Taringa, a residential suburb, is five km south-west of central Brisbane. It is on the Ipswich railway line and Moggill Road, and the Western Freeway is a short distance beyond it. The suburb's name, possibly bestowed by Europeans, is thought to have been derived from an Aboriginal word describing stones.
Taringa was a place on the railway line from Brisbane to Indooroopilly and Ipswich (1875), and land sales occurred around the railway station as soon as trains started running. They were situated among rural acreages, and Taringa was but a fraction of the Indooroopilly local government area (1880) that extended from Upper Brookfield to St Lucia and as far south as Priors Pocket. The local school for Taringa's farming families was Ironside.
In 1884 the Taringa post office was opened and six years later the Taringa local government division was created by severance from Indooroopilly. It went from St Lucia to Mt Coot-tha. The divisional council met at Taringa which had a row of shops along Moggill Road near the station - a grocer, draper, baker, two butchers, a bootmaker and a blacksmith according to the Post Office directory (1901). The primary school, squeezed between Moggill Road and Morrow Street, opened in 1900. Taringa became steadily built up and in 1919 the Fire Brigade Act was extended to it for property protection. Urbanisation was rewarded with incorporation into Greater Brisbane Council in 1925.
During the 1930s the university at St Lucia was built, positioning Taringa as a potential dormitory suburb for the postwar transfer of higher learning from the city to the St Lucia campus. Some modern interwar housing was built on Taringa's slopes, a notable example being a heritage-listed two storey brick residence with a railed balcony in McCaul Street (the Fulton House, 1940). In addition to new houses Moggill Road had a substantial shopping centre with the Picture Palace cinema, the Alliance Hall and the Anglican and Methodist churches. The Fulton House had been built at an outlying location, Taringa East, and a post office was opened at the nearby fiveways intersection in 1953.
Moggill Road became increasingly busy as the route to Indooroopilly and Kenmore. The Western Freeway-Centenary Highway (1969) relieved some of the traffic pressure, but a bypass route in the heart of Taringa was also opened that year in anticipation of Indooroopilly Shoppingtown (1970). It may have been the lesser of two misfortunes, as it positioned regional shopping just outside Taringa rather than inside it.
A minor anti-modern housing trend emerged with Rex Addison's new houses in Taringa Parade and McCaul Street (1975, 1999), drawing on the timber Queenslander tradition. Less resplendent examples also captured the attention of suburbanites, being close to shopping, public transport, the city, the university and Silvan Slopes. The primary school, however, was too close to the bypass, and closed in 1996. It was on a multi-million dollar site which was redeveloped for residential units. Other land parcels along Moggill Road went for $4 million plus for development sites, including a former council depot (2003, 2004).
Taringa East gained a small Fiveways drive-in shopping centre in 1990, where there is a supermarket and local stores. Moggill Road has retained something of its shopping strip.
Right opposite the tip of West End, water from the Brisbane River flooded into Taringa via Perrin Park in January 2011. It travelled beyond the park to Whitmore Street and Swann Road, entering numerous buildings.
Taringa's census populations have been: