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Published November 17th 2012
The neighbourhoods where students live, eat and play
Like all sizable cities, Brisbane has its fair share of universities and students. As of 2010 more than 200,000 students call Brisbane home and are spread across 6 major university campuses as well as other tertiary institutions. For domestic and international students, moving to Brisbane also means choosing the right suburb to live in. This will typically have a lot to do with what institution they attend. As a long time student myself, and having lived in more than a couple of the below mentioned suburbs I bring to you 7 of the best suburbs in Brisbane that students are sure to settle into with ease.
All of these suburbs are interesting places to live in their own right and are generally inner city and diverse in nature. They have been selected based on:
- Proximity to university campuses (at least one or more) - Access to public transport options (since students often don't have their own transport) -Availability of student geared entertainment and nightlife (we call know students like studying alcohol) - Availability of suitable housing options (Is there sufficient student specific accommodation, share houses or on campus accommodation?) - Proximity of other facilities geared towards student and young people in general.
Toowong - Good transport and entertainment/nightlife options
Toowong is centrally located to the University of Queensland and is a popular suburb for students and young people - Image: Wikimedia Commons
Toowong is a popular inner city suburb for University of Queensland (UQ) students since the campus was first established more than a century ago. More affordable to rent than neighbouring St Lucia where the UQ campus is located, Toowong boasts several transport options which will make getting around easy for students without a car. Options include a City Cat stop on major road Coronation Drive, and train station connected to the suburb's shopping centre. Additionally most bus routes going further west all stop in Toowong with frequent services. Another aspect that makes Toowong an appealing choice for students is the number of bars and pubs that cater specifically to the student. The well loved Regatta Hotel is a popular hangout for students as is the Royal Exchange hotel which is adjacent to the shopping centre and train station.
East BrisbaneIdeal for student specific housing.
As the name suggests, located just east of downtown, East Brisbane is a popular suburb for international students due to the large number of student housing apartment buildings available. Many apartments offer short term accommodation which is convenient for shorter staying international students. International students can also live on campus as they attend courses at the English Language school and then head to the nearby Shaftson Hotel on Shaftson and Wellington Ave. East Brisbane is also serviced by the Mowbray Park City Cat terminal and is easily accessible to the party precinct of Fortitude Valley which lies just over the Storey Bridge.
West End Great mix of music, art, food and culture.
Boundary Street in West End is one of Brisbane's best cultural and ethnic precincts and features an eclectic mix of people including many students. Image: Wikimedia Commons
Most students and young people in general would love to live in West End however housing can be particularly scarce and pricey too. Although many students do live in West End its often in a run down Queenslander house with several others to make up the rent. As a student though that's what its all about though isn't it? West End is an ideal location for students in that it is located across the river from UQ and close to Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and features Brisbane's best mix of bars, international cuisine and a bohemian culture. Archive Beer bar is popular with students and young people, as is the Hi-Fi live music venue which is just across the street. West end is one of Brisbane's most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods so students are spoiled for choice for yummy take away options should their cooking repertoire consist of baked beans and two minute noodles.
Mount Gravatt - Offers many practical benefits to students.
Young people familiar with Mount Gravatt might say 'ew' to living somewhat further outside the action on Brisbane's southside. However before you judge too much there are many practical benefits for those who live in Mount Gravatt and attend Griffith University's two campuses which surround the suburb. Mount Gravatt is a mini city in itself and stretches over a wide area including Upper Mt Gravatt, Mt Gravatt East and of course Mt Gravatt proper. The fact it is not as central to the CBD means there are a wide variety of housing options available and at much more affordable price to students. Garden City shopping centre in Mt Gravatt is one of the best in Brisbane with lots of shopping and entertainment options and the area is well serviced by public transport to Brisbane City with the South East Busway corridor.
Kelvin Grove - A master-planned community built with students in mind
Kelvin Grove urban village is a community built and planned for students benefit. Image: Wikimedia Commons
The inner-north suburb of Kelvin Grove has recently been developed into a modern, funky urban village that is ideally suited to students. This is in part thanks to QUT's Kelvin Grove Campus that is located here which brought a modern master-planned community to the area and includes the Roundhouse theatre, speciality shops, cafes, bars and more. There are many student specific housing options here including many self contained apartments and townhouses which were also purpose built and are modern in design. QUT students are also offered a free shuttle to the city by taking the QUT shuttle bus. Kelvin Grove is also the suburb where La Boite Theatre, Queensland second largest theatre company is based, bringing a cultural and artistic flavour to the already diverse suburb.
Wooloongabba - The central crossroads to the city.
Located across many key arterial roads and major intersections, Wooloongabba is a busy hub just outside of Brisbane CBD. Students attending QUT Gardens Point are close enough to walk to campus and those attending other institutions can catch transport from the major bus interchange in Wooloongabba where services to all corners of Brisbane travel to. Students and young people are spoiled with a great mix of bars and restaurants as well as sporting events held at the 'Gabba' (Brisbane Cricket Ground) This is definitely one of Brisbane's up and coming cultural centres as industry and warehouses move outwards and urban renewal and gentrification begins to take hold.
New Farm Party like you're a uni student
For those students who like a bit of partying with their study, New Farm could be the ideal place to lay the head after a night painting the town red. Just down from the party hub Fortitude Valley, students won't need to worry about Taxi fares or transport costs living here, as you can walk by foot to just about everywhere you need to go. New Farm was my first place I lived when I moved to Brisbane for uni and like West End can be expensive unless you live in squalor with other students like I did. If you are new to Brisbane and looking for a cosmopolitan lifestyle New Farm is it. Unlike other inner city locales, New Farm offers plenty of green spaces including the massive New Farm Park where you can sit under shady trees where you can nurse a hangover and catch up on those study notes from lectures you missed while partying.
New Farm Park is a great place for students to study and nurse away a hangover. Image: Wikimedia Commons
Great article! What about St Lucia? I lived there when I was a student, very handy if you go to UQ and has good public transport (no trains, but buses). You can still find affordable accomodation there if you're willing to live in a sharehouse. Toowong was good too but much noisier at night, and we used to get beer bottles thrown in our yard all the time from people stumbling home from the pub at night.