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state library of queensland
John Oxley Library

Queensland Place Histories : Pinkenba, Brisbane

By JOL Admin | 2 August 2012

Estate map of the Town of Pinkenba, Brisbane, Queensland, 1892. State Library of Queensland. Image number: 758616

The Brisbane suburb of Pinkenba is located approximately eleven kilometres north-east of the city. It is situated on Yugarabul traditional land, one of the Aboriginal nations that has inhabited the area that in now known as Brisbane for thousands of years. Its name is said to be derived from the Aboriginal word "Binkinba", meaning "place of tortoises" and originally referring to the area that is now known as New Farm.  The name came into common usage from an early time and was formally given to the railway station when it was opened in 1897.

Pinkenba Railway Station, Brisbane, ca. 1935. State Library of Queensland. Negative number: 34548

The area was originally settled for farming and extended over the site now covered by the Brisbane Airport as well as further afield to Nudgee and Cribb Island.  A school, initially called the Boggy Creek School, was opened in 1875, later named Myrtle School and eventually Pinkenba.  A Hotel, the Myrtle, was opened in 1896 to cater for local workers and residents.

A wharf was constucted in 1898 to assist with the flow of goods in and out of Brisbane as well as becoming the point of disembarkation for troops moving overseas during wartime.  For instance, the Boer War Contingent left from here in 1899 as well as the 2nd AIF in 1939.

Pinkenba wharf, ca. 1912. State Library of Queensland. Negative number: 38823

In 1902, a spur line from Pinkenba to the wharf was built to facilitate the movement of goods and later, in 1909, a separate railway wharf was constructed.   During World War Two, a Royal Australian Navy Defence Station was established, with the remains of this facility listed on the current Queensland Heritage Register.  Also listed on the Queensland Heritage Register is the Pinkenba War Memorial, located in Eagle Farm Road.

Pinkenba War Memorial, Queensland, 1925. State Library of Queensland. Negative number: 38823

Over the years there has been a diverse range of businesses and industries set up in the area, including meatworks, boarding houses, an explosives magazine and more recently, oil refineries.

Pinkenba remains an important centre of trade and industry in Brisbane.

Brian Randall - Queensland Places Coordinator, State Library of Queensland


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