Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
While it is not necessary, the typical family in Brisbane does own a personal car. The public transport system is very good and professionals often use train, bus or ferry to commute to work.
How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
If you are a visitor to Australia on a temporary short or long stay visa, you are permitted to drive on your International Driving Permit or your overseas licence until it expires. If your overseas licence is not in English you must carry an English Translation of your licence which has been done by a person accredited to translate. Please visit the following website for further information of an Accredited Translation Institution: www.naati.com.au.You must only drive the class of motor vehicle authorised on your licence and adhere to all the conditions of your licence. When driving, it is imperative you carry your license with you at all times as you must be able to immediately present it to a police officer if asked to do so.
If you are issued a permanent visa and become a resident of Queensland, you must surrender your overseas licence and obtain a Queensland Drivers` License within 3 months of becoming a resident. If you are applying for a Queensland car or motorbike driver licence (class C, RE or R) and you hold, or have held within the past five years, a driver licence other than a learner licence, that corresponds to a class C, RE or R licence, granted you will need to pass a written road rules test and practical driving test to be eligible for a Queensland driver licence. New Zealand citizens or a prescribed country will not be required to complete a written road rules test or a practical driving test.
What side of the road do people drive on?
Like the UK, drivers travel on the left side of the road. Australian cars are right-hand drive. Generally, speed limits are 50 or 60 kilometre per hour in built-up areas (40 kilometres in school zones during school hours) and up to 110 kilometres per hour on highways and motorways. All local speed limits and other traffic indicators are clearly signposted. Suburbs and motorways are also signposted. Directions to tourist attractions are displayed on signs with brown backgrounds.
Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
The public transportation system in Brisbane is wonderful and reliable. Brisbane City Council and Queensland Rail operate an integrated public transport system incorporating buses, ferries and trains.
Travellers on any of these services use an electronic ticket called a GoCard. Concession fares are available for children, students and senior citizens and GoCard holders can take advantage of significant savings and discounts. On some bus routes, peak hour commuters benefit by speedier transit on dedicated Busways. Day Rover and South East Explorer travel passes are available for one day unlimited travel on bus, ferry and rail services, however boundaries apply. The CityCat is a sleek modern ferry service operating along a network of 24 terminals on the Brisbane River and has become a popular way for commuters to travel into the CBD.
Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
Public transportation is excellent in all parts of Brisbane. Buses, trains and the City Cat Ferry service offer regular departures within the city, to outer suburbs, all recreation centres and cities up and down the coast. A free tourist bus operates in the city doing 'The loop' which is a good way to orientate yourself within the CBD.
In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
If you are used to driving on the right side of the road, take your time and concentrate on what you are doing. If you are on a road with two way traffic you will most likely be closer to the centre line on the road if you are the driver than if you are the passenger. The reason for this is that the driver seat and steering wheel are also on the opposite side of the vehicle compared to America. It's probably best to start out in an automatic car as the manual stick shift cars in Australia have the gears shifts for your left hand.
Also, Australia has very strict drink-driving laws and random breath testing is conducted in all Australian States. The limit is only 0.05 compared with 0.08 to 0.1 in the United States. As in all major cities around the world, care should be taken when travelling late at night on all public transportation. Be aware of your surroundings and travel in pairs if possible.
Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
GoCards may be purchased from ticket offices at train stations, some busway stations, selected newsagents and 7-Eleven stores. GoCards need to be registered. Click on the below website to see all conditions pertaining to the GoCard. Purchasing a paper ticket on public transport in Brisbane is much more expensive and to be avoided but they can be purchased at automated ticket machines located at rail stations, onboard ferries or from bus drivers. If you purchase a ticket on a bus or ferry you will be expected to have the correct, or close to correct, fare.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.