Place Names of South-East Queensland





Known to the cricketing world as The Gabba, Tom Petrie claimed that if the original Aboriginal word had been retained it would have been Wulonkoppa. The word meant whirling around, and it was the name for a series of waterholes where, after rain, the water ran from one to another, swirling around before rushing out again. There is an early reference to wattle-scented Woolloongabba.

In the arly days of free settlement a track came in from Kangaroo Point and another from South Brisbane. They met by a swamp which came to be referred to as The One Mile, and then from this point another track went off through the scrub to take the teamsters and travellers to any of the developing areas south or west of Brisbane. This swamp was later filled in and used as the Woolloongabba railway yards. It now houses the Queensland Government's Land Centre. 


This was derived from the Aboriginal name for the area. Some say that it referred to a species of pigeon known as kuluwin, but A.Meston said that wooloowin was the word for fish. All fish were wooloowin.  


Woombye owes its existence to its being a stopping place for travellers between Brisbane and Gympie. At first they travelled by Cobb and Co. coach. Later by train.  When it was first used as a stopping place it was called Middle Camp, but in 1871 the English author Anthony Trollope referred to it as Cobb's Camp on the Cobb and Co. route from Gympie to Brisbane, and he said of his stay in the inn there, 'The pleasant manners of the pretty German hostess almost atoned for the miraculous profusion of fleas.'

It was given its present name when the railway was built. The name comes from the Aboriginal name for the lillypilly tree, a tree which grows well in the locality. The lillypilly  (Acmena smithi)  is a tree which has dark, glossy leaves and an edible berry fruit. 


This was the Aboriginal name for what is now known as Pimpama Island. 


The name for this district near Maleny means red cedar.


Woorim, an Aboriginal word for kangaroo, was chosen as the name for the settlement on the surfside of Bribie Island.


The name means mistletoe scrub. 


Catherine Rees, in her pioneer reminiscences, says that Mr Hogg, a Brisbane photographer and friend of the McCarthy family, gave the name Mt Wootha to the post office operated by Joseph McCarthy. This was later shortened to Wootha. 


A. W. Reed says that wooroongarry referrs to a type of vine that was used by Aboriginal people for climbing trees.


The name for this locality near Ipswich is derived from Aboriginal words having to do with gum trees. 


Meaning: good grass.


The name of this district east-north-east of Chinchilla is a contraction of Wycheproof in Victoria whence many of the settlers came in the early decades of the 20th century. 


This was the Aboriginal name for the breadfruit tree. Tom Petrie spelt it winnam.


There are a couple of explanations as to the origin of Wyreema. One is that Wyra was the nickname of Mrs McDonald Patterson while Ma was short for Maria, her proper name.  The other is that it means fine, rich land with plenty of food and was so named by Thomas Patterson in 1886.  Before that it had been known as Beauaraba Junction.

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