Place Names of South-East Queensland





Many places have been named after houses, some after hotels, but Gailes is one which was named after a golf course. In 1925, this name was suggested for the new golf links by the wife of the superintendent of what was then known as the Goodna Mental Hospital. She had come from Western Ayrshire in Scotland, not far from the Western Gailes Golf Club. Before that the area had been called Dingo Hill.    

Galloways Hill

The hill was previously known as Norman's Hill, but in 1865 it was named Galloways Hill after the Honourable John James Galloway who had lived there for many years. He was a member of the Board of General Education and a Member of the Legislative Council. 

Gataker's Bay

This part of Hervey Bay was named after Charles Frederick Gataker who was born at Mildenhall, Suffock, 1843, and came to Australia at the age of 21. He became a government surveyor working in the Mary-Burnett area, but later was a local wine and spirit merchant, living in Meryborough but with a seaside house at Gataker's Bay.


The town of Gatton was officially proclaimed, 19 April, 1855. It was named after Gatton by the Melrose River in Scotland, but which Scottish settler gave it the name and why is not known. The new town of Gatton which grew up after the railway came through was on a melon hole flat previously known as The Swamp.   


The Gaven family, which owned land in the area from 1880, has given its name firstly to the road Gaven Way (1960) and then the suburb (1979). Eric Gaven was shire councillor and chairman and later a member of the Queensland parliament.


Like many other Queensland towns, Gayndah grew up at a river crossing where squatters and teamsters used to camp while on their travels. At one time it was known as Norton's Camp after a local carrier. Being founded in 1848, it is undoubtedly one of the oldest towns in Queensland, but there is some uncertainty about the origin and meaning of its name. The most likely origin is to be found in the Aboriginal  giun'da  or gu-un-dah, meaning thunder, but another suggestion is ngainta meaning place of scrub. Yet another interpretation says that it means a large rock. The Railway Department adopted the name, 27 April, 1908.     


The train station was originally called Rifle Range because it was near the Enoggera army rifle range, but the Railway Department changed the name to Gaythorne, 14 July, 1923, using the name of a nearby property which had been named by its owner, Howard Bliss, after his wife's home at Albion.   


The Aboriginal people used to eat the fruit of the geebung shrub by squeezing the pulp and stone from the skin with their fingers and eating it raw. It provided a tasty meal, and when they left the fruiting bushes they would carry as much as they could in their dillies with them. Geebung is an Aboriginal word, but not from the Brisbane area. The Brisbane folk used to refer to this large, well-branched shrub with the bright green foliage that produced small golden flowers in the late summer as dulandella. Its scientific name is Persoonia.   


The name of this Darling Downs district is supposed, by some, to derive from the Aboriginal  Jim-ju-um.


A contraction of Wakka words kirar nulla referring to a dry creek. The Wakka people were not of this area, but from time to time travelled through it on their way to the coast.

Gibson Island

Gibson, an engineer with the Harbours and Marine Department, was in charge of the dredging operations in the Brisbane River.    


Aboriginal names for the present Gilston area were Boieeboiee (broad-leafed apple tree) or Winwin (white oak).


An Aboriginal name meaning a  place of flowers.    

Glasshouse Mountains

Captain James Cook did not have in mind the glasshouses under which tomatoes might be grown, but glass foundries in Yorkshire. These cone shaped buildings, up to thirty metres in height, were known as glass houses, and the residual cores of extinct volcanoes which he saw from the Endeavour, 17 May, 1770, reminded him of those buildings in his homeland, so he called them the Glass Houses. They then featured prominently in the early white intrusion into the area. Sailors using Cook's charts looked out for them. Matthew Flinders trudged overland to the base of one of them, Tibrogargan, and climbed Mt Beerburrum. John Bingle, John Oxley, Patrick Logan, Charles Fraser, and Allan Cunningham all used them to get their bearings while on exploratory journeys.

By the 1880s the Glass Houses were being referred to as the Glasshouse Mountains, but their Kabi names of Coonowrin, Ngungun, Tibberoowuccum, Tibrogargan, Tunbubudla, Coochin and Beewah were linked to local legends.   

Glen Aplin

This Granite Belt area was named after Dyson Aplin and family who had  tin mines in the area from about 1872.  


The present homestead was built in 1867, but the area was part of the land taken up by Patrick Leslie in 1840 and named Glengallan by Colin and John Campbell in 1841-42. 


The original run was given this Scottish place name by Garden who took it up in 1840 and the dam gained its name from the property. 

Previous page                                          Next page

Place Names of South East Queensland home page