Brisbane CityCat, Australia
CityCats (cat being an abbreviation of catamarans) are one of the fastest, and most enjoyable ways to get around the riverside areas of the Brisbane CBD. They are exceptionally quick, don't get caught in traffic jams, and the view is better than what you see from behind a car windscreen. It's many Brisbanites preferred method of transportation during busy peak hours.
As a tourist you don't even need to be going anywhere. Staying on the CityCat for a complete loop will show you most of the river areas, return you to your original port and charge a fraction of what a tour cruise would in many other river cities. Sit out the front to experience the fresh river breeze on your face, out the back to appreciate the view or sit inside out of the breeze and rain.
You can stay up to date at work, University or School as all CityCat’s have built in WiFi which allows access to UQConnect and EduRoam. The CityCat Ferries operate through most of the day with the first route starting at 5:25am and the last ferry docking as late as 12:55am right through the week. To keep updated, check out the TransLink ferry timetable information here, or plan your journey here.
Ferry Tickets & GoCards
You can purchase the old, paper tickets from the staff on board. You'll be purchasing either a 1 or 2 zone depending on how far you're travelling. The staff will be able to help you with this so ask them about zones and just doing a scenic trip.
The cheaper option to the almost completely phased out paper ticket system is the Translink Go Card; an electronic ticket that you can swipe as you get on and off public transport for hassle free travel. The card works on all public transport in Brisbane which includes buses, train and the CityCat ferry services.
You can top up the balance of your Go Card at pay stations around major terminals then simply scan your card as you get on the ferry and when you get off. Your fare will automatically be deducted from the balance on your card and also display the remaining balance. There is no problem with using multiple transport routes and types, your Go Card will work out from the swipes that you are on one journey and charge you accordingly.
City Ferry Services
There is a smaller ferry service that still operates, mostly just as cross river services. The vessels used for this are the old City Ferries that were eventually replaced by the larger, faster CityCats.
Cross-river services are operating between Bulimba and Teneriffe, Norman Park and New Farm Park and between Thornton Street and Eagle Street Pier, about every 10 to 15 minutes. Holman Street terminal remains closed until further notice.