisbane, Queensland (city, State). On our past trips, due to the lack of time, I mostly took Gambit to only shopping centers (Tourism Queensland realized this and asked me to include non-shopping related places this time). 

What’s so great about Brisbane? 

Why should you choose to go there?

Beaches, beaches, beaches

Want stunning, tranquil and relaxing beaches? Drive 1.5 hours north of Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast.

Want beaches which are more busy, showy, yet beautiful? Drive 1 hour south of Brisbane to the Gold Coast.

Want a small, clean beach with views of the city? Head to Streets Beach in South Brisbane, just moments from the CBD.

This excludes tens of other areas I could list that are 1-2 hours from Brisbane.

Coffee, coffee, coffee

Hold up Sydney & Melbourne – y’all got a fierce city competitor. The coffee scene is truly alive and well in Brisbane. We stopped off at five coffee places and they were as good, or better than Sydney and Melbourne’s finest.

Easy driving

I hated driving in Sydney. I could do it but people were primarily a-holes on the road and “horn sl#ts”. 

If I needed to change lanes because I didn’t realize I needed to turn, the odds of someone letting me into the lane had been quite low.

Brisbane? Totally different story. 

On our recent trip, there were times I wasn’t ready to be let in onto a road from the motel. I just sat waiting at the exit waiting for Gambit to give me directions using google maps. However, each time I sat at the exit, oncoming cars stopped to let me in! Even when there weren’t any cars behind them (so I could’ve easily gone after them), they stopped! 

Also, one night while I was driving from the north to the south, I did a major d*ck move of skipping about 10-15 minutes of lining up for a left turn (not on purpose, I didn’t know there was only one lane), and someone let me in, AND did not blast their horn at me!

Now, if I *must* say anything bad about Brisbane driving, it would be that mobile towers are not great and it caused Google maps not to know where our car was a lot of the time.

Also, loads of bridges and tunnels have been built in Brisbane over the last decade and some incur a toll fee. But if you want to avoid the tolls, all you have to do is indicate to change lanes and someone will surely let you, to help get you off the wrong course.

Houses and apartments which you can afford without being a billionaire

Brisbane’s housing market has increased, like other major cities in Australia. However, without having to be a billionaire, you can afford a nice, modern apartment in the city, or a 2+ bedroom house less than 15-20kms from the CBD.

Whether it’s somewhere to buy and live in or to consider as an investment property, Brisbane is definitely somewhere to look at if you think Sydney prices are insane.

Lastly, but most importantly – the people

Sure, Brisbane has the likes of toxic pieces of s*it like Pauline Hanson who crawled out of some sort of pit in Ipswich, Queensland. It also is home of some of the most racist people I know. It also homes a lot of ‘bogans’.

Yet, they are more or less minorities. The true Brisbanites are down to earth, laid-back, and super-duper friendly.

It is a city where if you needed help with anything, like being a visitor and needing directions, changing a note to coins, or carrying your luggage up/down some stairs – a Brisbane person would go above and beyond.

A Brisbane person would walk you in the right direction of where you wanted to go, if not, to the actual place you wanted to go to, and then recommend their top 5 places to eat/drink that were close by. And if you were a visitor that didn’t speak English as a first language, they would ask you to type your question into their phone, translate it in Google, and help. Or even try to call someone that spoke your language to help understand you better. 

They would change your note with the coins they had on hand, even if it meant they’d then need to go find change later, and if they didn’t have any, would help you find a place or another person that could – not leaving your side until the duty was done.

And they would not only help you with your luggage but insist on helping you lift it into a car, onto a bus, perhaps even offer to unpack it for you.

Perhaps the State slogan should change from the Sunshine State to the Above and Beyond State… I’ll write to Parliment and get that sorted. 

Gambit is not a fan of how super friendly the people are in Brisbane. He has an issue with going to the supermarket and having the check-out person wanting to ‘have-a-chat’. Yes, I married a monster. Perhaps my time is not as valuable, but I love the ‘have-a-chat’, from everyone and anyone – the check-out person, the girl in H&M, the barista, the receptionist at the hotel…


I said that I’d never live in Sydney after each time I visited when I was younger because I noticed immediately how high strung and pretentious the people were. It just seemed that they had ‘no time’ for you as they thought they were so busy and important. My thoughts: “Geeze. Relax. You’re still in Australia.”

When I did move there, the transition was not too bad because I was moving from London (where I met a load of awful – and some lovely – people). Plus, I managed to find *some* Sydney people that were not the horrible type and befriended them. Most of these Sydney-siders were well traveled, so knew their place in the world. 

Note: In all the larger cities I have lived in – London, Sydney, New York – I have had people turn their backs on me when I tried to start a casual conversation with them in public, whether it be about the weather, or how late the train/bus was that we were waiting for. (FYI, I was not wearing a costume, pushing a trolley overloaded with plastic bags and water bottles, nor did I look too deranged. Admittedly, my sense of fashion hasn’t always the best but I don’t think I looked like a scary person.) No one ever turned their back on me in Brisbane. Instead, by the time we’d finish talking, I’d be invited to their place for lunch on the weekend. 

Summary:

So, if you haven’t been to Brisbane, or haven’t been for a while – book your ticket now so you can sample the abundance of beaches, coffee, roads, and people. Tell them I said “hi” – because everyone in a small town knows each other 😀. 

I really can’t say Brisbane is better than Sydney because both cities are awesome in their own way. 

Plus, they are only a 1-1.5 hr flight away from each other so you could theoretically sample both cities in one day, especially during daylight savings since Brisbane won’t partake in daylight savings, it means you could fly out of Sydney and it’ll be the same time you left when you land in Brisbane. 

Fake fact: My other dad once told me it was because the Queensland farmers said daylight savings would confuse their cows so they voted no. 

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