Weird Aussie place names

To prove to my old* friend 6k that I am not making up strange place names, I thought I’d do a little research into weird Australian places. Well, I was overwhelmed at Google’s response!

We have the usual strange places – Amphitheatre, Foul Bay, Come by chance, Mount Buggery (!), Wet Beaver Creek (!), Middle Intercourse Island (!), Tom Ugly and Yorkeys Knob. Bega Cheese actually has a TV ad about some of these places (‘cos Bega cheese comes from a place called Bega).

We also have names from other languages like Ehrenbreitstein (German), Vite Vite (French), Zeehan (Dutch), Menai (Welsh), Nullarbor (Latin for no trees) and Waitara (Maori).

But on top of this, we have some wonderful Aboriginal place names. For example, we live in the suburb of Mooroolbark (which means Red Earth), in the Yarra (waterfall or flow) Valley. In Melbourne alone, we have Boroondara (where the ground is thickly shaded), Maribyrnong (I can hear a ringtail possum), Werribee (spine or backbone) and the You Yangs (from Ude Youang meaning big mountain in the middle of a plain).

Further afield we have places like Humpybong (dead shelters), Poowong (putrefaction), Uki (pronounce yook-eye meaning fern with edible roots), Woolloomooloo (young black kangaroo), Koo Wee Rup (plenty of blackfish) and Wagga Wagga (pronounced Wogga-wogga meaning many crows).

The there is my all time favourite: Beeron! (From birra meaning sky)

If you are really bored, try looking at these Wikipedia articles for more info on Aboriginal place names and repeated place names.


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*The old refers to old as in wise not old as in age. Of course I don’t know how old 6k is, I would only be able to guess from his writing as I have never actually met him.

Post Author: admin

4 thoughts on “Weird Aussie place names


    (30 October 2009 - 18:15)

    Oh – I’m old, alright. Take a guess and I’ll tell you if you’re right.

    It is now my life’s ambition to visit Humpybong.

    And how can Wagga Wagga translate as “many crows”? Which Wagga is the quantity and which one is the birds?

    Thanks for this post – I may do an SA one of similar nature. At some point.


    (4 November 2009 - 13:34)

    @Snuva: Some great names there too. My favourite is Egg and Bacon Bay!
    @6000: Guessing by your Flickr pics, over 21. I haven’t quite learned Aboriginal yet. Give me a few more months.


    (7 November 2009 - 15:51)

    There’s a humpybong high school not too far from where we live. Also a suburb called Bald Knob which I am glad we don’t live in..!

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