Depot Hill, a residential suburb of Rockhampton, is two km south-east of the city centre. It was named after an immigration barracks (or depot) located there in 1866-72. The suburb adjoins the Fitzroy River, and the river wharf was a short journey upstream. Although named as a hill, much of the suburb is on the Fitzroy River flood plain.
It was a depot of a different kind that concentrated activity in Depot Hill. Rockhampton's inland railway dated from the 1870s, and by 1910 its workshop facilities were congested. In 1911 a new site was chosen, and workshop buildings were completed by 1918.
During the construction period houses were built for railway employees, and the need for a local school was raised in 1913. Depot Hill primary school was opened in 1920, and within a year its average attendance was 177.
The railway workshops were a large employer, with a wide range of building and maintenance skills for locomotives and rolling-stock. There were lay-offs in the 1990s with the change to contracting-out, but in 2003 re-investment in new technology and equipment was begun. Old technology is preserved in the heritage listed engine roadhouse, one of Australia's best examples. There are also extensive railway marshalling yards.
Depot Hill has a large sports area in Rosel Park, a hotel, Catholic and Baptists churches and a community centre. Depot Hill's census population in 2006 was 1164 and the school's enrolment in 2007 was 43.
In early January 2011 very little of the suburb escaped flooding from the Fitzroy River. Most of the railway yards remained above water, as did the riverside gas works, but all the houses and public reserves went under, except for the ‘hill’, roughly centred on the intersection of Campbell and O’Connell Streets. The primary school is down the hill and subject to flooding.
Depot Hill State School 1920-1980: diamond jubilee, Depot Hill, Depot Hill State School, 1980