Place names of the Wollongong region


Place Names of Wollongong

Place names contain a wealth of meaning and history. In developing place names in Australia, native names were often adopted and many place names in the Wollongong region are of Aboriginal background. John Brown, an Illawarra pioneer, carefully listed local place names in the early 19th Century. He noted his interpretation of what the Aborigines called these locations with, where possible, the meanings of the native names. The following list has been compiled by the staff of the Reference Library and contains many place names no longer in use. A printed version is available from the library. Contact the library for more information.

Each entry includes a number of References used to determine the derivation of the names in this list.

ALBION PARK

Parish of Jamberoo County of Camden

Originally a land grant of 2,000 acres made to Samuel Terry and known as Terry's Meadows. The land was taken over by John Terry Hughes, in the 1840's, and renamed Albion Park. The name could have been given as a reminder of old England, "Albion" being an ancient name for England. It is also possible that Albion Park was named after the Albion Brewery (now Toohey's) near Sydney station.

References: 3, 10, 12, 14, 32, IM 14/6/1984

AMERICAN CREEK

Parish of Kembla County of Camden

In the late 1800's American Creek was the name more generally applied to the Mount Kembla area. American Creek is the name of the creek which flowed through the valley. It is believed that it was called American Creek because in the 1840's three Americans came to the Illawarra and, with American axes, cleared some land on the banks of a beautiful creek flowing through Avondale.

See also: Mount Kembla

References: 3, 5, 10, 12, 25

AUSTINMER

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

The name Austinmer came into official being in 1895. Originally this area was called Sidmouth. By the 1860's a small rural settlement had developed in the area and was called North Bulli. The name changed to Austermere with the opening of the North Illawarra Coal Company's mine. As Sir John Leckey's estate at Moss Vale was also known by this name, the spelling Austinmere was adopted by the local newspapers in 1887. This name linked to Henry Austin, one of the three Directors of the Board of the Illawarra Mining Company. When the railway platform was built in September 1887 the name Austinmer was placed upon it, omitting the final 'e'.

See also: Sidmouth

References: 13, 19

AVON

Parish of Wongawilli County of Camden

Suburb assigned 5 August 2005. A locality within Metropolitan Catchment Area on the western side of Illawarra Range about 4km west of Wongawilli and about 5km north west of Avondale. An address locality. Proposed as locality 10 Jul 02.

References: 53

AVONDALE

Parish of Calderwood County of Camden

On 4 October 1834 a grant of 600 acres was issued to Alfred Elyard. This property later became known as Avondale and was sold to Henry Osborne of Marshall Mount.

References: 28, 38

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BABYTOWN (Baby Town)

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

Babytown was a nickname for Mt Pleasant. The village gained the nickname in the 1880's because there were so many large families living there.

See also: Mount Pleasant

References: IM 24/7/1972

BALD HILL

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

Bald Hill is that part of the Bulgo Range immediately to the north of, and overlooking Stanwell Park. Aeronautical pioneer Lawrence Hargrave conducted many of his experiments here. "Bald" is a descriptive name for mountain peaks which are bare of trees at the time of naming.

References: 20, The Express 12/6/1974

BALGOWNIE

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

A grant of 1920 acres, made to John Buckland on 11 July 1835, was named Balgownie in the Grant Records. In 1839 the property of John Buckland, called Balgownie Estate, was subdivided into 32 lots of 10 and 80 acres each. Four farms on the Balgownie Estate at Fairy Meadow were offered for sale in 1840, and two village lots were advertised in 1841. The village thus established became known as Fairy Meadow, while the name Balgownie was given to the coal centre nearby. Two explanations are given for the source of the name Balgownie. The first is that is was named after the Scottish town of Balgownie, the second is that it was named after the bridge over the River Don in Aberdeen, Scotland.

References: 3, 5, 12, 19

BASS ISLET

See: Five Islands Group

BEACONSFIELD

The name given to a settlement on Bulli Mountain by John Loveday when applying for a post office. It had to be changed as there was already a post office of that name. The new name decided upon was Sherbrooke.

See also: Sherbrooke

References: IM 24/4/1883, IM 8/5/1883

BELLAMBI

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

Moses Brennan received permission to occupy 800 acres in a small tract of land named Bullambee on 23 July 1824. The area was also known as Palamba. The Bellambi Estate was a 2,000 acre grant occupied by Miss Harriett Overington (later Mrs J S Spearing). The land was used in the 1830's by Mrs Spearing's husband as a sheep run. In 1842 the estate was subdivided and the village of Bellambi was laid out with provision being made for a wharf. The name Bellambi is a corruption of the Aboriginal word Beelambi meaning "no".

See also: Palamba

References: 2, 3, 5, 10

BERKELEY

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

The "Berkeley Estate" was made up of 3,280 acres of land granted to Robert Jenkins and Mrs Jemima Jenkins between 1817 and 1836. Robert Jenkins named the property Berkeley after the historic estate of that name in his native county of Gloucestershire, England. The original grant of 1,000 acres to Robert Jenkins extended from Allan's Creek to Lake Illawarra. Mrs Jenkins later acquired 2,000 acres to the west of and adjoining this grant. In 1835-6 Mrs Jenkins acquired another 280 acres which embraced the village of Charcoal, (now Unanderra).

See also: Charcoal, Unanderra

References: 15, 19, 28, 40

BIG ISLAND

See: Five Islands Group

BLIND CREEK

See: Mount Saint Thomas

BONG BONG

Parish of Bong Bong County of Camden

Bong is an aboriginal word meaning swamp. Bong Bong means much swamp. It can also be understood to mean "plenty of water about" and, by association, "many frogs".

References: 2, 9, 26

BROKER'S NOSE

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

It is believed that the old bridle track which went up the mountain near Mount Corrimal was called "Brooker's Track" because it led to the Brooker Brothers' Farm. By common usage, Mount Corrimal became know as "Brooker's Nose". The change to "Brokers Nose" is thought to be due to a misspelling of the name "Brooker" in official records. Another explanation for the name is that miners who settled in the Woonona area used to frequent this place for family picnics. "As the miners had no money and always said they were broke, the spot became known as Broker's Nose".

References: 19, 50, 51, IM 18/5/1972

BROWNSVILLE

Parish of Calderwood County of Camden

Brownsville was named after George Brown who received a grant of 300 acres, south of Mullet Creek, in 1833. George Brown's 'Ship Inn', situated on this property, became the centre of a busy farming community. This settlement was the original village of Dapto. It later became known as Brownsville when a new settlement began to develop around the railway station to the south.

See also: Dapto

References: 5, 19, IM 20/7/1883

BULGO

See: Otford

BULLI

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

The name Bulli appears to have been first recorded in the Sydney Gazette of 22 April 1815 when it was reported that one of a party searching for lost cedar-getters was at a place called "Bolye", thirty-five miles south of Port Jackson. In 1823 reference was made to a small land holding at "Bull Eye". A 300 acre grant was promised to Cornelius O'Brien on 31 March 1821. His quit rent of six shillings a year was to commence on 1 January 1827. Cornelius O'Brien's house was the only one in this part of the district for some years. It was on the property of Cornelius O'Brien, and his neighbour William Bowman, that the township of Bulli was built. In 1841 the estate of Bulli, consisting of 900 acres, was offered for private sale. Later the estate was subdivided into farms of from 25 to 165 acres. For many years the name Bulli was used for all the country from Wollongong north to Coal Cliff. The original Aboriginal name for the area was Bulla or Bulla Bulla, meaning "two mountains" (Mt Kembla & Mt Keira). Other meanings of the name Bulli have been given as "white grubs" and "place where the Christmas Bush grows".

References: 2, 3, 5, 12, 19

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CABBAGE TREE

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

The name is from the cabbage tree palms which grew along the banks of many creeks in the area. In the late 19th century, Fairy Meadow was sometimes referred to as Cabbage Tree by the locals. The Post Office in the area was also called Cabbage Tree until 1883 when it was named Fairy Meadow. The following note appeared in the Illawarra Mercury on 28 August 1883, "on and after 10th September next, the name of the Post-office now known as Cabbage Tree is to be changed to Fairy Meadow, as it should be".

See also: Fairy Meadow

References: IM 25/10/1872, IM 28/8/1883, IM 28/6/1890

CAMP CREEK

Parish of Heathcote County of Cumberland

The area now known as Helensburgh was originally called Camp Creek. A tent town of railway workers grew there to house those engaged in the construction of the Illawarra line. It became Helensburgh in 1888.

See also: Helensburgh

References: 3, 20

CATARACT CREEK

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

Creek assigned 27 May 1982. A watercourse about 5 km long. It rises about 3 km W of Belambi and flows generally W by N into Lake Cataract.

References: 53

CAWLEY

Parish of Heathcote County of Cumberland

Cawley was situated on land to the west of the Illawarra railway line and now known as Russell Vale. During the construction of the second section of the Illawarra railway line a camp was established at the 26 mile peg where the village of Cawley was laid out. It included quarters, stores and a school of 50 pupils. It disappeared when work on the line was completed. The area was originally Cawley's Creek as William Cawley, of Bellambi, had a selection there prior to the railway going through.

References: 20, IM 16/11/1901

CHARCOAL

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

The village of Charcoal or Charcoal Creek was situated on 280 acres of land acquired by Mrs Jemima Jenkins in 1835-6. There are two explanations for the origin of the name Charcoal. One is that charcoal was burned there, the other is that it owes its name to an aboriginal stockman employed by Throsby Smith, known as "Charcoal". Smith's cattle, under the care of "Charcoal", are said to have rested here after descending the mountain road. The area once known as Charcoal is now Unanderra.

See also: Unanderra

References: 3, 5, 28

CLEVELAND

Parish of Kembla County of Camden

A suburb of the City of Wollongong, the boundaries of Cleveland were established as part of the planning process for the encompassing West Dapto area first earmarked for urban development in the 1970’s. The name was originally proposed in 1993 but was not officially gazetted until 5 August 2005 and derives from that of the historic homestead situated near the south-western corner of the area.

References: 52

CLIFTON

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

The township of Clifton came into being in 1877 when the Coal Cliff Colliery was developed. It was situated on the southern portion of what was originally Sir Thomas Mitchell's Stanwell Park Estate. The press reported in 1877 that a number of well-built weatherboard cottages with galvanised iron roofs had been erected about half a mile from the mine, and the spot was known as "the Village of Clifton".

References: 3, 19, 20

COALCLIFF

Parish of Southend Country of Cumberland

The name Coalcliff originated in 1797 when three survivors of a wreck set out to walk to Sydney. They found coal here and used it to light a fire for warmth. After they were rescued they reported the presence of coal and Governor Hunter sent George Bass to investigate. Bass found several seams that extended for some distance and conjectured that they might extend throughout the range.

References: 10, 12

COBBLER'S HILL

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Cobbler's Hill was situated at the northern end of the Charcoal (Unanderra) section of William and Jemima Jenkins' "Berkeley Estate".

References: 4, IM 19/1/1994,

COLEDALE

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

Previously spelt Coaldale, the name refers to the coal deposits in the area. In 1902 a new railway platform, incorporating a post and telegraph office, was opened and called Coledale. This was the first appearance of the name Coledale. In 1903 a new mine was opened at North Bulli, later known as Coledale, and a township was laid out and allotments sold.

References: 10, 12, 20

CONISTON

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Coniston was formerly known as Mount Drummond or South Wollongong. The area was originally a grant of 280 acres made to Rachel Moore White. The Coniston Railway Platform was first opened in 1924 under the name of Mount Drummond. It received its present name on 1 November 1925. The word Coniston is said to mean 'the king's manor'.

See also: Mount Drummond

References: 5, 36, 37, SCT 29/3/1923

COOMADITCHY

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

This is the name of a lagoon in the Port Kembla area. Coomaditchy is an Aboriginal word meaning "bad water". In 1962 the Public Works Department called for tenders to build six cottages for Aboriginal families at Coomaditchy.

References: 34, SCT 12/3/1962, Map (Parish of Wollongong 1893)

CORDEAUX

Parish of Kembla County of Camden

This area was named after William Cordeaux (1792-1839) an early resident and land commissioner.

References: 10, 12

CORRIMAL

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

James Martin was granted 50 acres of land in the Corrimal area in 1830. This land was sold to Dr. Cox in 1840. Corrimal was officially recorded as a place in 1839 when a grant of 50 acres was made to Hugh Kennedy and described as being "at Corrimal". A point on the range nearby was known as Mount Corrimal after the aboriginal warrior "Kurimul" (kori-mul). This point was known locally as Brooker's Nose after James Brooker, an early settler in the area. "Kurumul" was a 'dreamtime' warrior who took another man's wife. When pursued by the husband "Kurumul raced up the mountain and climbed a tall tree. The husband gathered wood and set fire to the tree, and Kurimul was carried up in flames into the sky".

See also: Broker's Nose

References: 19, 22, 51

CRAMSVILLE

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

James Cram purchased 60 acres of land at Balgownie in the 1860's. He subdivided part of his property into building lots and created a small subdivision which he called "Cramsville". He also built a number of small cottages nearby for rental by miners. The locality retained the name of "Cramsville" until the Balgownie School was opened in 1889.

See also: Balgownie

References: 52, IM 6/4/1889

CRINGILA

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Cringila was the aboriginal name for the pipeclay with which the aborigines decorated themselves before a corroboree or fighting expedition. Cringila was formerly known as Steeltown.

See also: Steeltown

References: 10, 12, 19

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DAPTO

Parish of Calderwood County of Camden

One of the first references to the name Dapto was in instructions issued to Surveyor Knapp on 10 April 1829. Knapp was instructed "to survey ten 100 acre lots for veterans on Dapto Creek". In 1833 George Brown received a grant of 300 acres south of Mullet Creek. George Brown transferred the Ship Inn from Wollongong to Mullet Creek Farm in 1834 and thereby established the nucleus of Dapto. With the coming of the railway in 1887, however, the centre of the township was moved south and the original Dapto, where the inn was located, later became known as Brownsville. A new town began to grow up around the station attracting businesses and services from Brownsville and other nearby settlements. The name Dapto is said to be an aboriginal word either from "Dabpeto" meaning "water plenty", or from "tap-toe" which described the way a lame aboriginal chief walked. The aborigines called the area "Mookoonburro" meaning "grub".

See also: Brownsville

References: 2, 5, 17, 19, 21

DARKES FOREST

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

Darkes Forest, situated on the tableland "about seven miles from the top of Bulli mountain", was named after Surveyor Darke. Surveyor Darke was one of the leading Government Surveyors of the colony in the days of Sir Thomas Mitchell.

References: 3, IM 6/7/1892

DOMBARTON

Parish of Kembla County of Camden

Suburb 5 August 2005. A suburb about 5 km north west of Dapto and about 3 km west of Kembla Grange.

References: 53

FAIRY MEADOW

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

Connor Bowlen was authorised to occupy 300 acres at a place called Ferrah Meadow on 13 February 1824. In 1841 two village lots from the Balgownie Estate were advertised for sale. The village thus established became known as Fairy Meadow. The name Fairy Meadow can be attributed to the nature of the land in the area. The grassed open meadow lands, with the stream of fresh water running through, were noted from the early days for their "fairy-like" beauty.

See also: Balgownie, Para Meadow

References: 3, 5, 19

FARMBOROUGH HEIGHTS

Parish of Kembla County of Camden

Land in this area was owned in the 1800's by Captain Robert Martin Cole and later, John Blackman. Leases on the land were advertised in the Mercury in 1857 as being "at Farmborough (late Captain Cole's farm)". In 1914 the 337 acre "Farmborough Estate" was advertised for sale as two separate farms. The Estate was described as being "within 2½ miles of Unanderra Railway Station and about 1 mile of Kembla Grange". The name Farmborough (Farnborough), seems to be of English origin and means "fern-clad hill".

References: 36, IM 9/2/1857; 27/11/1914

FERNHILL

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

The origin of the name Fernhill is not clear. It seems likely that the area we now know as Fernhill was once a farm of the same name. An advertisement appeared in the Illawarra Mercury on 12 December 1876 asking for tenders from persons wishing to rent the "Fernhill Farm containing about 40 acres with frontage to the Para Meadow Road". The Fernhill property was advertised for sale in 1904 and described as "centrally situated between Wollongong and Bulli, and in close proximity to the Mt Pleasant, Corrimal, Balgownie, and South Bulli Coal mines, fronting the main South Coast Road and bounded on the north by Tarrawanna Road".

References: IM 12/12/1876; 30/11/1904

FIGTREE

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

The giant Figtree originally growing at this place gave rise to the name of the township. The figtree was at a very important road junction, and thus became a well-known landmark. When travellers were being directed to or from Sydney in the early days, the best way of describing the route was to tell them to "turn off at the figtree". The figtree was cut down in 1996 due to disease and only a portion of the trunk remains.

References: 4, 10, IM 17/2/1987

FISHTOWN

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Fishtown was a fishing village which is now part of Berkeley. It was a small collection of houses, on the northern shores of Lake Illawarra, formerly known as "Home Shore". The town has been described as "a sleepy village tucked away at the Lake's edge".

See also: Berkeley

References: 40

FIVE ISLANDS

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

This is the name given to the Illawarra region by explorers of the late 1700's and early 1800's. The earliest reference to this has been traced to Bass' Journal in the Whaleboat. The first land grants allocated to this area (in 1817) were described as being in the"Tract of Country commonly called the Five Islands...."

References: 3, 5, 23

FIVE ISLANDS GROUP

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

A group of five islands situated a short distance off the coast near Port Kembla. The earliest traced reference to the group as "the five islands" was made by George Bass in his journal on 5 December 1797, ....."and at sunset passed the five islands laying off Hat Hill".

Following is a list of the islands, as they are currently known, with some explanation of the history of these names. The current names were approved by the Under Secretary of Lands on 29/4/1953:-

1. Big Island - The largest island in the group. Formerly known as "Perkins" Island. The name Perkins (Parkyns) was from a family who lived on the Island for some years, probably between 1866 and 1870. The original Perkins (Parkyns) established a home on the Island and made a living by catching sharks and selling oil.

2. Flinders Islet and Bass Islet - The two most northerly islands, known together as Tom Thumb Islands. These Islands are named for Bass and Flinders who gave the name "the Five Islands" to the island group following an expedition in their small boat the "Tom Thumb". Flinders Islet has also been known as Wollongong or Toothbrush Island. Bass Islet has been called Pig Island. The legend is that following a heavy flood, a pig from the mainland was washed up on this island and lived there for a number of years.

3. Martin Islet - The southernmost island of the group. The Island is named after a youth called William Martin who accompanied Bass and Flinders on their journey.

4. Rocky Islet - The small island which looks like an outcrop from the larger islands. It was shown on admiralty charts as "foul ground".

References: 5, 15, 19, 23, 41, Local cuttings file

FLINDERS ISLET

See Five Islands Group

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GUNDARIN

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Gundarin (Gundarun) was another name by which John Hubert Plunkett's "Keelogues" grant was known. It is thought that "Gundarin" was the native name for the area.

See also: Keelogues

References: 3, 5, 28

GWYNNEVILLE

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Gwynneville was originally part of a grant to James S Spearing called "Paulsgrove" or "Mount Keira Estate". The Mount Keira Estate extended westward from where the railway line is now situated. Gwynneville is one of the older subdivisions in the Wollongong Municipality. It is thought to be named after John Gwynne, a farmer in the area. Allotments from the Gwynneville Estate were advertised for sale in the Illawarra Mercury on 12 November 1889.

References: IM 12/11/1889; 9/2/1934

HAYWARDS BAY

Parish of Calderwood County of Camden

Suburb assigned 5 August 2005. A suburb embracing Haywards Bay in Lake Illawarra, reducing the extent of Yallah.

References: 53

HELENSBURGH

Parish of Heathcote County of Cumberland

Helensburgh was initially known as Camp Creek. The first settlement was largely a tent town of railway workers engaged on the construction of the Illawarra line. Coal was discovered in Helensburgh in June 1886. A shaft was sunk by the South Cumberland Coal Mining Company. The township was laid out on the tableland above the mine in August 1887, and in 1888 Camp Creek was renamed Helensburgh. Two differing explanations for the choice of this name exist. The first is that the town was named after Helensburgh in Scotland, birthplace of the mine's manager, Charles Harper. Today, Helensburgh in Scotland and Helensburgh in New South Wales are sister cities. The second explanation is that the town was named after Harper's daughter, Helen.

See also: Camp Creek

References: 3, 5, 20

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HORSLEY

Parish of Kembla County of Camden

A suburb about 2 km west of Dapto and about 3 km south west of Kembla Grange.

References: 53

HUNTLEY

Parish of Kembla County of Camden

Suburb assigned 5 August 2005. A suburb about 6 km west south west Dapto and about 3 km north of Avondale.

References: 53

ILLAWARRA

Illawarra was the native name for the area which early explorers and settlers referred to as the "Five Islands District". Flinders wrote of his visit to the area in 1796 that "this part is called Alowrie, by the natives ....." In a letter to Surveyor General Oxley dated 16 November 1816 the Colonial Secretary described the area as being "called commonly the Five Islands, but by the Natives in their own language Illawarra near the sea coast where Five Islands are seen ....." One of the first land grants in the district was 2,200 acres to David Allan in 1817. This grant was called "Illawarra Farm". The land was sold to W C Wentworth in the early 1840's and the name was changed to the Five Islands Estate.

There are a number of differing versions of the derivation and meaning of the name Illawarra.

1. The adaptation of an aboriginal word, Elouera, Eloura, or Allowrie meaning pleasant place near the sea or high place near the sea.

2. The Australian Museum affirms that Illawarra means "high place near the sea" and was derived from the language of the Wodi Wodi Tribe which inhabited the area between Wollongong and the Shoalhaven River.

3. From the aboriginal word "Illowra" meaning "white fish eagle".

4. Wurra or Warra means mountain and Illa may be white clay, giving "white clay mountain".

5. A corruption of the aboriginal word "Eloura" meaning a pleasant place.

6. From the aboriginal word "illowra" meaning pipeclay.

7. From the aboriginal word "Dhgillawarah" meaning "keep awake at night". The story is that Five Islands Point "was a special vantage ground from which the aborigines watched day and night against the possibility of a sudden attack being made upon them by any hostile tribes ....."

References: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 15, 23, 26, 28, IM 20/11/1894

JAMBEROO

Parish of Kiama County of Camden

Jamberoo is the Aboriginal word for "track". Michael Hyam was allocated a grant of 1280 acres at Jamberoo. He called the property Sarah's Valley after his wife. In 1841, when advertised for sale, the property was described as an excellent farm including an inn, store, farm house and farm buildings, church and school house forming the nucleus of a village.

References: 14, 24

KANAHOOKA

Parish of Calderwood County of Camden

Henry Brooks, son of Richard Brooks, received a grant of 600 acres, marked out in 1825 by Surveyor James McBrien. This grant was on Lake Illawarra, north of Brooks Creek, roughly in the Kanahooka Point area. Kanahooka was named after Kana (King) Hooka, an Aboriginal chief. Kana Hooka was head of the Five Islanders, who were based near Hooka Creek at what is now Berkeley. The Aborigines referred to Kanahooka as "Kullillah", meaning a native meeting place.

References: 17, 21, IM 16/5/1983

KEELOGUES

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

A promise of grant was made to Gregory Blaxland on 5 March 1830. These 1,280 acres of land, West of Wollongong and near Mount Keira, were later granted to John Hubert Plunkett on 12 March 1837. The grant was called "Keelogues" or Gundarin". It has been suggested that the "former is obviously an Irish name and the latter a native name". J. H. Plunkett was Solicitor General of the Colony in 1832, and became Attorney General in 1833.

References: 3, 5, 28

KEIRAVILLE

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Keiraville is on part of the 2000 acre grant originally promised to James Stares Spearing by Governor Brisbane in 1825. It was known as Paulsgrove. In 1835 the property was sold to Colonel John Thomas Leahy who changed the name to Mount Keira Estate. The grant was finally issued in 1841 to Robert and Charles Campbell. Keiraville seems to have been founded as a village about 1880. The Illawarra Mercury of 15 June 1886 refers to Keiraville as "one of the new localities that have sprung into existence of late years". The names "Village of Keira" and "Keira Village" also seem to have been used. A notice from the Land Titles Office dated 17 June 1890 refers to it as the "Village of Keira". Keira is an aboriginal name for which three meanings have been given: large lagoon; high mountain; wild turkey.

References: 2,10, 23, IM 15/6/1886

KEMBLA GRANGE

Parish of Kembla County of Camden

Kembla Grange was originally a part of a 2000 acre grant, known as Dunlop Vale, made to John Dunlop Wylie. This land was eventually split between Andrew Lang and Dr Gerard Gerard and the deed of grant was issued on 3 March 1840. Lang's property was called Canterbury and Dr Gerard's share was called Kembla Grange. Kembla Grange was later sold to Robert Howarth. In 1856 the property was advertised to let, by Robert Howarth, as a farm at Dapto known as Kembla Grange. The name Kembla was taken from Mount Kembla and is said to mean "plenty of fowl" or "abundant game". Another explanation is that it is a corruption of the aboriginal word "Djembla" and means "a wallaby".

References: 3, 5, 10, 17, 19, 21, 24

KIAMA

Parish of Kiama County of Camden

Surveyor-General John Oxley carried out a survey of the Kiama coast in 1819. He called the area Kiarami. Kiama is an Aboriginal word with a wide variety of translations including, the place where the sea makes a noise; plenty of food; good fishing ground; fish caught off rocks. Another suggestion is that the word came from "Kiar-mai" which signified "a fertile district".

References: 2, 9, 12, 16

KOONAWARRA

Parish of Calderwood County of Camden

Koonawarra, or Exmouth, as it was then called, was one of the first five land grants located in the Illawarra. It was a grant of 1300 acres made to Richard Brooks in 1817. The grant faced Lake Illawarra and extended from Brook's Creek to Mullet Creek. Koonawarra was the aboriginal name for the area. "Exmouth" was later secured by Henry Osborne and became part of his central Illawarra estate, extending from Macquarie Rivulet to Mullet Creek, and from Lake Illawarra to the mountains. The name Koonawarra is from the aboriginal word "gkoonawarra" meaning "a high point of land with smooth, round stones". The word has also been said to mean "swan".

References: 5, 9, 25, 26

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LAKE HEIGHTS

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Lake Heights is located on the south eastern part of the old "Berkeley Estate". Lake Heights Estate, Port Kembla was advertised for sale in 1927. The name is possibly derived from its situation which was described as being "beautifully elevated" and having "wonderful ocean, lake and landscape views".

References: 48, 49, Map (Lake Heights [1926+])

LILYVALE

Parish of Heathcote County of Cumberland

The development of the Helensburgh area in the late 1800s also led to the development of Lilyvale. Lilyvale first appeared in 1889. The name is officially given to that area of bush country where sawmills operated for a time in the nineties, over the ridge east of the colliery. The name Lilyvale is probably from the giant lilies growing in the area.

References: 10, 12, 20

MADDENS PLAINS

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

Named after the Madden family who arrived in Wollongong in the mid 1800's. John Madden was granted land at Thirroul. Cattle owned by the Madden family grazed over the land which became known as Maddens Plains.

References: The Express 8/1/1969

MANGERTON

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Mangerton was originally part of John Thompson's grant of 640 acres, called Glen Glosh. This property was later bought by Dr John Osborne and divided into Mangerton and Garden Hill. Traditionally, Mangerton is said to have been named after a place in John Osborne's native county of Tyrone in Northern Ireland. However, no place of this name has been located in Tyrone. There are two other explanations for the naming of Mangerton. Firstly, there is a Mangerton in Liddesdale, Scotland. The Laird of Mangerton was chief of the Armstrongs and a James Armstrong had clearing leases on Dr John Osborne's Garden Hill estate. Secondly, a family member, who had spent time with Belle and Edith Osborne (Dr John Osborne's Grand-daughters), said that John Osborne had thought there was some resemblance between Wollongong and the Mangerton Hills in Ireland. This was where Dr John and his wife are believed to have spent their honeymoon.

References: 4, 5

MARSHALL MOUNT

Parish of Calderwood County of Camden

In 1829 Henry Osborne received 2560 acres in the Dapto district. He named his property Marshall Mount from his wife's maiden name. His wife, Sarah, was the daughter of the Rev. Benjamin Marshall. The Osborne's erected a stone dwelling on their property which was called Marshall Mount House.

References: 3, 5, 14, 21

MARTIN ISLET

See: Five Islands Group

MINNAMURRA

Parish of Terragong County of Camden

Minnamurra has also been referred to as "meme mora". Oxley reported to Governor Macquarie in 1820 that the Coast from "Meme Mora" (Minnamurra) to Point Bass ..... was high and bold ....." The land between Kiama and the Minnamurra River was promised to John Cowell in 1825 but sold to Daniel Cooper in 1834. It was first called Hoolong and then Eureka. Dr Thomas Foster received a grant of 2560 acres in the area in 1830 and named it Curramore. Early settlers around the head of the Minnamurra river were John and William Ritchie, William Davis and John Cullen. Minnamurra is an aboriginal word meaning "plenty of fish" or "sharks came in".

References: 2, 5, 16, 17

MOUNT BROWN

Parish of Calderwood County of Camden

There are two explanations for the origin of the name Mount Brown. Mount Brown is situated on a grant of land made to "Merchant" Browne in 1823. The grant covered an area of land between Dapto and the Macquarie Rivulet. Mount Brown is thus said to be named after "Merchant" Browne, the original owner of this area. The other explanation is that Mount Brown is named after Robert Brown, Assistant Botanist to Admiral William Bligh. Robert Brown is said to have made visits to study the botany of the Illawarra between 1806 and 1808.

See also: Yallah

References: 23, 38, 39

MOUNT DRUMMOND

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Mount Drummond was the original name of Coniston, also sometimes referred to as South Wollongong. It was a grant of 280 acres made to Rachel Moore White. It seems that land in the area was owned at one time by a J. Drummond. Drummond is said to have owned 300 acres, bounded on one side by Garden Hill Estate and running down to Tom Thumb's Lagoon. The debate over a suitable name for the area seems to have continued for some years, the Mercury reporting in 1923 that "Mt Drummond, or South Wollongong or Coniston which of these names will settle permanently on this locality is not definite". One objection to the name Mt Drummond was that there was already a mountain of that name in the County of Hardinge near Armidale.

See also: Coniston

References:5, 39, IM 24/11/1916, SCT 29/3/1923, Map (Illawarra [185-])

MOUNT KEIRA

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

In 1825 James Stares Spearing was given a promise of grant for two properties of 1000 acres each, on the slopes of Mount Keira. These properties were called Paulsgrove. In 1835 the Spearings sold Paulsgrove to Colonel John Leahy and Leahy changed the name to Mount Keira Estate. According to Henderson, Colonel Leahy "renamed Paulsgrove after the nearby 'Mt Keera'." The grants were finally issued in 1841 to Robert and Charles Campbell. Keira is an aboriginal name meaning large lagoon or high mountain. The aborigines called the mountain "Djera" meaning wild turkey.

References: 5, 10, 12, 23, 24, 34

MOUNT KEMBLA

Parish of Kembla County of Camden

Kembla is an aboriginal word meaning "wild game abundant" or "plenty of game". The aborigines called the area "jum-bullah" or "Djembla" which means a wallaby. Mount Kembla has been described as a "sub-tropical belt of rainforest " which "housed a variety of game life which provided an abundant food supply". The first grant in the Parish of Kembla was made to George Molle in 1817. It was for 300 acres. In 1818 W. F. Weston received a promise of 500 acres. Both these grants were on the northern side of Mullet Creek. In 1843 four grants were obtained by Henry Gordon which had frontages to American Creek. Another grant on American Creek, 24 acres, was issued to Patrick Lehaey. A settlement developed in this locality and in March 1859 a National School was completed here.

See also: American Creek, Violet Hill

References: 3, 5, 10, 12, 25

MOUNT OUSLEY

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

In 1839, five acres of William Wilson's 60 acre grant "at Keira Illawarra" was conveyed to Ousley Condell of Sydney. Wilson's 60 acres was an area immediately west of the Princes Highway at Fairy Meadow and extended from the southern boundary of the parish to Cabbage Tree Lane. The land conveyed to Ousley Condell was "apparently a long narrow block running back to the west of the highway just south of Mount Ousley Road". Ousley Condell owned this land from 1839-43 and it is believed that Mount Ousley was named after him. There is, however, another theory about the origin of the name Ousley. It is possible that Mount Ousley was named after an early Methodist preacher called Gideon Ouseley. The Kiama Reporter of 31/1/1900 mentions the death of a John Armstrong and states that he once lived on a government block of land "near Mount Keira" and "was wont to describe services in his father's house by that prince of early Methodist preachers, Gideon Ousley". There is a "Life of Gideon Ouseley" written by William Arthur and published by the Wesleyan Conference Office, London in 1976. A copy of this book is held in the Methodist Historical Society Library in Sydney.

References: 4

MOUNT PLEASANT

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

John Dingwall owned land in the Mount Pleasant area. He named it after another estate which belonged to him. The village of Mount Pleasant, located on the mountainside, developed after the opening of the Mount Pleasant mine in 1861.

See also: Babytown

References: 3, 10, 12, 29

MOUNT SAINT THOMAS

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

The wife of Captain Charles Waldron of "Spring Hill" was formerly Miss Jemima Thomas. It is believed her maiden name was given to Mount Saint Thomas. Mount Saint Thomas was originally known as "Blind Creek".

References: 19, 39

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NAREENA HILLS

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Nareena Hills was part of a 1280 acre property known as Keelogues Estate, and promised to Gregory Blaxland in 1830. John Hubert Plunkett secured this grant and the deed was issued on 12 March 1837. Keelogues was subdivided in 1840. Nareena is an aboriginal word meaning "home".

References: 4, SCT 31/10/1957

OAK FLATS

Parish of Terragong County of Camden

This name dates back to the 1860's when it was the cattle run of John Terry Hughes. The name is descriptive of the place, relatively flat land with many She-oak trees (Casuarinas).

References: 14

OTFORD

Parish of Bulgo County of Cumberland

Otford was formerly known as Bulgo. Bulgo appears to have been first marked on Robert Dixon's "Map of the Colony of New South Wales" in 1842 and the name continued in use for some time. Construction of the Illawarra line, north of Clifton, brought the appearance of a village here in early 1885. Trains on the Illawarra line stopped here to take in water and a small railway and sawmill centre developed at the mouth of the Otford tunnel. The name of the village changed to Otford in May 1885. Otford was probably named after the historic village of Otford in West Kent, England, the name meaning "otta's ford".

References: 10, 12, 20

PALAMBA

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

Palamba was another name for Bellambi. It was used in "The Paulsgrove Diary". It is not known whether this is due to misspelling or whether the present name of Bellambi is a corruption of "Palamba".

See also: Bellambi

References: 3, 5, 28

PARA MEADOW

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

'Para' is an aboriginal word meaning river or creek. Para Meadow was the original name of the Fairy Meadow district. It was named after Para Creek which is now known as Fairy Creek. Para Creek ran through the Paulsgove Estate, property of J S Spearing. Mr Spearing used Para Creek to drive the first flour mills of the Illawarra.

See also: Fairy Meadow

References: 5, 11, 23, 35

PAULSGROVE

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Paulsgrove was the name given to two properties of 1000 acres each by the owner, James Stares Spearing. This estate extended from Figtree to Mount Keira and was promised to James Spearing in 1825. Spearing arrived in New South Wales on the ship Harvey in 1825 and lived at Mount Keira House. Paulsgrove later became known as the "Mount Keira Estate".

See also: Mount Keira

References: 3, 5, 10, 12, 23, 24, 39

PENROSE

Parish of Calderwood County of Camden

Suburb assigned 5 August 2005. An address locality SW of Dapto.

References: 53

PETERBOROUGH

Parish of Terragong County of Camden

Peterborough was the name of D'Arcy Wentworth's estate of 13,060 acres which was located in the Shellharbour and Lake Illawarra areas. The Estate was named after a town in Northhampton, England. Peterborough was the original name of Shellharbour.

See also: Shellharbour

References: 5, 14

PICTON

Parish of Picton County of Camden

Picton was named by Governor Brisbane after Sir Thomas Picton, with whom he had fought in the Peninsular War. The earliest land grants in the Picton area were made to Major Antill, Mr D'Arrietta, Dr Douglas, Mr George Harper and Louis Rumker in 1822. Rumker's grant was discribed as being in "the district of Picton" and this was the first recorded use of the name. Steps were taken in 1840 to establish a township in the area. Forty five building lots for the"township of Stonequarry" on Mr Harper's Estate, were advertised for sale. In 1841 Major Antill subdivided part of his land opposite the lots sold by Harper. It was reported in 1841 that the name of the township had been officially changed to Picton.

References: Local Cuttings File

PIT TOWN

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

In 1878 a new pit or tunnel was opened at Bulli and a new incline constructed. The village nearby was called Pit Town. This appears to be a descriptive name.

References: 20, 29

POPES ESTATE

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

This was a cluster of houses erected by Charles Pope in 1879. The Estate was located to the north of old Woonona, across Collin's Creek on the southern slope of Colling's Hill.

References: 29

PORT KEMBLA

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Port Kembla was originally known as Red Point. It has also been referred to as "Kembla Bay" and "Five Islands Bay". The residential and industrial areas of Port Kembla are situated on 2200 acres of land granted to David Allen in 1817. The land was called "Illawarra Farm". In 1883 a port was opened to ship coal brought from the mine at Mt Kembla. Because of its association with the jetty serving the Mount Kembla mine, the area previously called Red Point became known as Port Kembla. The earliest reference to this name seems to have been in 1892. The new harbour was named Port Kembla by William Burall who opened the Mt Kembla Colliery and constructed the tramway between the colliery and the jetty. Kembla is an aboriginal word meaning "plenty of wild fowl".

See also: Five Islands, Illawarra, Mount Kembla

References: 3, 10, 19, 20, 31, IM 7/9/1893; 13/2/1897; 11/10/1984

PRIMBEE

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

The source of the name Primbee is uncertain. Farms in the area were owned in the 1860's by James Stewart, David James and Thomas Griffin. An 1893 map for the Parish of Wollongong shows the bay off Purry Burry Point as Primbee Bay. The area was subdivided and the land was offered for sale in 1919, not as Primbee but as "The Lake Suburb". One resident of the area in the 1920's recalled that "I came to Primbee in 1920....My parents were one of the first to buy property, when the estate was cut up. It was called Lake Suburb Estate at the time. I don't known how it came to be called Primbee. No one here was asked or told. It just came".

References: 43, 44, Map (Parish of Wollongong 1893)

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REIDTOWN

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

Reidtown is named after a family who owned land in the area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

References: 4

ROBBINSVILLE

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

Robbinsville was a former name for the village of Thirroul. The village was called Robbinsville after Frederick Robbins, who owned land in the area. The name was adopted at a meeting of inhabitants of the area in February 1880.

See also: Thirroul

References: 5, IM 24/2/1880; 27/2/1880

SPRING HILL

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Parish: Wollongong County: Camden
Suburb assigned 5 August 2005. A neighbourhood of Wollongong, about 2km SE by S of Figtree and about 2km N by W of Cringila.

References: 53

ROCKY ISLET

See: Five Islands Group

ROSEMONT

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

The Rosemont Estate was located on rich farming lands to the west of Wollongong. In November 1903 the estate was advertised for sale in residential blocks. A number of townspeople purchased lots 11 and 12 of the Estate at Crown Street West with the object of having the area established as a public park.

References: 30

RUSSELL VALE

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

Russell Vale was the estate of F P MacCabe who took up land there in about 1850. His son, who died from an accident, was called Russell.

References: 20

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SANDON POINT

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

It seems likely that the locally accepted name of "Sandon Point" is derived from Sandon, Hertfordshire, England, the birthplace of George Adams. George Adams purchased Bulli Colliery in the 1890's and was the owner of a considerable amount of land in Bulli. His cottage on Sandon Point was called "Sandon Cottage". In 1898 Adams had the Point cleared of trees and stumps in order to establish a "model farm". He also had the railway bridge built to carry the road leading to the Point from Slacky Flat. Sandon Point was also known as Bulli Point. Bulli Point was the official name recorded in the NSW Government Gazette on 20/2/1976.

References: 20, IM 10/11/1898, SCT 23/5/1930

SCARBOROUGH

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

Scarborough was originally known as South Clifton. A hotel, opened in the area in 1887, was named Scarborough Hotel. The South Clifton railway station was renamed Scarborough in October 1903 and the use of the name South Clifton was discontinued. There are two explanations for the origin of the name Scarborough. Firstly, that it was named after the seaside resort in Yorkshire, England. Secondly, that it was named after one of the convict transport vessels in the First Fleet. The name Scarborough means "Fort on the Rock".

References: 10, 20

SHELLHARBOUR

Parish of Terragong County of Camden

Shellharbour was so named long before there was a village or township there. The name is derived from the vast quantity of shells found in the area. The original village was called "Peterborough", as it was on the Peterborough Estate owned by D'Arcy Wentworth. The name of Shell Harbour (two words) had been used for so long, however, that it remained. The name Peterborough was officially abandoned when the village was given a Post Office and it was found that the name was already in use elsewhere. The name Shellharbour was proclaimed in the Government Gazette on 20 March 1885.

See also: Peterborough

References: 5, 14, 19

SHERBROOKE

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

Sherbrooke was situated on the top of Bulli Mountain, where the road from Georges River met the road from Appin. The name was selected in honour of Lord Sherbrooke (Robert Lowe) who had played an active part in public matters in the early days of the colony. The George's River Road was opened in 1871 and it was around this time that the new settlement began to develop. Sherbrooke was also known as Bulli Mountain and Upper Bulli. The village of Sherbrooke no longer exists as it was resumed in 1903 as part of the catchment area for the Cataract Dam.

See also: Beaconsfield

References: 4, 20

SIDMOUTH

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

Sidmouth was the original name of Austinmer. It was called Sidmouth after the name of the house built there by Robert Marsh Westmacott in 1837. Sidmouth was the name of Robert Marsh Westmacott's hometown, in Devon, on the Channel coast of England. The area became a seaside resort just as its counterpart in England.

See also: Austinmer

References: 13, 19

SMITH'S HILL

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

In 1835 Charles Throsby Smith obtained a grant of 300 acres adjacent to the western side of Wollongong Harbour. It was known as Bustle Farm or Bustle Hall. He built his residence, "Bustle Cottage", on what became known as Smith's Hill. In January 1879 Smith's Hill Estate was offered for auction, one of the first subdivisions of note in Wollongong .

References: 4, 19, 22, 23

SPOONERVILLE

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

During the Depression many makeshift dwellings were built by people evicted from their previous accommodation. In an effort to help these people, Mr Spooner, the then Minister for Works, built a settlement in Five Islands Road which became known as Spoonerville. The houses were modest establishments with walls of weatherboard and canvas and consisting of two or three bedrooms. These dwellings were occupied until the early 1950's.

References: 31

STANWELL PARK

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

The first settler at Stanwell Park was Matthew John Gibbons. In 1824 Gibbons obtained a permit to occupy 600 acres of land at "a place called Watermolly", seven miles from Port Hacking and three miles from "Little Bulli". A grant of 1000 acres was issued on 8 August 1833, although Gibbons had been in occupation long before this date. The grant was named Stanwell Park in the Grant Records but the name was in use earlier. The grant was advertised for private sale in 1832, and was described as being "1000 acres of rich land with three miles of sea frontage, 40 rods of fencing would enclose it, the rest being surrounded by the coal cliff and mountains." The Stanwell Park Grant was owned, at various times in the 1800s, by William Bucknell, Sir Thomas Mitchell and Mr Justice Hargrave. Stanwell Park was possibly named after the village of Stanwell on the south side of London. Stanwell Park was also known by the aboriginal name "Little Bulli". Bulli meant "two mountains" and referred to those on each side of the village. "Little" was because Bulli already existed. Will's Geographical Dictionary of the Australian Colonies, 1848 notes that "Stanwell Park is situated at Little Bulli on the sea coast in the County of Cumberland, NSW". This suggests that the farm may have been called Stanwell Park while the locality retained its old name.

References: 3, 12, 19

STANWELL TOPS

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

The first subdivision at Stanwell Tops is dated 26 September 1933. The area was known as Stanwell Tops by 1949 and in 1950 the population was large enough for the Post Master General to instigate a postal bag service. Stanwell Tops is on the escarpment above Stanwell Park.

References: SCT 29/10/1953

STEELTOWN

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Steeltown was the name given to the collection of shacks and tents which were erected close to the Steelworks. In the late 1920's land was advertised in the area as "The Steeltown Estate". The land fronted on to Five Islands Road and adjoined the Hoskins Steel Works. Steeltown was described as "the only Estate adjoining the Steelworks at a Railway Station". The area covered by this Estate is now part of Cringila.

See also: Cringila

References: 19, 33, Map (Cringila 1926-28)

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TALLAWARRA

Parish of Calderwood County of Camden

Tallawarra is an aboriginal word meaning "slippery place". The aborigines called it "Tallah", meaning "curious fish".

References: 17, 26

TARRAWANNA

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

Originally a grant of 60 acres made to Johnathon Brooker by Governor Macquarie in 1811. The property was passed to William Brooker and later purchased by James Brooker for 20 pounds. Part of the property was advertised to let in the Illawarra Mercury on 21 June 1858, "to Let, Mr Gritton's farm at Fairy Meadow, known as Tarrawanno. Apply to Mr Payne, Wheelwright, Wollongong, or to Mr James Brooker, Fairy Meadow."

References: 50, IM 21/6/1858

THIRROUL

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

The village of Thirroul was originally known as Robbinsville or Newtown. The village developed north of Bulli, around the home of Frederick Robbins, on a tract of land which was called Chippendale. The name Thirroul was officially adopted in 1891. Thirroul is an aboriginal word meaning "valley" or "hollow".

See also: Robbinsville

References: 3, 4, 5, 19, 20, 26

TOWRADGI

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

According to a map in Henderson's Early Illawarra Towradgi was also known as "Towroger". A notice appeared in the Illawarra Mercury on 18 August 1856 advertising a dairy farm for sale at Towrodger, "formerly the property of Mr George Organ". Towradgi is a corruption of the aboriginal word "Kow-radgi" meaning "guardian of the sacred stones".

References: 10, 24, IM 18/8/1856

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UNANDERRA

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Unanderra is situated on part of the "Berkeley Estate" which was granted to Mrs Jemima Jenkin's in 1835-36. Unanderra was originally called Charcoal or Charcoal Creek. From 7 April 1881 Charcoal Creek became Unanderra, an aboriginal word meaning the "meeting place of creeks" or the "junction of the two creeks". The two creeks were Charcoal and Allan's Creeks. The original form of the name is thought to have been Unundurra or Un-dirra.

See also: Charcoal

References: 2, 4, 5, 10, 12, 19, 28, IM 31/5/1984

VIOLET HILL

Parish of Kembla County of Camden

"Violet Hill" was a name given to the area of Mount Kembla south of the main road and near the school. The Public School at Mount Kembla was known as Violet Hill from 1859 to 1883.

See also: American Creek, Mount Kembla

References: 25

WARILLA

Parish of Terragong County of Camden

Warilla is situated on the Reddall section of the Peterborough Estate. The area was developed in the 1950's and 1960's and was named by the Progress Association. The name is a rearrangement of three of the syllables of Illawarra. The township was granted official recognition in 1951.

References: 14

WARRAWONG

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Two meanings are given for the aboriginal word Warrawong, "a whiting" and the "side of a hill".

References: 9, 17

WINDANG

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

Windang is an aboriginal word meaning "scene of a fight". Windang is said to have been "founded" by William Turnbull. Turnbull purchased some land in the area in 1920 and erected a two story building called "Wyndang House". In 1926 the Post Office attached to this house was officially named Windang Post Office following a submission from Turnbull to have the name changed from the unofficial Lake Illawarra Post Office. The request was granted on the proviso that "the correct spelling be adopted namely Windang, which is that of the Island and Trigonometrical Station thereon in the vicinity".

References: 14, 47

WINDANG ISLAND

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

The native name for Windang Island was "Kauyanggang" (Kanyangang) which meant "saved by the big bear who pulled the Island into its present position". The Island was called Windang Island as far back as 1848 when it was described in William Henry Wells' Geographical Dictionary as "an island situated at the entrance of Lake Illawarra, in the county of Camden, NSW".

See also: Windang

References: 17, 34, 45, 46

WOLLONGONG

Parish of Wollongong County of Camden

In 1821, Charles Throsby Smith was promised a grant of 300 acres at Wollongong. He called his property "Bustle Farm". In July 1834, a portion of Smith's property was "surveyed and laid out" in township allotments by Major Mitchell. The township laid out was bounded by Crown, Keira, Smith and Harbour Streets. The earliest reference traced to the name Wollongong appears in a report on the cedar industry by Oxley, dated December 1826.

There are many conflicting suggestions about the meaning of the name Wollongong.

1. The meaning of the word, according to positive information handed down traditionally from a great-niece of Dr Throsby, is "the sound of the sea". The word was pronounced Woll-long-gong, the second syllable being accented, and is supposedly onomatopoeic for the pounding and surging of the waves.

2. An expression of surprise and fear uttered by the aborigines when they first saw a ship in full sail. This has been rendered as "see! the monster comes". According to this view the original word was actually pronounced "Nywoolyarngungh".

3. Wollongong has also been thought to be from "Wol-lon-yuh" meaning "sound of the sea". Other versions of the word are "Wolonya, "Wollonga" and "Woolyunyal".

4. "Woollungah" is the correct aboriginal name for Wollongong, according to Aboriginal Billy Saddler (of "Nioka" Port Kembla). Woollungah means a place where a marriage took place between the son of one great king and the daughter of another great king, long before Captain Cook found this country. The word also means that there was a great feast of fish and other good things at the wedding, which was such a remarkable event that the place was named after it. The name has also been spelled "Wullungah".

6. Some other suggested meanings are: hard ground near water; song of the sea or sound of the waves; many snakes; five islands.

References: 2, 4, 5, 19, 23, IM 20/11/1894

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WOMBARRA

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

An aboriginal word meaning "black duck".

References: 26

WONGAWILLI

Parish of Kembla County of Camden

"Wonga" is an aboriginal word meaning "a native pigeon"

References: 26

WOONONA

Parish of Woonona County of Camden

A Post Office was established at "Woonoona" in 1859. There are several explanations for the derivation and meaning of the name Woonona. An aboriginal word meaning "place of young wallabies" or "run now"; an aboriginal word for a feature of the nearby escarpment; from the aboriginal word "wunona" meaning "sleep".

References: 3, 10, 15, 34

WORONORA RIVER

Parish of Holsworthy County of Cumberland

River assigned 4 May 1973. A mostly perennial stream rising about 7 km W by N of Stanwell Tops. It flows generally N & NNE for about 38 km into the Georges River. Named by Robert Dixon - misspelt as Wooloonora - a native word meaning 'black rocks'

References: 53

YALLAH

Parish of Calderwood County of Camden

In 1823 William Browne, generally known as "Merchant Browne", received a grant of 3000 acres facing Lake Illawarra and a grant of 800 acres fronting the Macquarie Rivulet. This property was originally called Athanlin but later became known as Yallah. Athanlin was later purchased by Henry Osborne. A 164 acre grant issued to P Larkins on 30 January 1837 is described as "at Yalla". Yallah is an aboriginal word for which a number of meanings are given; native apple tree; a nearby lagoon; "go away at once".

References: 3, 5, 15, 19

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REFERENCES

1. Whitworth, Robt. P., Bailliere's New South Wales Gazetteer and Road Guide, F. F. Bailliere, Sydney, 1866.

2. McCarthy, F. D., The Australian Museum: New South Wales Aboriginal Place Names and Euphonious Words, with their Meanings, 3rd ed., Australian Museum, Sydney, 1959.

3. Jervis, James, 'Illawarra: A Century of History 1788-1888', in Royal Australian Historical Society Journal, Vol. XXVIII, Part II-PartVI, Sydney, 1942.

4. Illawarra Historical Society Bulletin, Illawarra Historical Society, Wollongong, 1945-

5. Cousins, Arthur, The Garden of New South Wales, Producers' Co-op. Distributing Society Ltd, Sydney, 1948.

6. Sugden, Joah H., Aboriginal Words and their Meanings, Dymock's Book Arcade Ltd, Sydney.

7. Dowd, B. T., The First Five Land Grantees and their Grants in the Illawarra, Illawarra Historical Society, 1960.

8. Kenyon, Justine, The Aboriginal Word Book, Lothian Publishing Co. Pty. Ltd., Melbourne, 1960.

9. Endacott, Sydney J., Australian Aboriginal Words and Place Names and their Meanings, Georgian House, Melbourne, 1955.

10. Reed, A. W., Place-Names of New South Wales: Their Origins and Meanings, A. H. & A. W. Reed, Sydney, 1969.

11. Ingamells, Rex, Australian Aboriginal Words, Hallcraft Publishing Company, Melbourne, 1955.

12. Irish, C. A., 'Names of Railway Stations in New South Wales, with their Meanings and Origin', Royal Australian Historical Society, Journal and Proceedings, Vol. X111, Part 11, Sydney, 1927.

13. King, N. S., A History of Austinmer New South Wales, Illawarra Historical Society, [Wollongong], 1962.

14. Derbyshire, Jim & Dianne Allen, Land Between Two Rivers: A Historical and Pictorial Survey of Shellharbour Municipality, Shellharbour Municipal Council, Shellharbour, c1984.

15. Lyons, L. A., Illawarra (New South Wales): The Garden of the State, Pictorial and Descriptive Record.

16. Bayley, William A., Blue Haven: History of Kiama Municipality New South Wales, Kiama Municipal Council, Kiama, 1976.

17. List of aboriginal words compiled by John Brown of Brownsville, [1890?] Held in Local Cuttings File.

18. Wilkinson, Frank, Early Illawarra: Reminiscences by Frank Wilkinson ("Martindale."), Wollongong, [1935]

19. Shaw, Hilde J., 200 Facts About Historic Illawarra, Illawarra Historical Society, Wollongong, 1970.Top of page

20. Bayley, William A., Black Diamonds: History of Bulli District New South Wales, 2nd ed., Bulli Public School, Bulli, 1956.

21. McDonald, W. G., Nineteenth-Centry Dapto: Notes on the History of Dapto and its Neighbourhood, Illawarra Historical Society, Wollongong 1976.

22. Eardley, Gifford, Transporting the Black Diamond, Book 1: Colliery Railways of the Illawarra District, NSW (Central Section), Traction Publications, Canberra, 1968.

23. McDonald, W. G., Earliest Illawarra: By its Explorers and Pioneers, Illawarra Historical Society, [Wollongong], 1966.

24. Henderson, Krimhilde & Terry, Early Illawarrra: People, Houses, Life: An Australia 1838 Monograph, History Project Inc, Canberra, 1983.

25. Stone, K. C., A Profile History of Mount Kembla, 2nd Ed., 1984.

26. Reed, A. W., Aboriginal Words and Place Names, Rigby Limited, Sydney, 1965.

27. Balgownie School Centenary, 1889-1989, Balgownie Centenary Committee, Balgownie, c1989

28. Lindsay, Benjamin, Early Land Settlement in Illawarra (1804-1861), Illawarra Historical Publications, Woonona, 1994.

29. Robinson, Ross Ed., Urban Illawarra, Sorrett Publishing, Melbourne, 1977.

30. Jervis, James, The History of Wollongong: The Queen City of Illawarra, [1943?] Top of page

31. A Living History Port Kembla, [1994]

32. Harder, Kelsie B. Ed., Illustrated Dictionary of Place Names: United States and Canada, Facts on File Publications, New York, c1976.

33. Richardson, Len, The Bitter Years: Wollongong During the Great Depression, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney, c1984.

34. Organ, Michael, A Documentary History of the Illawarra & South Coast Aborigines 1770-1850: Including a Chronological Bibliography 1770-1990, Aboriginal Education Unit, Wollongong University, Wollongong, 1990.

35. Fairy Meadow Public School: Centenary 1858-1958, Fairy Meadow Public School, Fairy Meadow, 1958.

36. Ekwall, Eilert, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, London, 1947.

37. Singleton, C. C., Railway History in Illawarra, New South Wales, 2nd ed., Illawarra Historical Society, Wollongong, 1970.

38. McCaffrey, Frank, The History of Illawarra and its Pioneers, [Sydney], c1922. Top of page

39. Stewart, Alexander, Reminiscences of Early Illawarra: Memoirs of Wollongong's Earliest Days, Illawarra Historical Publications, Woonona, 1987.

40. Barwick-Hooke, Kathleen Harvison, Berkeley and Surrounding Districts: Glimpses into the Past and Present Illawarra, Paddington, NSW, c1988.

41. Mitchell, W. H., The Story of the Discovery and Growth of the City Of Greater Wollongong. [Typescript, unpublished]

42. 'Five Islands Mark the Start of Illawarra History', M. M. Gazette, vol. 5, no.4, March 1964. Top of page

43. Primbee Writers Group, Reflections of Primbee the Lake Suburb, Primbee, 1987.

44. The Lake Suburb, Port Kembla, Lake Illawarra, Henry F. Halloran & Co, [1919]

45. Bayley, William A., Green Meadows: Centenary History of Shellharbour Municipality New South Wales, Shellharbour Municipal Council, Albion Park, 1959.

46. Wells, William Henry, A Geographical Dictionary or Gazetteer of the Australian Colonies, 1848, Facsimile ed., The Council of the Library of New South Wales, Sydney, 1970.

47. Neels, Olive, Chronicles of Windang, Kiama, [1988]

48. Barwick, Kathleen H., History of Berkeley, New South Wales, 2nd ed., Illawarra Historical Society, [Wollongong], 1978.

49. Illawarra Lake, Wollongong City Council, Wollongong, 1976.

50. Ryan, Frank, My Fairy Meadow, Wollongong, 1986.

51. Long, Syd, Bellambi-Corrimal: Between the mountain and the sea, [Wollongong], 1980.

52. Wollongong City Council. Letter to Geographical Names Board : Definition of suburb/boundaries names, dated 19 April, 1993. Wollongong, The Council, 1993.

53. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. http://www.gnb.nsw.gov.au/name/search. Accessed 3 September 2007
Newspapers

IM = Illawarra Mercury,

The Express, Express Newspapers, Wollongong, 1969.

SCT = South Coast Times

Top of page

Other

Map = Map Collection, Wollongong Reference Library

Local Cuttings File, Wollongong Reference Library

 


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