home | suburb info | Hamilton
Hamilton is located on the banks of the Brisbane River, approximately 7km north of the Brisbane CBD. The suburb is dominated by Hamilton Hill, from which residents enjoy spectacular views of the river and the city. Views also extend to Mount Coot-tha to the west and Moreton Bay to the east.
Throughout Brisbane's history, Hamilton has always been the city's most prestigious suburb, and is generally referred to as one of Brisbane's "old money" areas. In the early days of Brisbane, Hamilton was home to many aristocrats and clergy, and today is still home to many of Brisbane's most powerful families, as well as the city's business elite.
Hamilton ward councillor Tim Nicholls, who represents the suburb for Brisbane City Council says the suburb is typically a place where wharfies can rub shoulders with judges. It is a suburb where judges, politicians, property developers, company managing directors and celebrities live.
"I can think of four Liberal senators living in the area off the top of my head. Itís always been home to the judiciary, politicians and business leaders. This is where Christopher Skase lived."
For the record, Skase and his wife Pixie lived in 'Bromley', a $4m home on Dickson Terrace. At the time, this was Queensland's most expensive home.
Whilst Hamilton features many of Brisbane's grandest old homes, including the iconic Toorak House at the crest of Hamilton Hill, the suburb still features great diversity in both the housing and the residents which call the area home.
The hill is dominated by grand old Queenslanders and Victorian style homes, as well an increasing number of impressive modern homes. Thankfully the addition of modern homes has not taken away from the prestige and history of the area, which probably comes down to good management from the council's planning office.
The lower lying areas still feature many grand homes, and some of the best examples of the Queenslander design in the state. In addition to these, there are a considerable number of 'six pack' style apartment blocks scattered throughout the suburb, most of which were built in the 1980s and 70s.
These older apartment complexes may be considered eyesores by some of the traditionalists within the suburb, but they do allow a new generation of aspiring young residents to get a taste for the area. With these, most young people would be locked out of the Hamilton area thanks to the million dollar price tags that even entry level houses in Hamilton can sometimes demand.
With the addition of the Portside Wharf complex, Hamilton now also features some of Brisbane's most luxurious apartments. Apartments in the complex have sold for well into the millions, which shows that Hamilton can match it with any of Brisbane's more established luxury apartment markets such as New Farm and Kangaroo Point, as well as the city itself.
Due to the level of wealth within the area, it is no surprise that Hamilton is home to some of Brisbane's best restaurants. The social scene of Hamilton is centred around Racecourse Road and Portside Wharf, both of which are within walking distance of each other.
Racecourse Road is a popular destination throughout the day, with a number of great cafes for breakfast and lunch, as well as restaurants and bars for the evening. In addition to the wining and dining, Racecourse Road also features a number of retail outlets, many of which are women's fashion boutiques.
The road runs from Brett's Wharf at the Brisbane River end, through to Eagle Farm Racecourse, which is where the road gets its name from. The road is actually split across two suburbs, being Hamilton at the Brett's Wharf end, and Ascot at the racecourse end.
Portside Wharf was opened to the public in 200? and is home to the Brisbane Cruise Terminal. The development features some of Brisbane's best bars and restaurants, and is a popular venue for wedding receptions and other functions.
In addition to the shopping and socialising aspect of Portside, the complex is topped by a number of luxury apartment buildings, with more to be added in future.
The next stage in Hamilton's evolution, and indeed the largest for many decades, is the new Northshore Hamilton development. The area will feature a mix of residential and commercial use, as well as large areas of public parkland.
Northshore Hamilton will be one of Brisbane's largest urban renewal projects. The area covered by the new development is approximately 64 hectares, and is land that was previously part of the Port of Brisbane. The port relocated much of its operations to the newly built Fisherman Islands port during the 1980s, and today the land is mainly unused.
The new area is expected to be home to around 10,000 residents once complete, which is more than double Hamilton's current population of less than 5,000. The development will no doubt place a lot of pressure on the already busy Kingsford Smith Drive, but hopefully many of the new residents will embrace public transport and enjoy a relaxing cruise into the city aboard one of the Citycat ferries.
Hamilton features one of Brisbane's best golf courses, the Royal Queensland Golf Club. The club was established in 1920 and has hosted three Australian Open golf championships. The course is a private one, and visitors are welcome only if they hold current membership with another golf club, as well as an official handicap.
Due to Hamilton's large concentration of Brisbane's grandest homes, and indeed Brisbane's highest median house price, it is unlikely to ever lose its standing as the cities most prestigious and desirable suburb.
1865 - (14 August) first horse races at nearby Eagle Farm
1886 - Horse drawn wagons were used as "feeders" between the horse tram terminus at Breakfast Creek and the Hamilton Hotel
1890 - Hamilton Divisional Board established
1902 - Hamilton Training Wall was constructed in the Brisbane River to stabilize the river bank and to facilitate land reclamation. The southern end of the training wall was opposite Racecourse Road but has been extended in the period since. The Royal Queensland Golf Club is on some of the reclaimed land
1904 - Hamilton Town Council established
1919 - Hamilton Cold Stores built on reclaimed land
1950s - Large homes with river and city views were available for £3,000 - £4,000