Secrets Of Brisbane's Suburbs

From haunted buildings and historic graveyards to wartime secrets, Brisbane's suburbs are home to all manner of interesting places and stories that not even their own residents know about.

Here are 12 Brisbane suburbs with intriguing secrets hidden within their streets:


Bishopsbourne Milton

On a bushy hill behind the XXXX brewery is Bishopsbourne, a gothic bishop's residence dating from the 1860's and alongside it a gorgeous heritage-listed chapel designed by AS Dods and built in 1912. Another Milton secret is the tiny graveyard, a remnant of Paddington Cemetery that is tucked away behind Suncorp Stadium in the Christ Church precinct.


The industrial back streets of Salisbury are littered by wartime factories, where during World War II the secret manufacturing of ammunition and machinery was carried out, and factory rooftops painted with swimming pools and parklands to deter the enemy. Today an old bullet factory is now cool café Reload Espresso and the roof of the Renovator's Barn has the relic of a painted swimming pool still visible from the air.


The airport terminal at Archerfield is a splendid 1930s art deco affair, dating from the time when it was Brisbane's main passenger terminal with airlines Ansett ANA and TAA flying out of here. In a family's backyard in Archerfield you'll also find Brisbane's only Peruvian restaurant - La Concita de Don Panchito - and it's the real deal.


The mysterious O streets (that all start with the letter 'O') in the charming little residential pocket bordered by the river are all named after the P&O liners of the 1920s and 30s. Just before you reach this area is a cul-de-sac containing one of Brisbane's grandest houses, Rhyndarra, built as a residence for an unfortunate banker and a one-time Salvation home for wayward girls and World War II military hospital. Yeronga is also the grand villa that is the one-time home of printer John Mills of John Mills Himself fame, who also has a cafe bar named after him.


Home to some of Brisbane's most gorgeous sprawling Queenslanders from a bygone era, some still with their tennis courts, Corinda has a little park with stunning river views and a tiny private graveyard of some of its first residents interned a as well as the Horace Window riverfront pocket park, that feels a million miles from anywhere.

Petrie Terrace

The inner city suburb of quaint pyramid-tin-roofed cottages and impossibly narrow streets is one of Brisbane's oldest, with historical secrets buried within. The Victoria Barracks has a heritage-listed building that was a one-time lock-up for mental patients and health clinic for Victorian era prostitutes, as well as Queensland's first tennis court, whilst along Petrie Terrace is a row of terraces that was once the BGS boarding school.


Few would know that the popular inner-north suburb is home to the smallest house in Brisbane and one of the oldest, Oakwal (circa 1864), while some of the best vistas of Brisbane can be taken in from its hilltop reservoirs. Windsor was also once the haunt of famous aviator Bert Hinkler who was a member of the local Aero Club and who has a local park named after him. All of this and more revealed in our Windsor walk.

East Brisbane

The riverside suburb formerly known as Mowbraytown still has a tiny cluster of historical ecclesiastical buildings from this time, one of them a coffee shop. Other remnants from this era are Eskgrove, one of Brisbane's oldest residences, while on the river at low tide can still be seen the relics of the swimming baths which used to be. See these and more on our East Brisbane walk.


Not many Brisbane folk are aware that this northside suburb was the first home of Brisbane's free settlers, most of whom were German missionaries and as such it was originally called German Station. The only remnant of this time is the tiny cemetery a few blocks from the village where the names on the headstones are German.

Breakfast Creek

The Breakfast Creek neighbourhood, which straddles Newstead, Albion and Hamilton is home to the heritage-listed 19th century Holy Triad Chinese Temple, a relic from the days when Breakfast Creek was awash with market gardens. And whilst everyone knows about Newstead House, Brisbane's oldest residence, many are unaware of the talking tree and Alice in Wonderland-themed park on its grounds.

Wellington Point

This scenic bayside suburb is the location of one of Brisbane grandest and famously haunted mansions - Whepstead - which dates from 1889 and throughout the years has been a private residence, hospital and function centre. It is also where you'll find Brisbane's tiniest island - King Island, which can be reached via sandbar at low tide and which once had a house on it, resided in by the Philips family from 1904-1906 for health reasons.


This industrial southside suburb has a Russian connection, with the golden onion domes of local Russian orthodox church Our Lady of St Vladimir (where Brisbane's Russian community still gather to worship) visible from busy Ipswich Road. Another local secret is the amazing green oasis that is Oxley Common with its bird lakes and walking tracks. 



Perched on a hill behind the Wesley Hospital and overlooking Coronation Drive is Moorlands, the home of the Mayne family whose father Patrick was the notorious butcher and alleged murderer whose family legacy funded the University of Queensland. In one of its rooms his son Isaac was kept interned after he was also suspected of a murder in Milton decades later.

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