Now that we have been in Brisbane just over a year I have been thinking about the differences between Brisbane and Darwin. I loved Darwin, its like nowhere else I have been but its also a great outdoorsy place and we also made some fantastic friends there so it will always hold great memories.
It is hard to have Darwin and Brisbane compete against each other because they are so different. I also would not say one place is better than the other, I did and do love living in each city. However they are very different and unique when you compare them so I thought I would describe some of those difference.
1. The Weather
At the moment at least, the weather in Brisbane is quite different to Darwin. This time of year in Darwin it is the dry season which means lovely warm days and cooler breezier nights which are perfect for exploring the markets and various events which are on. In Brisbane it is the beginning of winter and as I sit here writing this I have various layers of clothing on as well as the air conditioner pumping out warm air!
2. The City
Darwin is a city but its not built up like the traditional city we all know whereas Brisbane is very much like Bristol which is the city I used to work in in the UK. It has buildings which are old and historic and quite beautiful as well as new sky scrapers going up by the day. It does also mean you can get to one end of the city in Darwin quite quickly whereas it can be quite a walk / drive / bus / train ride in Brisbane.
3. The People
People are people but in the Northern Territory there is something like 212,000 people whereas in Brisbane there are over 1.9 million people so there’s quite a difference. I remember the first time we visited Brisbane, the Aussie and I were walking through the city from our hotel to meet our friends for dinner and I said something like “isn’t it fantastic?” and when the Aussie asked what and my answer was “so many people”. I do love that the streets have the hustle and bustle but it also doesn’t feel like it is too much.
4. The Lifestyle
To be honest the lifestyle is about the same, we are out and about enjoying what Brisbane has to offer just like we did in Darwin. We do have the big weather differences but for example I still get up early to go for a walk, I just wear a jumper. We do though live about 40 minutes drive from the nearest beach whereas in Darwin it was about a 2 minute drive for us to get to the beach to go for a walk, have dinner at the beach at sunset etc. However Brisbane is built around the river and so it isn’t too far for us to be near the water and after moving house we now live nearer parklands where we can go for nice walks before and after work so that has all balanced out.
5. The Houses
Brisbane doesn’t seem to be as new as Darwin, there’s not big housing developments going up all over or unit developments and we do have some quite lovely old Queenslander buildings (aka money traps) around which I love. As you drive down any street in either city none or very few of the houses are the same. I have noticed that it seems like people have pulled down the beautiful traditional Queenslander houses and built, lovely looking shiny new homes in between the older style buildings. The old buildings must be hard to maintain but it does make me sad if I see a Queenslander being demolished!
6. The Shopping
Ohhhhh man the shopping here is crazy. There are shopping malls in most suburbs or in easy driving distance and they are massive. The whole of the mall in Darwin would fit into our local mall probably 2 if not 3 times. There are so many shops I have never shopped in because they didn’t have them in Darwin so it is a lot of fun exploring them. There are also a few brands I know from the UK such as Topshop which I am keen to explore. I do find that I stick to the old faithful brands I know well like Kmart and Target but they are good fast fashion when you are exercising / getting fit etc.
I am sure there are a lot more differences but those are the big ones I have noticed in the last year that we have lived here.