Hendra, a residential suburb, is seven km north-east of central Brisbane. It is bounded by the Kedron Brook outfall (Schultz Canal) on the north, and the main road to Nudgee bisects it. It was on this road that the Hendra primary school was opened in 1864, drawing pupils from the farms around Ascot and Clayfield. Named Eagle Farm, the school was renamed Hendra in 1908. The suburb's name came from the station on the Eagle Farm railway line (1882), apparently bestowed by the Railways Commissioner.
In 1865 the Queensland Turf Club held its first race meeting at Eagle Farm. Fifteen years later the colonial government agreed to build railways to Brisbane's outdoor pleasure destinations, Sandgate and the Eagle Farm racecourse. The racecourse line branched from Eagle Junction, passing through Hendra to Ascot, and began running in 1882. The railway stopping place was named Hendra, probably by the Railway commissioner, F.E. Curow, after Hendra in Cornwall. Curnow came from St Ives, Cornwall. As trains were run only on race days the line did not provide a service for commuters or the inhabitants of residential subdivisions. That was reserved for Clayfield, Hamilton and Ascot which had tramlines. The racecourse, however, needed stablehands and trainers, and numerous horse trainers built houses and stables to be close to their place of work. Professional backyard stables continued during all of the twentieth century, and over 50 trainers were recorded under Hendra in the post office directory in 1949.
Hendra's residents included Thomas Beirne, the proprietor of a landmark department store in Fortitude Valley. His residence, Glengariff, at 5 Derby Street was built in 1889 and is on the Queensland heritage register. The T.C. Beirne Park is nearby, and north of the park there is the larger Bannister Park (1920) and an industrial estate developed in the early 2000s.
Hendra was substantially built up by the early postwar years. There were local shops along Zillman Road up from the railway station, Anglican, Catholic, Methodist and Lutheran churches, and a Catholic school (1937). In 1963 Hendra (renamed Aviation) State high school was built at the end of Zillman road, near the Kedron Brook outfall.
The undeveloped land in the vicinity of the outfall provided space for the Gateway Arterial road (1986) looping around Hendra's north-west and ultimately joining the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast. Accommodating a major road usually has an adverse effect on property values, but Hendra has contradicted convention. Neighbouring Clayfield and Ascot had high residential prices, which spilled into Hendra. Backyard stables withdrew from Hendra, and close access to the Gateway Arterial came to be positively regarded. Along Nudgee Road industrial sites changed to less undesirable commercial uses and Hendra house prices moved upward in the 2000s.
Training facilities continued, however, and in 1994 a deadly new infection caused by Hendra Virus was detected there. The virus is passed from fruit bats from overhead on to horse feed, and is transmissible to humans.
Hendra's census populations have been:
Hendra State School 125th anniversary celebrations, souvenir booklet, Hendra, Hendra State School, 1989