Scarborough, a suburb at the northern end of Redcliffe Peninsula, is 30 km north-east of central Brisbane. Moreton Bay is to its east and Deception Bay to its west.
Much of the Redcliffe Peninsula was subdivided into small farm lots in the 1870s, combining the attractions of rural ambience and sandy beaches, the latter being absent in Brisbane and along its river. Most purchases were speculative, which did not help the Scarborough Hotel (1879) which was a financial failure. In the 1880s there were 'housing estate' subdivisions, and a Brisbane to Redcliffe passenger steamer service started in 1883. Settlement was concentrated in Redcliffe, and it was after the opening of the Hornibrook Highway (1935) that the peninsula changed from mainly a holiday and excursion destination to a substantial urban area. The scattered population at the north of the peninsula required the opening of Scarborough primary school in 1925, and a post office in 1935. St Bernadette's Catholic school opened in 1948 and a Catholic college in 1950. Camping continued on the Deception Bay side near the Scarborough jetty, a destination which could be reached despite shortages of cars and petrol. The post office directory of 1949 recorded the Scarborough Hotel, a cash and carry grocer, a frock salon and several other shops, a motor hire service and a land agent.
In 1963 the Moreton Bay Boat Club was established. The jetty was altered to become a boat harbour from where there was a vehicular ferry to Moreton Island until 2008. Low-lying land in the south west was re-contoured in the 1980s to form a canal estate and marina. A substantial Southern Cross Catholic College and primary school emerged from the De La Salle (1955) and St Bernadette schools. In 2008 the canal estate was excised from Scarborough and joined with an adjacent area in Kippa Ring to form a new suburb, Newport.
Scarborough has three beaches on Moreton Bay, including the popular Queens and Scarborough beaches which are backed with foreshore reserves. Deception Bay's beach also has a linear reserve. There is a linear shopping centre near the foreshore and Scarborough Point.
Three quarters of Scarborough's dwellings are detached houses, a higher proportion than in neighbouring Redcliffe. The median age of residents in 2006 was 44, compared with 37 for Australia. Scarborough's Census populations have been: