Burbank was originally known as Upper Tingalpa. It was one of the three areas that constituted the original settlement in the Capalaba region. The development of Burbank is intrinsically tied with that of the whole Capalaba region, which hinged on the growth of Cleveland.
In 1841, James Warner made the first survey of land along Tingalpa Creek. He noted various fords and bridges along his route, including a dray ford across Tingalpa Creek, which is now under Tingalpa Reservoir. In 1850 he undertook another survey to establish a road between Cleveland and Brisbane, and decided on a ford just north of the current bridge site.
After the declaration of the colony of Queensland in 1859 the government undertook a programme of incentives to encourage settlement and immigration. Many of the early settlers of the Capalaba /Burbank region were part of this, including the Heinemanns, the Salms and the Scheuers, who arrived in 1863 and applied for a timber licence in 1866. Timber getting was an important occupation in the early days, followed by dairying and farming later on.
A growing number of farmers were successful in getting the provisional school moved from the Rocks (Capalaba West) to Burbank in 1876, although it was moved to Capalaba three years later. In 1880 the Tingalpa Divisional Board was formed with Burbank in Subdivision 1. By then the region was fairly well serviced because of its proximity to Capalaba.
Burbank remains a relatively undeveloped suburb, with a population of only 1169 in the 1996 census.