Updated: Sep 19
When I am in Brisbane I love to travel on the ferries. They are so great and it is my favourite way to go from one place to another and see the lovely sights of Brisbane along the way.
There are lots of ferries to choose from, including CityCats, KittyCats and the City Hoppers. You can catch them from St Lucia to Hamilton or at one of the twenty-one stops in between. You can find the timetables on the Translink website. If you stay on the whole way it takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes to go from one end to the other.
The CityCats are the biggest and some of them are double deckers and can fit a lot of people on them. The new Next Gen double deckers are fully accessible with places for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. You can read more about this on this Brisbane City Council website Accessibility link
To travel on the ferries you need to have a Go card. I got mine at the South Bank Beach News shop at South Bank near the Streets Beach Lagoon. You can get them at lots of places in the city and there is a full list on the Translink page. You put money on them when you get one and then you just tap them when you get on and when you get off the ferry. You can also use them on other public transport too. If you run out of credit you can put more money on them.
If you don't have a Go card you can buy a paper ticket at the terminals.
I have a Companion card so when I pay to travel someone can travel with me for free in case I need any help. It was easy to tap on and off and I liked doing it. The staff were very friendly to me as well and told me what to do. On one trip one of the men came and sat with me and had a chat about the CityCats.
Most of the time there were plenty of seats on the ferries so we sat anywhere we wanted. Sometimes I liked to sit inside and sometimes outside to see the view. There were big windows inside so I could see a lot. I liked the TV screens that tell you information about Brisbane and there are nice lights and lots of signs to show information as well.
Inside there is air-conditioning and free Wifi.
There are toilets on the CityCats in case you need them. I used them and they were very clean and had nice lights.
There are some seats that are reserved for people with disabilities so if it's busy there will be spaces to sit and extra room for wheelchairs.
They also have an induction loop for those who use hearing aids.
I like the Brisbane ferry network map that they have on the wall so you can see where you are going and how many stops there are along the way. They have this map at the Ferry Terminals too.
The map highlights which terminals are wheelchair accessible. There was also a sign showing which concession cards are accepted.
My favourite part of going on the ferries is seeing the beautiful buildings and bridges on the Brisbane River.
There is room outside for bikes and prams too.
I also love watching the other ferries go by.
The Story Bridge is huge and I love going under it in the ferries. It looks great in the day and at night it looks even better because of all the lights that are on.
The terminals where you go to wait for the ferries are very nice too. They are very big and have some seats to sit on and cover to wait under. They have arrows painted on the ground so you know which way to walk and get in the queue.
My favourite terminals are Riverside, Eagle St Pier and Howard Smith Wharves because they have views of the Story Bridge.
You can take some very lovely photos while you wait for the ferries.
When the ferries pull up the staff put the ramps down so you can walk on. There are handles to hold onto and it is very safe.
Everyone is allowed to take their dogs on the ferries when it's not peak time. They have to be on a lead and wear a muzzle and stay outside. There is more information on the Translink webpage.
Certified Guide dogs, hearing dogs and assistance dogs are allowed on the ferries anytime as long as they wear their certified badge, coat or harness and the handler carries their identity card.
I really love the Brisbane ferries! I always look forward to travelling on them when I visit Brisbane because it is an awesome way to get around and have a fun trip on the river at the same time.
If you are in Brisbane maybe you can catch one too and see if you like it.
Tips from my Travelling Companion -
Our family have always enjoyed travelling on the Brisbane City Council River ferries. They are a great way to get around the city, as you can hop on and off as you please, exploring all Brisbane has to offer, as well as a great scenic journey of this beautiful city. The grand homes, apartments, developments and parklands along the way are stunning and travelling under so many lovely bridges has always been a cause of great excitement for Flynn.
The staff have always been friendly and helpful to us, answering any questions we've had or just having a chat or greeting us with a welcoming smile. They have often taken the time to interact with Flynn over the years and made him feel very important.
We've always felt safe on the ferries and even at peak times, when there are quite a lot of people catching them, it has still been a pleasant experience.
There are always a lot of ferries on the river and they come quite regularly which is great. The terminals are a pleasant place to wait, with bright lighting, seating and awnings to keep cool and dry under. The ramps and gates are wide and easily accessible for those in wheelchairs, or prams.
Another great bonus is that even if you don't have a GoCard, the CityHopper is free and runs between 7 inner city stops every 30 mins from early in the morning to midnight seven days a week!
So, our advice to all who visit Brisbane is to jump onboard one of these wonderful ferries, sit back, take in the sights and enjoy one of the best forms of public transport in Australia!