New Farm, Queensland
New Farm is a riverside inner suburb in the City of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The suburb is located 2 kilometres east of the Brisbane CBD on a large bend of the Brisbane River. New Farm is partly surrounded by the Brisbane River, with land access from the north-west through Fortitude Valley and from the north through Newstead. Merthyr is a neighbourhood within New Farm; until 1975 it was a separate suburb.
At the south-eastern end of the peninsula is the historic New Farm Park. The suburb derives its name from the fact that the peninsula was used as a farming area in the early years of Brisbane’s history. Brunswick Street is the main street running northwest-southeast up the centre of the peninsula. To the south of Brunswick Street the suburb is characterised by large ornate Queenslander-style houses, shady streets lined with large trees and tall apartment buildings, predominantly along the river. More modest Queenslander-style houses dominate the north of Brunswick Street, where there are fewer large trees and apartments.
The suburb has one main commercial area close to New Farm Park, called ‘Merthyr Village’. A wide variety of businesses also operate along Brunswick Street and in adjacent streets. The former electric tramway power station, located at the eastern corner of New Farm Park, has been converted into a community arts and performance space called ‘The Powerhouse’. New Farm is known as Brisbane’s “Little Italy” as many immigrants from Italian descent first settled in the suburb. The Brisbane City Council operates a public library at 135 Sydney Street. The library opened in 1975 and offers publicly accessible Wi-Fi.
Though one of Brisbane’s oldest suburbs, the peninsula of New Farm was once called Binkinba (place of the land tortoises) by the indigenous Turrbal tribe of Brisbane. Patrick Logan established a farm in the area in 1827. According to a recent book, Reflections on New Farm, published by the New Farm and Districts Historical Society the area was also a working site of convicts (lime kilns dating back to 1870 are still evident on the river banks) a marine base in World War II and home to many wealthy merchants and lawyers. Politician and judge Samuel Griffith built his house ‘Merthyr’ in the suburb in 1870.
From 1885 to 1897 New Farm’s transport needs were met by horse-drawn trams, which operated along Brunswick Street, as far as Barker Street. In 1897, the horse trams were replaced with electric trams and the line was extended, with trams ultimately running as far as Macquarie Street and down to the river at New Farm Park. The electric trams ceased operation on 13 April 1969. Since then the suburb has been served by diesel buses.
New Farm developed a reputation in the late 1980s for street prostitution and as a drug-addled, low-rent culture depicted in Andrew McGahan‘s grunge novel Praise, which is set largely in the suburb.
Since then, and like many Brisbane suburbs, New Farm has experienced much ‘gentrification‘ and ‘infill development’ throughout the 1990s and the years since 2000. However, New Farm maintains its diversity, being known for its long-established Anglo-Saxon and Italian communities (as depicted in Venero Armanno‘s novel Firehead), and its many restaurants and cafes.
On 23 January 2007, part of the movie Fool’s Gold, starring Kate Hudson, was shot at New Farm Park. Scenes from the films All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane (2007) and Jucy (2011) have also been shot there.
New Farm has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 41 Abbott Street: Residence, Abbott Street
- 41 Balfour Street: Cairnsville
- 701 Brunswick Street: Village Twin Cinemas
- Cnr James & Heal Streets: New Farm State School
- 12 Julius Street: Langshaw Marble Lime Works
- 15 Julius Street: Julius Street Flats
- Lamington Street: former CSR Refinery
- 71-73 Moray Street: Bertholme
- 186 Moray Street: Glenugie
- 209 Moray Street: Santa Barbara
- 137 Sydney Street: New Farm Park
- 101 Welsby Street: Amity
In the 2011 census, New Farm had a population of 11,330 people; 49.9% female and 50.1% male.
The median age of the New Farm population was 36 years of age, 1 year below the Australian median. Children aged under 15 years made up 8.0% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 13.5% of the population.
63.5% of people living in New Farm were born in Australia, compared to the national average of 69.8%; the next most common countries of birth were England 4.6%, New Zealand 3.9%, Italy 1.9%, China 1.4%, South Africa 1.1%.
77.2% of people spoke only English at home; the next most popular languages were 3.1% Italian, 1.9% Cantonese, 1% Mandarin, 0.9% Nepali, 0.8% French.
The most common religious affiliation was “No Religion” (30.9%); the next most common responses were Catholic 27.3%, Anglican 12.6%, Uniting Church 3.0% and Buddhism 2.9%.
The suburb has an eclectic mix of 19th century colonial homes, 20th century traditional Queenslander and modern architectural hybrids. As apartment, unit and duplex housing continues to exceed its share beyond 70% of the local dwelling mix – detached housing is increasing in demand and price.
By Ferry At the river end of Brunswick Street a small cross-river ferry, operated by Brisbane Transport links New Farm with Norman Park. New Farm can also be accessed via two CityCat stops (operated by Brisbane Transport) – at Sydney Street and at New Farm Park.
By Bus The suburb is serviced by several bus routes to and from the city centre.
The New Farm State School was opened on 21 January 1901.
Notes and references
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). “New Farm”. 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
- “Central Ward”. Brisbane City Council. Brisbane City Council. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- “New Farm – suburb in City of Brisbane (entry 47498)”. Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
- “New Farm (entry 47498)”. Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- “Merthyr (entry 21697)”. Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). “New Farm (State Suburb)”. 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- Katherine Feeney (2 August 2012). Brisbane booming in the middle and round the edges. Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media.
- Barrett, Rosanne. “A Riverside Jaunt in Brisbane”. Wall Street Journal Asia.
- “New Farm Library”. Public Libraries Connect. 15 December 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- “Queensland Public Libraries Statistical Bulletin 2016-17” (PDF). Public Libraries Connect. November 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- Petrie & Petrie 1904, p. 82.
- Gregory, Helen; Dianne Mclay (2010). Building Brisbane’s History: Structure, Sculptures, Stories and Secrets. Warriewood, New South Wales: Woodslane Press. pp. 158–160. ISBN 9781921606199.
- New Farm and Districts Historical Society Inc
- “Select Sex Industry Statistics” (PDF). www.pla.qld.gov.au/. Prostitution Licensing Authority. December 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
- “Residence, Abbott Street (entry 601020)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- “Cairnsville (entry 600259)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- “Village Twin Cinemas (entry 602101)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- “New Farm State School (entry 650043)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- “Remains of the Langshaw Marble Lime Works (entry 601885)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- “Julius Street Flats New Farm (entry 601895)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- “CSR Refinery (former) (entry 600261)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- “Bertholme (entry 600263)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- “Glenugie (entry 600262)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- “Santa Barbara (entry 601547)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- “New Farm Park (entry 602402)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- “Amity (entry 600264)”. Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- Thompson, Lila. “New Farm: Dwelling Types”. profile.id. I.D. CONSULTING PTY LTD. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- “New Farm Property Market, House Prices & Suburb Profile”. realestate.com.au. REA Group Ltd. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- Smart Cities: Rethinking the City Centre
- “Opening and closing dates of Queensland schools (N)”. education.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-01-19.