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Complete Guide on the Cost of Living in Brisbane

Complete Guide on the Cost of Living in Brisbane

You might already have an idea about the significant boom of the population in Brisbane over the last five years. 

The shift can be attributed to the allure of Queensland capital’s more laid-back lifestyle and affordability compared to other major cities in the south like Sydney and Melbourne. 

If you’re thinking about making the move for work, study, or simply for a change in lifestyle, then you should check out our complete guide on the cost of living in Brisbane!

What is the average cost of living in Brisbane?

What is the average cost of living in Brisbane
Image Source: Pexels

The average cost of living in Brisbane is $2,632.50 per month for a single person, while a family of four needs around $6,354 to cover living expenses. 

Let’s take a look at the basics such as utilities, rent, food, and transportation, as well as leisure expenses like shopping, dining, and entertainment. 


Image Source: Pexels

The Brisbane climate offers 283 sunny days in a year so most of your electric consumption would be from air conditioning and other cooling appliances. On average, electricity would cost around $140 – $150 depending on the number of consumers. 

But what’s great about Queensland is a lot of people can take advantage of the year-round sunshine by installing solar panels to save on electricity. So you can find a lot of homes, as well as commercial and industrial facilities that utilize solar power. 

When it comes to water, the average bill would be $100 a month depending on the number of people in the household. During the summer months, it can be expected that your bill would increase since you’d most likely take more showers. 

Image Source Pexels
Image Source: Pexels

For your monthly internet bill, you can choose unlimited plans with speeds of 20mbps starting from around $49. If you’re working from home, it would be better to choose a plan with higher speeds and it would cost around $60 – $90 a month. 

One of your essential expenses would also be your mobile phone bill which will cost around $27 a month if you’re getting a prepaid phone plan that expires every month. If you opt for a postpaid plan, the cost would be $35/month. 

You can also choose to get a plan that includes a phone. The cost would depend on the phone you’re getting but it would typically cost around $87. 

UtilitiesAverage Cost Per Month


Image Source: Flickr / Brisbane City Council

If you’re looking to rent a place in Brisbane’s inner-city, the average rental cost for a one-bedroom unit would be $1,820 per month or $455 a week. But it would be cheaper to choose a place in the suburban areas which costs $1,300/month or $325/week.  

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for bigger properties for couples or families, 2-bedroom apartments across Brisbane suburbs would cost around $459 per week. Furthermore, 3-bedroom houses would cost approximately $557 a week. 

UnitCost Per Week
1-bedroom unit inner-city$455
1-bedroom unit in the suburbs$325
2-bedroom unit$459
3-bedroom house$557

If you’re setting your sights on a more upscale inner-city home with a view of the Brisbane River, then the perfect location would be in Teneriffe. The average rental cost for a house is $895/week, while a unit is around $570/week. 

For those looking for a more affordable option that’s still by the riverside, New Farm is a great choice with units for rent at $440/week. You can also check out Hamilton which offers around $475/week on a prime location. 

Location/TypeCost Per Week
Teneriffe House$895
Teneriffe Unit$570
New Farm Unit$440
Hamilton Unit$475


Image Source: Pexels

The average cost of expenses for a week’s worth of groceries in Brisbane is around $159 for a single person. Here are the prices of basic food items to give you an idea. 

Bread1 loaf / 500g$3.57
Milk 1 liter$2.26
Eggs1 dozen$5.50
Chicken Fillet 1kg$12.83
Fruits (apples, oranges, banana)1kg each$13.75
Lettuce1 head$4.01


Image Source: Flickr

When it comes to transportation, it’s pretty easy to get around Brisbane. You can take the bus, train, or ferry to your destination, and it’s great that walking and cycling are very convenient as well. 

If you’re going to take public transportation often, we recommend that you purchase a Go Card which will give you access to Brisbane’s network of trains, buses, and ferries. All you have to do is top-up at designated retailers, fare machines, via phone, or online. 

You can also take the free City Loop buses that go around the Brisbane CBD, as well as Spring Hill Loop and South Brisbane Loop. The buses operate Mondays to Fridays and you can catch them approximately every 10 minutes. 

It’s awesome that you can hop on and off the City Hopper ferry as well for free! This is an inner-city ferry that has seven stops along the Brisbane River if you have the time to take a scenic and traffic-free route within the CBD. 

Type of TransportCost
Bus $20 – $40/week
City Loop BusFree
Train$20 – $40/week
Ferry (City Cat)$6 roundtrip
Ferry (City Hopper)Free
Personal Vehicle (fuel, parking)$150/week


Queen Street Mall / Image Source: Flickr

Brisbane is also a great destination for some retail therapy with its extensive range of shops that showcase local designers as well as international fashion and luxury brands. 

The Queen Street Mall is the city’s largest pedestrian shopping strip where you can find luxury brands such as Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and more. You can also find international fashion chains Zara, Uniqlo, and H&M, among others. 

There’s even more to explore as it has seven major shopping centers and heritage-listed arcades within the mall complex. 

Another must-visit shopping destination is James Street in Fortitude Valley which puts a spotlight on local high-end fashion. While the best place for books, homewares, and vintage items is Latrobe Terrace in Paddington. 

But first, let’s browse through the costs of some basic clothing items! 

Clothing ItemCost
Men’s basic shirt (Cotton On)$49.99
Women’s basic shirt (Cotton On)$39.99
1 pair of denim jeans$108
Summer Dress$70


Brisbane has definitely grown to be an ultimate foodie’s destination with its diverse array of cuisines. From budget-friendly joints to fine dining restaurants, there’s surely something for every craving! 

Here are the average costs for meals if you want to dine out: 

FoodAverage Cost
Breakfast at a Cafe$18
Fast Food (McDonald’s)$14
Mid-range restaurant for two$105


Image Source: The Zoo Facebook Page

Brisbane is brimming with entertainment venues that feature live music, sports, drama, art, culture, film, and more! If you want to go out on weekends or days off, it’s ideal to set aside a budget of around $250 for the month. 

First, how about a movie date? On average, a movie ticket costs around $15 – $20 for one adult with discounts for kids 12 and below. 

If you just want to hang out and have a drink at a bar, beer costs around $9, while you can get a cocktail for $18. 

There are also lots of bars around the city that showcase live music without the door charge. While you can catch some of the best local and even international acts for a ticket price starting from $35 depending on the artist and venue. 

If you’re into theater or opera, booking a ticket would cost around $90 – $150. 

For sports fans, watching an A-league soccer match is priced around $25 – $42. And if you’re looking for the ultimate sports watching experience, you can look forward to the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane! 

Movie for two$35
Drink at a bar $15
Live Music$35
Theater/Opera$90 – $150
Soccer Game$25 – $42

What is the average salary in Brisbane?

What is the average salary in Brisbane
Image Source: Pexels

The average salary in Brisbane is around $90,840 a year, but of course, there’s a big difference in the salary range between careers. The lowest average salary is estimated to be $26,500, while the highest average pay is at $464,000. 

The most popular careers in Brisbane are in accounting, software engineering, and operations management with salaries that range from $50,000 to $131,000 annually. 

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