Garbutt, an industrial and residential suburb, is 5 km west of central Townsville.

The area was not known as Garbutt until 1915 when Garbutt Siding on the Townsville to Charters Towers railway line was opened. The Garbutt family had a livestock killing works and associated activities next to the line. In 1918 the Garbutt area was detached from Thuringowa Shire and put in Townsville. During the 1920s twenty-odd houses were built and a Catholic church hall was opened. Local industries included a tannery and fertilizer works. More activity followed in the 1930s: a primary school (1932), a Catholic church (1933), a Methodist church (1936) and Townsville City Council's building of an aerodrome. Within a few years the aerodrome was vastly expanded as an American base for New Guinea bombing missions, as well as being an RAAF base airfield.

After the war many of the military buildings were used for temporary housing. The Housing Commission built an estate between Dearness and Sunderland Streets. A few modern amenities were opened: a cinema in Gorden Street (1948), a drive-in theatre to the west at Ingham Road and Mather Street (1957) and a drive-in shopping centre on Ingham Road.

Garbutt is a dormitory suburb for several industries and the Townsville Airport. The residential area has undergone some minor refurbishment and civic improvements. Its notable building is the Catholic church, rebuilt in 1968 to a design reminiscent of the igloo.

Biosecurity officers began baiting a crazy ant infestation in Garbutt in 2008.

Garbutt's census populations have been:

census datepopulation
20062390
20112482

In 2011 8.8% were in defence related employment.