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House sitting Brisbane – live in the Sunshine State!

House sitting Brisbane – live in the Sunshine State!

House sitting in Brisbane is a wonderful way to get acquainted with Queensland’s beautiful capital city. Cooper and I lived here a long time ago, and I went to Uni here. The city has really grown up since then. Don’t skip Queensland if you’re coming to Australia, whatever you do 🌞

Here’s a quick guide to house sitting Brisbane and how to make it work for you.

House sitting in Brisbane – where to start

We’ve been booking our house sits around the world with TrustedHousesitters and have had a wonderful experience so far. It’s taken us to different parts of the UK and Europe.

And you can come to Australia too!

Find out how we got started with house sitting.



How to get house and pet sitting jobs

This business is competitive, but if you are armed with a strategy, you’ll be booking house sits in no time.

A side note: most sits do not pay. This is an exchange for free accommodation in return for you looking after pets and homes as if they are your own.

Top tips to get you started:


👉Our guide to dog care might be of interest to you too. Have a read here


House sitting Brisbane - live in the Sunshine State!

About Brisbane

Brisbane doesn’t disappoint. It’s a contemporary city that sprawls along the beautiful Brisbane river.

The city is stylish and pretty. It’s brimming with great shopping, restaurants, theatre, shows, and fitness options too. We love walking all the way along the river – there are now dedicated pathways you can take around the city. It’s our favourite way to spend time.

Find out more about what’s on in Brisbane.

The nearest beaches are on the Gold Coast – you can also look for house sits there!


Where to stay in Brisbane

Brisbane is spread out. It’s a capital city though, and as such, the transport links are decent if you don’t have a car. The buses and trains aren’t as frequent as some places in the UK or Europe, but that’s to be expected.

Our favourite suburbs in Brisbane would be those in the inner city. If you’re lucky enough to find something within walking distance of the river, or Southbank, you’d be set. But, Brisbane is a lovely, interesting and multicultural city where you can make a home just about anywhere.


House and pet sits can be almost anywhere in a city. We’d suggest asking a few questions first:

a) Is the house sit in the city, or outside of Brisbane? What suburb are they in?

b) What are your nearest transport links, how long does it take to get to your nearest shopping centre or Brisbane city, and how much does it cost?

c) If you don’t have a car, how easy is it to get groceries?

d) Where would you take your dogs to play (if you’re caring for dogs)?

e) What is there to do in the area if you want to go exploring?

f) If you need to work while you’re house sitting like we do, what’s the internet connection like?

If the answers to these questions satisfy your needs, you’re likely to be good to go. That said, any reservations (in particular if you’re without transport), be mindful about where you are signing up for. Find yourself a house sit where it’s easy to get around both the area and city.

Always check reviews on a house sit if there are any. And do please feel free to drop us a line in the comments if you would like any advice.



Brisbane to Gold Coast, Australia – travel like a local

Brisbane to Gold Coast, Australia – travel like a local

Cooper and I are both proud Queenslanders and appreciate the value of exploring the south-east, Brisbane to Gold Coast. They are not the same, by the way, but two separate cities. Brisbane is the trendy capital city of Queensland. The Gold Coast is one of the largest and fastest growing cities in Australia. But they are near to each other – Brisbane to Gold Coast by car or train is only about an hour.

While I consider England is a bit like my spiritual home, being back in Aus recently made me remember what’s so special about it, and why you should definitely do the Brisbane to Gold Coast trip.

Brisbane to Gold Coast – a sunny adventure you want to have

I’m most disappointed when people around the world tell me one of two things about why they might not travel to Queensland, Brisbane to Gold Coast or other areas of my stunning home state:

  1. “I don’t think I’ll get to Australia, it’s a bit far and isn’t it just the same as other places, like America, Spain, England…?”
  2. “I went to Queensland a few years ago and found it to be run down, and too touristy.”

Pretty offensive!

But I get the myths, stereotypes and misconceptions.

Please, don’t ever write Australia and especially travel to Queensland off.

Brisbane to Gold Coast – the stunning Brisbane river

I was reminded of how contemporary and cool we are; super friendly people and a sunny vibe.

It’s worth your while. I’m inspired when I meet travellers like Geri Vladeva who dream about visiting Aus,for good reason (and she did so this year, read about her adventures)!

Let’s start again.

Brisbane to Gold Coast – Southbank

Brisbane to Gold Coast: city updates

After being away for four years I noticed some big changes, especially in Brisbane.

Anyone who has visited Queensland over the past 20 or 30 years tends to think Brisbane, Gold Coast and Cairns (some of the best places to go!) are a little dilapidated.

Now however, you’ll find sleek cities, lovely river walks, restaurants, bars, cool spaces to hang out and be active.

I was really impressed.

Head straight for the riverfront walk in Brisbane, or a stroll through Southbank.

And if you’ve not been to Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast in a while, well, it’s totally cleaned-up, and a chic spot to visit.

Pacific Fair down the road at Broadbeach has enjoyed a significant expansion and is a premier shopping destination.

Burleigh on the Gold Coast is still beautiful too, with its glorious beaches and sophisticated restaurants and cafes.

A cultural melting pot of charm

Australia has its own charm, and nowhere is this more obvious than in Queensland.

Multicultural influence is everywhere too, particularly Asian culture.

There’s no shortage of Asian grocery stores and fusion restaurants, including Harajuku Gyoza – a smart Japanese-inspired chain developed by an Aussie foodie fan.

Brisbane city centre boasts a number of food halls dedicated to serving delicious Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian and Korean food. So good!

I was also surprised to find an extraordinary ‘spiritual spa’, meditation, yoga, therapies and crystals space – Chameleon New Age Salon, set across two dazzling floors in the heart of Surfers Paradise.

It was just one of the many unique offerings I found in south-east Queensland and that had me feeling truly proud and impressed.

Brisbane to Gold Coast – Paradise Point on the Gold Coast

Getting around, Brisbane to Gold Coast

Brisbane and the Gold Coast are served by international airports that are now easier to access than ever before.

The Gold Coast has developed the ‘G’ (G: link) tram which means a city that was previously quite inconvenient to navigate if you did not have a car, is now simple to access.

You can take the train from the centre of Brisbane all the way to Helensvale then catch the tram to Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach. Alternatively you can easily transfer to Coolangatta airport (Gold Coast) on this line too.

Brisbane and the Gold Coast (also Cairns) receive countless flights from Asian destinations now, and Queensland is well and truly open for business.

If you buy a Go Card, you can use it on all public transport in Brisbane and across the Gold Coast. It operates like an Oyster card (London) or any other major city transport card. You can add top-up value to it, and by using a Go Card you will enjoy big discounts on your travels, so it’s worth picking one up from one of the many vendors in these cities.

Brisbane to Gold Coast – Brisbane city

Areas to visit, Brisbane to Gold Coast

I was very impressed by Brisbane – it’s a city that’s done a LOT of growing since I last lived here.

The river walk is absolutely beautiful. I’d start down in front of the Stamford Hotel and walk along past the gardens, or go left towards Hamilton. Early morning is the best time to explore and capture great pictures like the one above.

You can use a Go Card on the CityCat (ferry) too, and see the city via the Brisbane river – head one way towards the cruise terminals and Hamilton, or the other way towards my old stomping ground, the University of Queensland.

The Gold Coast – in my mind at least – consists of three major sections.

Coming in from Brisbane you hit the northern end, with its theme parks and serene suburbs like Sanctuary Cove (great for golf or boating enthusiasts) and Paradise Point.

Harbour Town outlet shopping is also in the area, and in recent years features cool additions like Coach, Kate Spade and Michael Kors stores.

Driving further into the city you might like to explore up-market Main Beach (not far from Sea World), the waterfront at Labrador and a stop in Surfers Paradise is a must.

Past Surfers you’ll come to Broadbeach which is a beautiful spot brimming with cool boutiques and eateries, the home to Draculas cabaret restaurant and theatre and an intense shopping experience, Pacific Fair.

Burleigh and beyond is for those who love serious beachfront landscapes – probably my favourite part of the coast, presenting the epitome of our Aussie beach lifestyle.

Brisbane to Gold Coast – along the waterfront coming into Surfers Paradise Gold Coast


Australia – it is as sunny and beautiful as they say; full of characters, experience and charm. My home state is far from back-water now.

You’ll find the best of contemporary experiences here, along with an enviable way of life from the rainforest to the surf.

Heading our way for a travel adventure? Let us know in the comments if you have any questions. And of course, if you’ve discovered your own slice of fun in Queensland, we’d love it if you left your recommendations in the comments to help other travellers.




Hotel love: Urban Hotel Brisbane

The best of boutique hotels: For accommodation that’s inspiring and surprising (and a little left-of-centre in all the right ways), check out – or check into – Brisbane’s Urban Hotel. Situated at the highest point of the city, this stylish hotel is nestled in a gorgeous little pocket overlooking the CBD and within walking distance to lush parks, cafes, transport and a variety of convenience options.

Take a one-minute tour with me…


The mantra here is to offer guests ‘surprises’, and on this promise, Hotel Urban certainly delivers. We’re not the only ones who think so either, as this hotel recently scored a Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Award and the Best Superior Hotel (4 to 4.5 Stars) accolade at the Queensland Hotel Awards.

The lobby − aka Moët Rosé Lounge − showcases alluring art, elegant seating and Hollywoodesque decor, as well as designer fragrances which you’re free spritz for a post-travel pick-me-up. Rooms are spacious and fitted with contemporary luxuries like Nespresso pod machines, iPod docking stations, flat-screen televisions, quality interiors, and include comfy Slow Down slippers, plush bathrobes,  and the signature Urban Snorer specially crafted underlay, snug duvet and feather pillows. There is a range of rooms on offer, including suites with enormous balconies and sweeping city views, as well as pool-side villas named after Australia’s most famous beaches. In fact, the pool-side accommodation is ideal for groups travelling to Brisbane, because the sophisticated outdoor area beyond these rooms features private cabanas, sun-chairs and landscaping that will have you and your entourage channelling the glamorous lives of Footballers’ Wives in no time. There’s a gym (‘jim’), in-room massage available, funny and friendly staff, arty and colourful public spaces ideal for reading or a quiet chat with friends, and even an amazing private rooftop nightclub, meeting and conference rooms for those interested in reserving special-event facilities.

The Gazebo Bar & Restaurant on-site is not only where delicious meals may be devoured, drinks consumed and live entertainment enjoyed on Friday nights, but friends are likely to be made too! It’s an informal yet sassy gathering-place that at any given time brings forward a mix of accents and interesting folk. If however, you’re alone at the end of the day, Suzanne the cuddle-pole has been thoughtfully positioned so you’ve got ‘someone’ to lean on as darkness falls. Or, if you’re lucky like me, you might score one of the hotel brand’s signature soft-toy monkeys to keep as a memento of a truly lovely, unique, stylish, incredibly cool facility that offers so much more than just a bed for the night. Press play on the video above to see all of this in a one-minute walk-thru.


Hotel Urban, 345 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane │ +61 7 3831 6177

IMG_2441 (Copy) The_Green_Room (Copy) IMG_2286

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Things to do in Brisbane at night

Things to do in Brisbane at night

It’s been a while since I ventured out in Brisbane, capital city of beautiful Queensland, Australia, and I was keen to discover contemporary things to do in Brisbane at night on this city break.

I was lucky enough to attend higher education at the University of Queensland ‘back in the day’, and I also spent a number of years working at B105 FM – fun times, and I definitely feel affectionately towards this city.

Things to do in Brisbane at night: what’s new

A lot has changed in Brisbane over the past ten years – bars have opened and closed, tunnels and roads have appeared across the city and the Valley is now, well, super cool. Cloudland, anyone?

Even Festival Hall has transformed into an elegant apartment block – if you’re walking by the site on the corner of Charlotte and Albert Streets, check out the wall of fame in the foyer that features nostalgic photos of when major acts like the Jackson 5 and Beatles performed here.

We were keeping a keen eye out for my (very cool) auntie who was one of the revellers at the Beatles appearance in 1964.

Brisbane, where to stay

Things to do in Brisbane at night - stay in the city centreThis past weekend we landed in the city as preparations for the Riverfire Festival were well under way.

Air Force jets soared across the sky as we watched from our fab Botanic Gardens-facing room at Royal on the Park, ideally situated in the heart of the city, just a block from the shopping hub that is the Queen Street Mall. This lovely hotel can be booked at a bargain if you take a look at your favourite hotel booking site (or direct to RotP’s site), and a brand new bonus for all guests is free use of an iPad during any stay.


Where to have a drink at night in Brisbane

Come Friday afternoon, we were ready for a drink and catch-up with old friends and family.

The Port Office Hotel on Edward Street is a contemporary bar, often associated with a bit of a ‘yuppy’, suited-up crowd – we therefore expected drink prices to be quite hefty.

Fortunately, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a neat little ‘happy hour’ on drinks from 5 to 8pm – one to remember if you’re up this end of town on your own city break.

We indulged in some fun cocktails (at $5 each!) and I reminisced on one of my more memorable birthday celebrations – my 25th that I’d hosted in this very same location.

I’ve just realised that was a number of years back though, so I’ll omit the exact date in this particular column!

Dining in Brisbane at night

Things to do in Brisbane at night - there's plenty of excellent Asian cuisine hereBy 7.30pm it was well and truly time for dinner. I must say, I was happy to discover quality eateries offering reasonably priced cuisine are once again back on the menu in Brisbane city.

For a long while it seemed ‘after dark’ options were few and far between.

We were led to Nagomi at Eagle Street Pier, boasting river views and just a few minutes walk away from the Port Office.

If you enjoy Japanese dishes as we do, then you’ll LOVE this place. The food was divine, and at around $6 per dish (designed to share amongst friends), value is excellent too. Can’t wait to head back here!

Local’s tip: From 5.30 to 9.30pm on Thursdays for $25 it’s all-you-can-eat. YUM.


Go dancing at night in Brisbane

Finally, like the ‘good old days’, it came time to dance.

We’d heard a rumour that the Pig ‘n Whistle Riverside on Eagle Street played an awesome selection of music – you know, the kind of music we ‘used to’ love dancing to – like Vanilla Ice, tracks from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack; Britney, Christina, Maroon 5, crazy boy-band dance tracks and even a little Funky Cold Medina… yep, ‘the Pig’ is where it’s at.

Felt like it was 1997 ….er… 2005 again.

Either way, if you want to go dancing and relive your Uni days (90s through to today), this is the place to end your night. After all, it is music that truly makes a good night out great!

Got a fave bar/club/restaurant in Brisbane? Share with us in the comments below, and for more on Brisbane have a read here.