Your guide to migrating to Queensland: private and public transport

You have just arrived in one of our international airports and are ready to find your way to where you will be staying in Queensland. So what is the best option for you? You may still need to organise another mode of transport to get to your final destination, especially for those on regional visas or looking to settle in regional Queensland.

While Queensland does have access to airplanes, ferries, trams, taxis, buses, coaches, car rentals and trains – not every mode of transport is available in regional towns. You need to be aware of what transport options you have to get to your final destination, along with your transport options within your settlement location.

Discover Queensland by Rail

Luke and Cody recapped a year of discovering Queensland by Rail on Saturday's Queensland Weekender – watch it now if you missed it 🙂

Posted by Queensland Rail Travel on Sunday, 14 January 2018


Queensland has six international airports – more than any other state and territory in Australia. They are located in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Townsville, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.  There are also many regional airports, such as ones located in Rockhampton, Mackay, Bundaberg, WhitsundaysGladstone and much more. Find out about the different regional airports on the Queensland tourism website.



Queensland Rail has a Citytrain network which covers south-east Queensland (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Sunshine Coast). This train network is managed by Translink which has a journey planner and timetables available on their website.

Queensland also has long distance passenger trains which will take you to other regional towns along the Eastern Coast and inland but they do not operate within towns. For example, there are train services from Brisbane to Cairns/ Rockhampton/ Longreach. There is a journey information planner and network map where you can check train availability and costs.



The Gold Coast is the only location that has trams running from Helensvale to Broadbeach South. You are able to connect to the Airport/Gold Coast train line at Helensvale, which can take you directly to the Brisbane Airport. Find more information about the stations and prices on the G:link website.



There are many bus services available throughout Queensland. Most bus services in south-east Queensland are managed by TransLink. However there are also non-Translink bus services available, and you can search these using qconnect journey planner. Urban bus services are also available in the larger regional towns, such as Airlie Beach and Proserpine, Bundaberg, Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Innisfail, Toowoomba and Rockhampton. You can find links to timetables and networks maps on the Queensland Government website.


Long-distance coaches

There are government subsided long distance coach services operating throughout regional Queensland. The routes are listed on the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) website and you will have to contact the operator regarding timetables or to make a booking. Main operators include Bus Queensland and Greyhound Australia.

There may also be other coach service providers available for your journey. For example, Murrays Coaches, tour operators and private bus charter companies.


Ferries and barges

There are ferry services operating along the Brisbane River, including CityCat, the cross-river CityFerry and free CityHopper services. Further information about these and other ferry services and timetables can be found on the Translink website.

Ferry and barge services may also be available to the islands off the Queensland coast. For some examples, see the list of ferry companies who have a contract with the Queensland Government.



Taxis and Uber operate throughout Queensland, mostly in the larger towns and cities. You should research the distances and fares to make sure they are the best option to get to your final destination, as it may become very expensive where you have to travel a long distance.

More information about taxis are available on the Queensland Department of TMR website. You can also find taxi fares, service areas and maps.

Uber currently covers selected cities in Queensland, including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Townsville.


Buy or rent a car 

Although most of the larger towns will have access to public transport or private car transport, in some circumstances it may be easier and quicker to drive yourself around. However in order to drive a car, you must hold a valid driving licence recognised by Queensland. For more information about licensing, including getting a licence or driving on your overseas or interstate licence, please see the Department of TMR website.

In the short-term, you may wish to rent a car and many car rental companies operate from the main airports. You can compare prices on CarRental website or simply search online for available car rental companies in the area. The Queensland Government website also has useful tips to remember when renting a car.

Many people have their own car in Queensland. Make sure that when purchasing a vehicle that you research and inspect the vehicle you plan to purchase and know your consumer rights.  For more information about buying used and new cars, see the rules for buying or selling a vehicle on the Queensland Government website and the Queensland Law Handbook. You can also read the Queensland Department of TMR information on buying your first car.