Hitching out of anywhere on the East coast of Australia is pretty easy, and Brisbane is no different. Head out onto one of the highways/motorways/freeways. The Pacific Highway goes south to the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sydney, etc., and the Bruce Highway goes North to the Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Cairns etc.
The best spots are going to be on on-ramps, but these are difficult at the best of times. Best to get a ride straight through the city or if you find your self in the middle, take bus or train to the first small town and hitch from there. Try to town hop rather than petrol station hop.
South (Pacific Motorway)
If you use a sign, it should read Gold Coast becasue thats where 90% of the people will go. There are several spots where people hitch from:
- Just off Stanley St in Woolloongabba.
- There is a petrol station on intersection Juliette Street and Marquis Street in Greenslopes. Many people going South to the coast will fill up there before heading to the motorway. Marquis Street has parking bays where people can pull over and you could stand on the pedestrian walk (which would make it absolutely legal to hitch hike.)
- Catch a train south to Robina station (perhaps its the end of the Robina line?). Exit the station (i think there's only one exit, or at least go to the road that is by the station), follow it to the left, you will arrive at a round-a-bout, which is Robina town centre drive. Turn right here and follow it all the way, you will know it is the right way when you pass a golf course. You will arrive at a round-a-bout, follow the road to the right and try to get to the motorway. The motorway usually has no room for cars to pull over, but under the bridge here and between the exit and entrance to the motorway here there is ample room for cars to stop. I would reccommend to hitch closer to where the exit from the motorway is - even though you'll keep on thinking cars are stopping for you, cars will be able to see you better and you are maximising drivers room and opportunity to stop.
The above Robina spot is undergoing roadwork therefore the room for cars to stop has been sealed. Alternately, walk North towards a petrol station to ask for a lift (I think it's Shell). This spot has worked for me!
User:Annfoo went to this petrol station and it was very hard to find a lift because Robina is a small town and all the traffic is local. She found a local who dropped her on the highway, where it was hard to get a lift because the traffic was moving too fast, she was limited to trucks who had time to stop because they had the height to see her from further away. Ultimately, she doesn't think Robina is a good place while the road at the on-ramp is still sealed for construction - try Tweed Heads?
Head out towards the airport (through the Fortitude Valley) and follow signs to the airport. The on-ramp onto the motorway in Hamilton is a good spot, too.
In 2018 the easily hitchable towns going north up "The Bruce Highway" from Brisbane are: Gympie, Tiaro, Childers, Gin Gin, Miriam Vale, Bororen, Benaraby, Mt Larcomb, Marmor. Rockhampton was a little more difficult as it is bigger but still no problem getting to Mackay. At these places the traffic slows and there is room to pull off. Anywhere else on the A1 is going to be more difficult. Hitching on the M1 is illegal.
Note: when hitching back down the coast TOWARDS or through Brisbane, the last easily hitchable spot is in Gympie opposite Dowling St outside the Caltex it is a perfect place with a single lane, slow traffic and a perfect pull in area. Lots of cars will stop, just ask each driver where they are going and only take a ride to or right through Brisbane.