Camp Hill, a residential suburb, is 6 km south-east of central Brisbane. Travel, whether by the William Jolly or Story Bridges to Old Cleveland Road, is considerably further. It is thought that the name originated from teamsters resting at a waterhole at the foot of Whites Hill in the south of the suburb.
Camp Hill's central north-south axis, Boundary Road, was the dividing line between Coorparoo Shire (1888) and the rural Belmont Shire (1894). Coorparoo had a smattering of urban development in its eastern area, but even with tram and train lines it took until the 1920s for the shire's Norman Park area to come under residential development. Camp Hill, with neither form of public transport, had its development further delayed.
In 1924 the proposed extension of the tram line along Old Cleveland Road from Cavendish Road to Mayfield Road was public knowledge. Coorparoo Shire judged that a real estate boom had thereupon set in: allotments once unsaleable were changing hands more than once in a few months; an area that had lain dormant for 30 years was opening up. The Daly Estate marketed as Your Golden Opportunity (copy held in Oxley Library) brilliantly exemplifies the marketing of the real estate at Old Cleveland Road and Albert Street. The tram extension was opened in 1925 and the Camp Hill primary school (named Bruce, 1926-31) began in the following year. The Catholic St Thomas' church was opened in 1927.
Along with Coorparoo and Belmont Shires, Camp Hill became part of the Greater Brisbane Council, and in 1928, the council resumed Whites Hill reserve in the south of Camp Hill. A post office was opened in 1929 and by the outbreak of war there were substantial housing and subdivisions south of Old Cleveland Road extending to Whites Hill. Subdivisions were less concentrated north of the road. The school of arts at the corner of Wiles Street and Old Cleveland road was opened in 1940.
By the early postwar years Camp Hill was a developing suburb. In addition to a shopping centre along Old Cleveland Road there were five mixed businesses in residential streets servicing local needs. A separate infant's school was opened in 1951. In the outlying north-east the Mayfield primary school (now in Carina) was opened in 1956, Camp Hill (now Whites Hill) high school was opened in 1957 and next door Whites Hill primary school (1958-2001). There were two Catholic schools, St Thomas' in Perth Street (east Camp Hill, 1929) and St Martin's in Broadway Street (west Camp Hill, 1954, now in Carina). The largest recreation space is Whites Hill Reserve in the south, once surmounted by Robert White's residence with a camera obscura for visitors, as popular as Mount Coot-tha in the 1920s.
Shopping for Camp Hill's residents was improved with the opening of Carindale's drive-in shopping centre, 3 km to the east in Old Cleveland Road in 1979. There is local shopping in Boundary Road.
By then Camp Hill was a mature suburb with a mixture of interwar and postwar housing. In the 2000s Camp Hill was marketed as a popular suburb with city views, a diverse range of housing and access to Coorparoo and Carindale shopping. There is local shopping at Whites Hill shopping village. Some of the interwar housing was described as a renovator's dream, and the city council had extended demolition controls to it.
Camp Hill's census populations have been:
|Including parts of|
Coorparoo and Norman Park
Judy Rechner, Where have all the creeks gone?, Brisbane, Brisbane East Branch of the National Trust of Queensland, 2001