Place Names of South-East Queensland




Mount Coot-tha

From as far back as the 1860s this forested area of the Taylor Range has been a popular picnic and scenic spot for Brisbanites and visitors. It was once known as One Tree Hill because when the summit was cleared a single bluegum tree was left conspicuously on the skyline. The reserve was gazetted 1880.

The present name comes from the Aboriginal word kuta which was applied to a particular kind of dark honey once plentiful in the area. The tiny native bees used to leave small particles of dirt around the base of the tree and this was what the Aboriginals looked for. They would carefully blow the leaves aside to find these telltale signs and when they found them would climb the tree with the help of a vine rope. They wiped the hollow limb out with chewed bark and then soaked it in water to make a sweet, refreshing drink.

There is another story that the Acting Clerk of Parliament went to an Aboriginal they called King Sandy to find out the Aboriginal name for the hill. Angered at broken promises this man whose real name was Gairballie gave him a rude word instead of the right word and so what should have been Gootcha, the honey bee, became Cootha.    

Mount Cordeaux

Alan Cunningham named the mountain on the northern side of Cunningham's Gap after William Cordeaux who worked in the Commissariat Department in New South Wales from his arrival in 1818 until he became one of the commissioners given the job of dividing New South Wales into counties, hundreds and parishes. He prospered through land grants and established his home on his estate at Leppington, near Liverpool, southwest of Sydney.   

Mount Cotton

Surveyor Robert Dixon named the mountain after Major Cotton, Commandant of the Moreton Bay settlement, July 1837 to May 1839. Its Aboriginal name was Tungipin meaning the west wind.

Sydney Cotton was an engineer in the British army who went on to become a Lieutenant General and was knighted for his services during the Indian Mutiny. His wife, Marianne, was the daughter of a British army officer. He spent much of his military life in India and Burma, but had two tours of duty in New South Wales, one in the 1820s and again in the period between 1835 and 1842. He died 1874 at the age of 81. Constance Petrie said that the old Moreton Bay hands regarded him as the colony's best governor. Others referred to his gentlemanly manner and urbanity. Sir John Lawrence called him a master of all technical details in every arm of the service. He wrote books on army drill and on India.  

Mount Crosby

When John Oxley climbed this hill, 22 September, 1824, with Lieutenant Butler, he called it Belle Vue Hill. While Alan Cunningham, who was part of the exploration party with them, used this name in his journal, he called it Station Mountain on his map. It was close to their last campsite or 'station'. However when settlers moved into the area they named it after Crosbie-on-Eden on the English-Scottish border. Somehow the spelling came to be changed. There is another theory that the name came from a George Crosby who was prospecting in the area for a while.  

Mount Dunsinane

Charles Fraser was the colonial botanist who accompanied Cunningham and Logan on an expedition in 1828. He was born near the towns of Dunsinane and Birnam in Scotland.  He gave the Dunsinane name to part of Mt Mahomet, but it was later given to the hill he called Birnam Hill. 

Mount Edwards

Alan Cunningham named it Mt Edward.

Mount Glorious

The early settlers referred to the area as Gentle Breezes but it gained its permanent name when T.C.Beirne as Minister for Lands was visiting the Patricks'  home there about the time of the First World War and while discussing a suitable name for the place, the eldest daughter of Charles and Alice Patrick said something like, 'It will have to be a good name, with a view like this. Isn't it glorious!'  And the name was decided upon there and then.  

Mount Gravatt

Kaggar-mabul (place of the porcupine) may have been the Aboriginal name, but the whites called it Mount Gravatt. Lieutenant George Gravatt was in charge of the Moreton Bay settlement for three months in 1839. This was the time of run-down for the penal settlement. There were only 94 convicts there when he arrived in May as a 23-year-old junior officer. He died at the age of 28 while serving in India possibly through contracting cholera.  

Mount Lindesay

There has been considerable name swapping among the border mountains. In 1828, Logan, Cunningham and Fraser gave the name of Lindsay to what later became Mt
Barney, and they called the present Mt Lindesay, Mt Hooker, after the Regius Professor of Botany in the University of Glasgow. The name Lindesay came from Patrick Lindesay, the officer commanding the 39th Regiment, then serving in the colony of New South Wales. A military man and son of a military officer, he was Acting Governor for six weeks or so between governors Darling and Bourke in 1831. On returning to Britain, 1836, he was made a major general and became Sir Patrick Lindesay. During his nine years in Australia he promoted the study of the flora and fauna and encouraged exploration.  

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