Brisbane Airport (BNE) is 20 km north-east of the city centre at Eagle Farm, north of the river. It is possible to fly directly from all Australian capitals and numerous regional centres. Major carriers include Virgin Blue, Jetstar and Qantas. The international terminal is serviced by many airlines and it is possible to fly daily to most Asian centres (and on to Europe), the United States and New Zealand without flying via Sydney or Melbourne.
At Brisbane Airport the International and Domestic terminals are 2 km apart, but confusingly some domestic flights leave from the International terminal and vice-verca. If you turn up at the wrong terminal you will be met by a check-in agent who has heard your story many times before. So check which terminal your flight is from!
Transfering Between Terminals
It is not practical to walk with luggage - the main road that connects terminals has no pedestrian walkway and it is a busy road. AirTrain is the service that links them and trains generally go every 15 minutes to half an hour, only taking a couple of minutes but finishing ridiculously early in the evening - so allow enough time for the transfer. Most airlines cover the cost of the transfer and you just need to present your boarding pass, otherwise it’s $4. If you’re short on time or the trains have stopped, just catch a taxi between the terminals. Even though Eagle Farm station appears to be next to the airport on a map, don't even think of using it for airport access. There is no access to the airport terminals, and it would be too far to walk, even if there was.
Airport to City
From the airport to the city, again, you can catch the AirTrain. It leaves every fifteen minutes during peak times and stops at the following train stations, Central, South Bank, Fortitude Valley and Roma Street. Adult fare to the city stations is $14.50 and a return ticket can be purchased for $26 from the airport stations. If you pre-purchase online, there are further discounts. Travel time between the International Terminal and Roma Street Station is 23 minutes. Trains run from 6am, with the last train leaving for the city at 8pm.
Alternatively, the shuttle bus service CoachTrans provides transfers to the city, your accommodation and even goes as far as the Gold Coast. An adult fare to the city is $14, and to the Gold Coast is $39. Fares are cheaper if you buy a return ticket. You can end up waiting up to an hour if you try to book when you arrive at the airport, so pre-booking is suggested. Travel time varies depending on the number of passengers and traffic; it could be anywhere from 20-60 minutes.
Your other option is to catch a cab or rent a car from one of the many car rental companies at the airport.
As with any large metropolis, there are multiple highways in and out of the city.
- The A1 Bruce Highway connects the northern coast of Queensland to Brisbane.
- The M1 Pacific Motorway connects Brisbane to the Gold Coast and the Pacific Highway along the New South Wales coast.
- The M2 Ipswich Motorway connects to Ipswich and surrounding Western Brisbane areas.
- The A2 Warrego Highway links Brisbane to the west through the Lockyer Valley, Toowoomba and the Darling Downs.
- The A15 Cunningham Highway links Brisbane to Southern Queensland and Central Western New South Wales.
Visitors from southern states can reach Brisbane by either the New England, Cunningham or Pacific Highways.