About 30 international airlines serve Brisbane from Europe, North America, Asia, and New Zealand. From North America, you can fly direct from Los Angeles to Brisbane on Qantas, but from other places you will likely fly to Sydney first, and then take a connecting flight to Brisbane, or come via Auckland, New Zealand.
Qantas (tel. 13 13 13 in Australia; www.qantas.com.au) and its subsidiary QantasLink (book through Qantas) operate daily flights from all state capitals, Cairns, Townsville, and several other towns. Jetstar (tel. 13 15 38 in Australia; www.jetstar.com.au) has daily service from the Queensland centers of Cairns, Townsville, Proserpine, and Hamilton Island, as well as Sydney, Melbourne, and other Australian cities. Virgin Australia (tel. 13 67 89 in Australia; www.virginaustralia.com.au) offers direct services from all capital cities as well as Cairns, Townsville, Hamilton Island, and Proserpine in the Whitsundays, and other centers. Tigerair (tel. 03/9335 3033; www.tigerairways.com.au) flies from Sydney and Melbourne, too.
Brisbane International Airport (www.bne.com.au) is 16 km (10 miles) from the city, and the domestic terminal is 2 km (1[bf]1/4 miles) farther away. An inter-terminal bus costs A$5, or you can catch the train for the same price. If you are traveling on Virgin Australia, the train is free upon showing your boarding pass. The arrivals floor of the international terminal, on Level 2, has a check-in counter for passengers transferring to domestic flights and an information desk to meet all flights, help with flight inquiries, dispense tourist information, and make hotel bookings. Travelex currency-exchange bureaus are on the departures and arrivals floors. Avis (tel. 07/3633 8666), Budget (tel. 1300/362 848 in Australia), Europcar (tel. 13 13 90 in Australia), Hertz (tel. 07/3860 4996) Thrifty (tel. 3000 8200), and local company Red Spot Rentals (tel. 07/3860 5766) have desks on Level 2. On levels 2, 3, and 4 you will find ATMs, free showers, and baby-changing rooms. The domestic terminal has a Travelex currency-exchange bureau, ATMs, showers, and the big four car-rental desks. For security reasons, luggage lockers are not available at either terminal.
Con-x-ion (tel. 07/5556 9888; www.con-x-ion.com) runs a shuttle between the airport and city hotels and the Brisbane Transit Centre every 30 minutes from 5am to 11pm. The one-way cost is A$15 per person (or A$25 for two; cheaper the more in your group). The trip takes about 40 minutes. No public buses serve the airport. A taxi to the city costs around A$35, plus a A$3.30 airport fee for departing taxis.
Airtrain (tel. 1800/119 091 in Australia or 07/3216 3308; www.airtrain.com.au), a rail link between the city and Brisbane’s domestic and international airport terminals, runs every 15 minutes from around 5:45am to 10pm daily. Fares from the airport to city stations are A$16 per adult one-way, A$30 round-trip; kids aged 14 and under travel free. The trip takes about 20 minutes. A taxi between terminals costs about A$12.
Queensland Rail (tel. 1800/872 467 in Australia; www.queenslandrail.com.au) operates several long-distance trains to Brisbane from Cairns. The high-speed Tilt Train takes about 24 hours and costs A$369 for business class. The slower Sunlander takes 32 hours and costs A$161 for a sitting berth, from A$268 for a sleeper, or A$899 for the all-inclusive Queenslander class. NSW TrainLink (tel. 13 22 32 in Australia; www.nswtrainlink.info) runs two daily train services to Brisbane from Sydney. The 7:15am departure arrives in the town of Casino, south of the border, at about 7pm, where passengers transfer to a bus for the rest of the trip to Brisbane, arriving at about 10:30pm. The overnight train leaves Sydney at 4:10pm and arrives in Brisbane at 6:30am the next day. Fares vary slightly but cost around A$91 for an adult economy seat or A$122 for a first-class seat. A sleeper costs A$216.
All intercity and interstate trains pull into the city center’s Brisbane Transit Centre at Roma Street, often called the Roma Street Transit Centre. From here, most city and Spring Hill hotels are a few blocks’walk or a quick cab ride away. The station has food outlets, showers, tourist information, and lockers.
Queensland Rail CityTrain (tel. 13 12 30 in Queensland) provides daily train service from the Sunshine Coast and plentiful service from the Gold Coast.
All intercity and interstate coaches pull into the Brisbane Transit Centre (see “By Train,”previously). Greyhound Australia (tel. 1300/473 946 in Australia or 07/3236 3035 for the Brisbane terminal; www.greyhound.com.au) serves the city several times daily. A one-way Cairns-Brisbane ticket costs A$309; the trip takes nearly 30 hours. The Sydney-Brisbane trip takes about 17 hours and costs A$182 one-way.
The Bruce Highway from Cairns enters the city from the north. The Pacific Highway enters Brisbane from the south.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.