Belgian Gardens, a residential suburb, is three km north-west of central Townsville. It runs down from the northern slopes of Castle Hill to Rowes Bay.
In the 1860s Belgian Gardens was settled by Chinese market gardeners and by a German farmer, Henry Robinson, who was also a market gardener and ran a small dairy herd. The town common, further west, was set aside as a dairying and cow pasture in 1870. Robinson's farm bestowed the name German Gardens on the locality, which was in Thuringowa shire. Anti-German feeling during World War I led to the locality being changed to Belgian Gardens, and in 1918 the suburb was transferred from the shire to Townsville city.
German Gardens school was opened in 1887. Further west in Rowes Bay, a site was marked out for the Townsville cemetery. On Castle Hill's slopes, however, the suburb was a desirable location; the Church of England Bishop's Lodge (1899) above Bundock Street took a choice address, and it is on the Australian heritage register; the Catholic Church erected St Columba's church, a convent and school (1928-75).
Belgian Gardens overlooks Rowes Bay, where there is a beach and linear Soroptomist Park. The housing is a mixture of traditional high-set Queenslanders and modern developments. For census purposes Belgian Gardens is combined with the adjoining locality of Rowes Bay, which has only a small housing area. Their combined census populations have been: