Bowen Hills is an inner suburb of the City of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, located 3 km (1.86 miles) northeast of the Brisbane CBD.[3] It was named after a Governor of Queensland, Sir George Ferguson Bowen.[4] At the 2016 Australian Census the suburb recorded a population of 3,266.[5]


View of Bowen Hills c. 1883
Suburb in flood, 1893

Before white settlement Bowen Hills was occupied by the indigenous Chepara people including the Brisbane, Ipswich and southern Jagera people.[6][7] The higher parts were named Barrambin meaning windy place because they caught the breezes.[8] It was one of the main campsites for the region, part of the Spring Hill, City area, where on occasions 700 to 1000 people were camped, including Brisbane locals, groups from Ipswich, the Tweed Valley, Wivenhoe, Rosewood, Logan, Stradbroke, North Pine and beyond.

The area now occupied by the grounds of the Brisbane Exhibition Ground and Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital was named Walan (Woolan), meaning Bream (fish). The area of the present main Ekka oval was a "great fighting ground for the blacks"[citation needed]. Barrambin was an important location for "kippa-ring" or initiation ceremony. Tribes from the coast would travel here to have their "kippa's" (young men) initiated. Early European settlement named the area beside Gilchrist Avenue York's Hollow.[9]

The Queensland Acclimatisation Society occupied Bowen Park in 1862, the area later known as the RNA Exhibition Grounds and home to the Brisbane Ekka.[10]

In 1866 Bowen Hills was defined as a postal district. Settlement increased in the 1870s. A post office was opened in 1878. The train station was opened in 1882.[10]

In 1886, William Perry, a local businessman, built Miegunyah House. The gracious Victorian era home remains intact today as a museum hosting historical talks and themed exhibitions.[11]

In the mid-twentieth century Bowen Hills was well known as the location of the Cloudland dance hall. Cloudland's domed structure on top of a hill was a prominent landmark on Brisbane's northside. Cloudland was controversially demolished in 1982 to make way for an apartment development.

In the 1960s Queensland Newspapers built its headquarters at Campbell Street Bowen Hills having previously operated out of Adelaide Street.[10]

In the 2010s a number of new residential apartment complexes were constructed in the area, with a range of retail outlets built to cater to Brisbane's growing population.


In the 2016 census, Bowen Hills recorded a population of 3,226 people, 45.6% women and 54.4% men.

The median age of the Bowen Hills population was 30 years of age, 8 years below the Australian median.

49.0% of people were born in Australia. The next most common country of birth was New Zealand at 3.9%.

59.5% of people spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin 4.8% and Spanish 3.2%.

The most common response for religion was No Religion at 38.3%.[1]

Heritage listings

Bowen Hills has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Recreational facilities

Taringa vs Wests Australian rules football match at Perry Park, Bowen Hills in the 1930s

The Twelfth Night Theatre, with live theatre, is in Bowen Hills. Many well-known actors have appeared in plays at the Twelfth Night Theatre, including Derek Fowlds, John Inman, Jon English and Drew Forsythe.

The Old Museum, in Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills, was the former location of the Queensland Museum until the museum's move to the Queensland Cultural Centre during the 1980s. The building is now home to the Queensland Youth Orchestras and provides rehearsal and performance space for many other community music and arts groups. A major feature on the Brisbane calendar of events, the Royal Queensland Show (the Ekka), is held each year at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds at Bowen Hills.

Bowen Park is a small public pleasure garden with a long history dating back to 1863.[18]

Perry Park Stadium is a sports ground, mostly used for soccer.


By Train, Bowen Hills Station is also one of Queensland's busiest railway stations with all Queensland Rail City network services on all lines, including express trains, stopping there; many services in peak periods terminate at Bowen Hills. Bowen Hills is home to a large Queensland Rail maintenance and stabling depot.

By Road, The TransApex infrastructure plans for Brisbane has several interconnections in Bowen Hills. The Clem Jones Tunnel (Clem7), Airport Link Tunnel and Inner City Bypass all have an entry/exit point in Bowen Hills and connect with each other at a spaghetti intersection.


Virgin Village, the Virgin Australia Holdings head office in Bowen Hills

Virgin Australia Holdings; including Virgin Australia; and associated airlines Virgin Australia International Airlines (formerly V Australia) and Virgin Samoa (formerly Polynesian Blue); have their head office in Virgin Village in Bowen Hills. As of 2008 1,000 employees work at Virgin Village, which opened on 17 October 2008.[19] In addition Sunstate Airlines, which operates under the QantasLink banner, has its head office in Bowen Hills.[20]

The headquarters of Brisbane's two newspapers, The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail, are located on Campbell Street, Bowen Hills. Also, the national headquarters of the Virgin Australia Holdings group of companies are located on Edmondstone Road.

There are a growing number of retail outlets trading from and primarily catering to residents in the developing urban renewal area.


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Bowen Hills". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Central Ward". Brisbane City Council. Brisbane City Council. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Bowen Hills (entry 47592)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Bowen Hills and Mayne". Queensland Places. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  5. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Bowen Hills (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 April 2013. Edit this at Wikidata
  6. ^ Howitt, A. W. (Alfred William) (1904). The native tribes of South-East Australia. Robarts - University of Toronto. London, Macmillan.
  7. ^ Law, Crown (1 January 2003). "Negative determination of native title over Brisbane upheld". Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  8. ^ Kerkhove, Ray, Aboriginal Camp Sites of Greater Brisbane A Historical Guide, 2014, Publication supported by Brisbane City Council
  9. ^ Petrie, Constance Campbell; Petrie, Tom (1992), Tom Petrie's reminiscences of early Queensland (4th ed.), University of Queensland Press, pp. 27, 35, 55, 317, ISBN 978-0-7022-2383-9
  10. ^ a b c Brisbane's Rich History
  11. ^ Cook, Penny (2006). Discover Queensland Heritage. Corinda, Queensland: Pictorial Press Australia. p. 34. ISBN 1876561424.
  12. ^ "Bowen Park (entry 601523)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  13. ^ "Cintra House (entry 600054)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church (entry 601585)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Miegunyah (entry 600055)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  16. ^ "Old Museum Building (entry 600209)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  17. ^ "Brisbane Exhibition Grounds (entry 601709)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  18. ^ "Bowen Park (entry 601523)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  19. ^ "Virgin Blue seeks shelter in Brisbane." The Australian. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
  20. ^ "Directory: World Airlines." Flight International. 30 March-5 April 2004. 76.

External links