Newmarket, a residential suburb, is five km north-west of central Brisbane. It is on Kelvin Grove-Enoggera Road immediately north of Enoggera Creek. It was named after the cattle saleyards (1877-1931) at the north-east corner of Enoggera and Newmarket Roads.
Until Newmarket saleyards were opened, livestock for the Brisbane market was sold through a leased-out municipal saleyard between Roma and Albert Streets, west of Turbot Street, and several private saleyards. The Roma Street facility was increasingly unsatisfactory, and a new saleyard was established in the extreme west of the shire of Windsor, north of Enoggera Creek. Within two years of the opening of the saleyards in 1877 the Newmarket Hotel at the south-east corner of Enoggera and Newmarket Roads was opened.
A post office was opened in 1888. In the next decade the Enoggera and Windsor councils agitated for a railway line and by jointly guaranteeing the running costs a service from Mayne to Enoggera was opened in 1899. The Newmarket station was immediately north-east of the saleyards. Residential settlement followed the line, and in 1904 a primary school was opened. Along the same side of Enoggera Road as the school there were a Wesleyan (later Uniting) church, a blacksmith and two stores. On the other side there were a boot maker, the Newmarket Hall, the hotel, the store and post office and a police station. In 1926 the tram service was extended along Enoggera Road to Newmarket. Since 1859 there had been a bridge at Kelvin Grove Road across Enoggera Creek and it was rebuilt in about 1900 and again, in reinforced concrete, in 1918.
As settlement intensified a row of churches grew along Enoggera Road north of the Wesleyan chapel: Catholic church and convent (with St Ambrose's school, 1936), a Church of England and a Presbyterian church around the corner in Wilmington Street. Secular places of assembly included an Oddfellows hall in Parker Street and Cooks picture theatre. There were also two tanneries and, along the railway line, Hendersons sawmill (now Newmarket swimming pool) and a brickworks (now in Alderley, but then considered to be in Newmarket).
The opening of the Cannon Hill saleyards in 1931 ended Newmarket's livestock business. That, and tramline extension along Enoggera Road to the school, provided further incentive for residential subdivisions. Sawmills and brickyards created local employment, and a shopping centre formed around the tram terminus. In the west of Newmarket, adjoining Enoggera Creek, an area of 14.8 ha was donated by a private benefactor for a bird sanctuary. It is now the Banks Street Reserve. Newmarket State high school was opened in 1963, immediately west of the primary school.
In 1996 the high school was closed and the site developed for housing and a small local park. Less quickly, a development site adjoining the Newmarket Hotel lingered from 1992 to 2004. A proposed cinema miscarried and the Reading Newmarket Shopping centre (2005) came about. Newmarket has three public reserves, each with ovals, and a walking trail along Enoggera Creek.
Newmarket's census populations have been:
Jan Veacock and Dorothy Jeffrey, eds, 'And a school was opened at Newmarket, near Brisbane': a history of the Newmarket State School, 1904 to 2004, Newmarket, Newmarket State School P&C Committee, 2004