Nudgee, a residential suburb, is 15 km north-east of central Brisbane. It is thought that the name was derived from an Aboriginal word describing a wild or black duck, although other meanings are recorded.

The area originally included most, if not all, of Banyo and Boondall, which explains how the primary school and Nudgee College are now found in those suburbs.

Nudgee had reliable sources of water from Nundah Creek and the Nudgee Waterholes, and farm settlements were scattered through the area by the 1860s. An unusual enterprise was the Toombul Vineyard (1866-1930s) near the Waterholes. Surviving farm buildings at 1193 Nudgee Road are listed on the Australian heritage register. In addition the Catholic Church acquired two large sites: an area between Earnshaw and Nudgee Roads in 1863 (now in Banyo) for seminary purposes, and in Queens Road (1867) for St Vincents orphanage (1881) and a local chapel. A government primary school was opened in 1874.

The Brisbane to Sandgate railway (1882) had a station at Nudgee and within a short time residential and farm allotments were put up for sale. The land in Earnshaw Road remained undeveloped, but another site in Sandgate Road (Boondall) was developed for St Joseph's (Nudgee) College in 1891. The principal school building, designed by Andrea Stombuco, is of a grand Italianate design.

Nudgee was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:

Away at the Moreton Bay coastline the Nudgee Beach estate was offered for sale in 1916, fortunately accompanied by a foreshore reserve (1918) put aside for recreation and camping. A local progress association was formed in 1922 and a school was opened in the public hall in 1926. Isolated from Nudgee by the Boondall Wetlands and an adjoining watercourse, Nudgee Beach's population has stayed at around 300 people.

East of the Nudgee Waterholes the Nudgee golf course was begun in 1929. As the Depression deepened during the next decade the Waterholes became a living area for itinerant persons. In 1939 the Catholic Church selected Nudgee from a range of possible sites for a new seminary, and in 1941 the Pius XII Seminary was opened. Nudgee was thus the site of several notable religious institutions. Less well recognised was an Aboriginal bora ring next to the Waterholes, with an outer diameter of 21 metres.

In 2003 Nudgee Primary school was closed and the adjoining Banyo High school was renamed Earnshaw (P-12) State College.

Nudgee's socio-economic status was not high in the past. Locals express considerable affection for Nudgee, some emphasising its backwater tranquillity. Nudgee Beach residents are particularly protective of their locality.

Nudgee's census populations have been:

Census Date Population
  Nudgee Nudgee Beach
1911 1161  
1961 3189  
1976* 2147  
1991 1891  
2001 1907  
2006 2123 345
2011 2856 261

*Census area changed.

Sue Pechey and Jean Tremayne, Pioneers, picnics and pineapples: community history of Banyo-Nudgee, Spring Hill, Aebis Publishing, 1994



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