parkrun names

What’s In A Name: Queensland

What’s the origin/meaning of our parkrun names? Check back for more Queensland entries.

If you spot a parkrun without a listing and you can help please get in touch at runswithabarcode@gmail.com.

Airlie Beach

It’s believed it was named Airlie Beach in reference to a parish in Scotland where Thomas Abell, one of the earlier European settlers, was originally from. It was officially founded in 1936.

Aplins Weir

Aplins Weir is one of the weirs along the Ross River, which runs through Townsville.

It was named after William Aplins, an English settler who moved to Townsville in 1863. He was mayor of Townsville and became a parliamentarian.


The western Brisbane suburb of Ashgrove takes its name from the 200 acre Grove Estate, developed by Mr. F.F. Holmes and later subdivided, which laid the foundations for the future suburb.  Records show that ash trees grew profusely in the area.


The town was named after John Atherton, a pioneer pastoralist who settled at Mareeba (then known as Emerald End) in 1875. The area was formerly known as Priors Pocket or Priors Creek.

It was named Atherton by Falconer West Hutton, the surveyor who prepared the town layout on 11 May 1885.


The district where Bargara lies was originally known as Sandhills. It was renamed Bargara in 1913. The name Bargara is derived from the names of two adjacent localities, Barolin and Woongarra.


Baringa is situated in the Gubbi Gubbi (Kabi) traditional Aboriginal country.

The name Baringa comes from the Gubbi-Gubbi language and means summit or little mountain.


The name Berrinba is an Aboriginal word meaning towards the south.


From 1859 to 1865 Bowen was known as Port Denison, named after the colonial governor of New South Wales, William Denison.

After Queensland separated from New South Wales, the town was renamed Bowen after the first Queensland colonial governor, Sir George Bowen.


No entry yet – do you know the origin? Email Alison runswithabarcode@gmail.com

Broadbeach Waters

The suburb of Broadbeach Waters is almost completely residential with most properties adjacent to or very close to man-made canals. It’s unclear how it got the Broadbeach moniker.


The name was coined by surveyor John Charlton Thompson and his assistant Alfred Dale Edwards. 

Bunda is derived from the name of one of the kinship groups of the local Taribelang people, to which was added the Saxon suffix berg, meaning “town”.


This parkrun runs through Bunyaville Regional Park and is close to the town of Bunya.

The name Bunya is derived from the Kabi language word bonyi or bunyi, meaning the Bunya pine tree


The city was founded in 1876 and named after Sir William Wellington Cairns, the Governor of Queensland from 1875 to 1877.

The area is known in the local Yidiny language as Gimuy, and the people who inhabited the region before colonisation are the Gimuy-walubarra clan of the Yidinji people


Calamvale was named after James Calam, an early settler and prominent landowner in the area. 

The Calam family built their homestead on a hill at the top of Calam Road near Beaudesert Road.

The area was known as Calamvale long before it was officially listed as a suburb in 1972.


The name Capalaba is believed to be derived from the indigenous Yugarabul word for the ringtail possum, a marsupial native to the area.


The Governor of Queensland, Sir George Bowen (1859-1868) named the coastal town after the prominent British politician Edward Cardwell who, at the time, was Secretary of State for the Colonies.


Centenary park is in Clermont.

The town was established in 1862 and was the first inland settlement in the tropics and is one of the most historic towns in Northern Australia.

Without official conformation one can assume the park was created as part of the town’s centenary celebrations.

Central Lakes

This parkrun takes place in Central Lakes park in Caboolture. The park has two main lakes.

Charleys Creek

Explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, in 1844, passed through the area now known as Charley’s Creek.

Two years later he returned and named it Charley’s Creek in honour of his Aboriginal guide, Charley Fisher.


The Chermside area was first settled by Europeans in the late 19th century. The first plot of land was sold on 23 May 1866.

It was first known as Downfall Creek. In 1903 the name was changed to Chermside after the Governor of Queensland, Sir Herbert Chermside.


Cleveland was the traditional territory of the Koobenpul clan of the Quandamooka.

There are conflicting reports as to the naming of Cleveland; it was either named in 1770 by Captain James Cook in honour of John Clevland, the Secretary of the Admiralty around the time, or by surveyors in the 1840s, in honour of William Vane, 1st Duke of Cleveland.

The latter is more likely as Cook did not enter Moreton Bay when he passed by on the 17th of May 1770 and it is not mentioned in his journal.


The Cloncurry River was named by Robert O’Hara Burke on the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition.

He named the river after Lady Elizabeth Cloncurry, his cousin, with the town eventually taking its name from the river.


The town takes its name from the Coomera River, which in turn takes its name comes from the Yugambeh word kumera, a species of wattle.

The bark of this tree was used by Aboriginal people to stupefy fish. Yugambeh is one of the Aboriginal languages spoken on the Gold Coast.

Cormorant Bay

Cormorant Bay is part of Lake Wivenhoe, which holds twice as much water as Sydney Harbour.

It’s home to masses of cormorant birds, hence the name.


The name of the town is believed to come from the village of Dalby on the Isle of Man and reflects immigration from the Isle of Man in the mid-19th century.

The name was apparently chosen by Captain Samuel Perry when he surveyed the settlement in 1853.


The town takes its name from the emerald and other precious stone deposits in the area and from the pastoral run Emerald Downs, a name chosen circa 1860 by pastoralist Peter Fitzallan Macdonald.

Forest Lake

Forest Lake is situated in the Yugarabul traditional Aboriginal country.

It was the first master-planned community in Brisbane.

The centrepiece of Forest Lake is an $8.9 million, 10.9 hectare man-made recreational lake, with a perimeter of 2.7km.

Surrounding the lake is 3.5km of pedestrian and cycleways and 8 hectares of adjacent parkland.

Gainsborough Greens

Named after the nearby golf course, this parkrun takes place in the Gold Coast suburb of Pimpama.

The name Pimpama is reportedly derived from Bundjalung language (Yugumbir dialect), pim pim ba or bim bim ba, meaning place of soldier birds.


The Gatton area was explored by Major Edmund Lockyer in 1825. A settlement known as Gatton was gazetted in 1855.

The origin of the name is obscure: Gatton Park, Surrey and Gattonside, in the former Scottish county of Roxburghshire, have been suggested.

Gayndah River Walk

This parkrun takes place on the Riverwalk beside the Burnett River in Gayndah.

The name Gayndah is of Aboriginal origin but the derivative is unclear. It may derive either from Gu-in-dah (or Gi-un-dah), meaning thunder, or from Ngainta meaning place of scrub.

Alternatively it may be derived from Waka language kunda meaning range or ridge, or ga-een-ta meaning bushy land.

Gladstone QLD

The QLD suffix is necessary due to a Gladstone parkrun already running in London, England. Matthew Flinders originally named the harbour Port Curtis in 1802, after Admiral Roger Curtis, a man who was of assistance to Flinders a year earlier at the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1853 the town was surveyed and named after the English Chancellor of the Exchequer and future prime minister, William Ewart Gladstone (1809-98).

Glass House Mountains Conservation

The naming of the Glass House Mountains came about from Lieutenant James Cook’s exploration of eastern Australia in 1770. 

Cook thought that the formations resembled the glass furnace kilns in his native Yorkshire.

Golden Beach

Golden Beach is a southern suburb of Caloundra, it was a recreational area in the 1940s. The name was derived from an early development company, Caloundra Golden Beach Ltd.


The name Goondiwindi derives from an Aboriginal word with goondi indicating droppings or dung and windi indicating duck, probably connected with the roosting place on a large rock in the Macintyre River. The name was believed to be first used for a pastoral run in the area. 

Gundiwindi Post Office opened by 1860. It was renamed Goondiwindi by 1861.

Graham Andrews

This parkrun takes place in the Graham Andrews Parklands. 

Who is Graham Andrews? If you know email Alison runswithabarcode@gmail.com


The early name of the district was Teviot but derives its present name Greenbank from the name of a cattle property belonging to William Slack. He was one of the first settlers, arriving in the 1840s.

Hamilton Island

The largest inhabited island of the Whitsunday Islands, it was originally charted in 1866, shown as part of Dent Island and the whole named Passage Island, adjoining the Whitsunday Passage.

Two years later Hamilton Island was described separately and named, possibly after a crew member of the survey vessel.

Harris Avenue

This parkrun takes place at the Harris Avenue Sports Centre in Narangba.

It is thought that the name Narangba was derived from an Aboriginal word describing the ridge on which the village was built. When the railway was opened in 1888 the situation was at first known as Sideling Creek.

Hervey Bay 

Hervey Bay was named by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770 for Augustus John Hervey (1724-79).

He was the third Earl of Bristol, a career naval officer, commander in chief of the Mediterranean (1763) and in line for a lordship of the Admiralty (1771).

Described as active and brave, but reckless and over-confident, he died without a legitimate heir.


The area probably takes its name from the Highfields pastoral run, north of the township.  The area was first developed in the 1860s.

The first post office openly briefly in 1866 with a weekly mail service from Toowoomba.

It re-opened in 1868 and changed its name in December 1877 to Koojarawon. In 1907 residents’ protests resulted in the named returning to the name Highfields.

Ipswich QLD

The QLD suffix is necessary due to Ipswich parkrun already operating in England.

Ipswich is Queensland’s oldest provincial city. It was tribally known as Coodjirar meaning place of the Red Stemmed Gum Tree in the Yugararpul language.

Ipswich was initially named “The Limestone Hills” and later shortened to “Limestone”, however in 1843 it was renamed after the town of Ipswich in England.


Kawana parkrun takes place at Kawana Beach on the Sunshine Coast. It was originally the estate development name and has passed into common usage, but it is not officially a town nor a locality.

The district is Kawana Waters.


In 1838 German Moravian missionaries formed a settlement for the protection of Aborigines, and named the watercourse, now known as Kedron Brook, after the Biblical Kedron River.

Kelvin Grove

Kelvin Grove was named after the house built by Dr Joseph Bancroft in 1864 near Enoggera Creek, at the suburb’s northern boundary.

Kelvin Grove was also used as a hotel and pleasure garden, and Bancroft named it after a Glasgow resort.


There are variations on what the word Kirra actually means. Some believe Queensland Aboriginal people named it after a boomerang.

This makes sense as Kirra wraps around the bend separating Coolangatta and Kirra beaches and in front of Kirra Hill.

Logan River

In August 1826 Captain Patrick Logan was the first European to discover the river. Logan initially named the river the Darling River, but to avoid confusion, Governor Ralph Darling ordered the name be changed to honour its discoverer.

The Yugambeh clan of the Jagera people are thought to have once roamed throughout the catchment. They called the river Dugulumba in their traditional Yugambeh dialect of the Bandjalang language.


Lota was acquired by Irish-born politician and pastoralist William Duckett White in 1860. The suburb is named after Duckett White’s residence, Lota House, built in 1863. Lota and neighbouring suburb Manly were and continue to be known as Narlung to the Quandamooka people, likely meaning “the place of long shadows”.


Mackay was named after the explorer John Mackay who led an expedition from Armidale, New South Wales, in search of northern grazing lands. In May 1860, after exploring inland regions, Mackay reached the Pioneer River, upon which the town of Mackay was later established.

Main Beach

Named because it was the main surf beach for the town of Southport.

Maleny Trail

The name Maleny is probably derived from the parish name, which in turn is possibly derived from the Scottish place name Malleny, a village in Midlothian, Scotland.

The parkrun takes part on the Maleny Trail.

Mansfield, Queensland

The Brisbane suburb was named by the Queensland Place Names Board on 1 August 1967, after the Queensland Governor of the time Sir Alan Mansfield.

It has the suffix QLD to distinguish it from Mansfield parkrun in the UK.


Maryborough was founded in 1843 and named after the Mary river, which was named after Mary, the wife of Governor Sir Charles Fitz Roy.


Meadowbrook is a suburb in the City of Logan, Brisbane. It was originally part of Loganlea and gazetted as a place name in October 1991.Much confusion was caused by this name change, as the housing estate in the area was marketed as Meadowbank from 1987.

The park along the Logan River was initially known as Meadowbank Park, but the name was soon changed to Riverdale, the name given by the property’s original settlers, William and Margaret Armstrong.


Formerly known as Dogwood Crossing, the town is situated on Dogwood Creek, named by German explorer Ludwig Leichhardt in 1844. The town was renamed Miles in honour of the Queensland Colonial Secretary, William Miles


Mitchelton derives its name from one of a family of settlers – the Mitchell family. They arrived in the 1850s from England, and by 1875 Nicholas Mitchell had purchased 75 acres on the southern bank of Kedron Brook.

The estate was called “Mitchelton” and was subsequently subdivided in the 1890s. The land was originally covered with iron bark forest which was a source for posts and shingles.

Mount Isa

Mount Isa parkrun is named after the town where its situated. It’s most likely named after the Mount Ida gold mines in Western Australia after prospector John Campbell Miles was taken with friends’ stories of the mines.

In 1923 he was on an expedition when he found mineral deposits, he and four farmers staked out the first claims in the area. Mount Isa is on Kalkadoon country.


Mudgeeraba is an indigenous name but there are several interpretations of its meaning. It is thought that the name of the town was derived from an indigenous Australian expression meaning, “place of infant’s excrement”, “place where someone told lies” or “place of sticky soil”.

Another theory is that the name means “low-lying ground”.

Mudjimba Beach

The name Mudjimba is derived from the Kabi language word midyim/mudjim for a local plant, the Midyam (Austromyrtus tenuifolia) bush, which has sweet white berries with green spots.

The Kabi legend is that two women were stranded on Mudjimba island and gathered the berries as food.


Nambour was the name of the first cattle station in the district. It came from the aboriginal word Nambaa meaning red flowering tea tree.

Nambour parkrun is located in Parklands Conservation park which has four towns including Nambour bordering it.

New Farm

New Farm is the land of the Turrbal people, the traditional owners of most of Brisbane. The traditional name for New Farm is ‘Binkenba’ which means ‘place of the land tortoise’.

The suburb derives its name from the fact that the peninsula was used as a farming area in the early years of Brisbane’s history. Commandant Patrick Logan established a new farm in the area in 1827 as part of the Moreton Bay penal colony.


It is widely accepted that the name Noosa comes from Kabi Kabi word Noothera or Gnuthuru, for shadow or shady place. An 1870 map of Noosa shows the Noosa River written as Nusa River.

North Lakes

The origin of the suburb name is from the name given to the estate development. North Lakes is situated in the Yugarabul country.

Originally part of Mango Hill, North Lakes was gazetted as a separate suburb by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Water in February 2006.


Oakey and the creek around which the town is located, were named for the river oaks that dominate the banks of the creek.

The town was surveyed in 1868, with the first sale being 28 June 1870. Originally named Oaky, the spelling of Oakey was officially adopted in August 1940.

Ocean View

Ocean View parkrun is named for the Queensland suburb it is in, Ocean View. No details can be found of its naming but presumably it was named for the view of the ocean.

Old Thomson River Road

This parkrun takes place on the road named Old Thomson River Road.

The Thomson river was named in 1847 by the explorer, Edmund Kennedy, in honour of The Hon. Sir Edward Deas Thomson KCMG, CMG, the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales at that time.


The name Pallara means flat land and is derived from a non-local Aboriginal word spelt with only one “l”. In 1997, the Pallara Parklands were opened on a remediated dump.

Paradise Point

The suburb of Paradise Point is located on a peninsula of land bounded by Coombabah Creek, Coomera River and the northern Broadwater.

The suburb also encompasses Ephraim and Sovereign Islands. Published history of the land doesn’t explain the name, if you know please get in contact.


Named for Thomas Petrie who established his homestead Murrumba on a bend on the Pine River in 1858.

Tom Petrie was part of the Petrie family who were the first free settlers in Queensland and who established their prominent construction business in 1840. After his death North Pine railway station was renamed Petrie, the suburb takes its name from the railway station.


The town was originally known as Beauaraba but the name was changed in 1915 in honour of a prominent local family who took up land at Goombungee in 1854.


Named for the park in Ayr that it takes place in. Ayr was named after the Scottish town of Ayr, the birthplace of nineteenth-century Queensland Premier, Sir Thomas McIlwraith.

Ayr has a history of sugarcane plantations.


The town’s name originates from “Red Cliff Point” named by the explorer Matthew Flinders, referring to the red cliffs at Woody Point. Redcliffe became Queensland’s first colony in 1824; however, it was soon abandoned for Brisbane.

Redland Bay

Named after the suburb Redland Bay, which was settled in the 1860s-70s. You don’t have to look far to appreciate the rich red volcanic soil that supported farms and market gardens with a mix of crops including sugar cane, cotton, rice, pineapples and citrus.


Riverway is a riverfront parkland attraction located in the Condon suburb of Townsville that opened in July 2006. It runs along the Ross River.


In 1855 the Archer brothers Charles and William returned to set up their pastoral run at Gracemere. The Fitzroy River provided a convenient waterway for shipping of supplies and produce, and the brothers constructed a wool shed just downstream of a bar of rocks that prevented further upstream navigation from the coast.

These rocks were incorporated with the traditional English term for a village, and the name “Rockhampton” was first coined by Charles Archer and the local Commissioner from Crown Lands, William Wiseman.

Rocks Riverside

Rocks Riverside Park is a park by the Brisbane River in Seventeen Mile Rocks, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

The park was opened on 7 December 2003, and features industrial artefacts from its previous use by the Queensland Cement and Lime Company.


Roma was named after Lady Diamantina Bowen (Contessa Diamantina di Roma), wife of the first Governor of Queensland, George Bowen.

Ros Gregor Trail

The Ros Gregor Trail is in Nanango. It is named for the former Nanango Shire deputy mayor, and long-time Nanango Historical Society president, Ros Gregor.

S.S. Koopa Trail

Named after the 1911 steamship which took tourists from Brisbane to Bribie Island. Koopa allegedly comes from a local indigenous word for flying fish.

parkrun names

What’s In A Name: Western Australia

What’s the origin/meaning of our parkrun names?

Thanks to Ian Kemp for compiling these.

If you spot a parkrun without a listing and you can help please get in touch at runswithabarcode@gmail.com.


The suburb of Applecross was named by one of the early land grant owners, after the Applecross Peninsula on the NW coast of Scotland.

The Scots location is very isolated, and the name goes back about 1300 years, based on the Pictish name Aporcrosan, meaning a junction of the river Crosan.


The suburb of Aveley was named in 2006, using a name for the area given by an early land grant owner, after the town of Aveley in Essex, England.

It in turn is a variation on the Saxon name Alvilia which is recorded in the Domesday Book from the early 1000’s AD.

Bayview Road

The parkrun is of course named for the seaward road north of Karratha where the parkrun happens.

The name was allocated in 2015, when the plan was developed to link Balmoral Road with Searipple Road, and approved in 2016.

The existing Balmoral Road took on the name of the new bit, but the name Searipple was retained for the eastern part following an objection from a local business.

The name Bayview was the second choice of the council, but was adopted after the first choice, Nikol Bay Road, was rejected by the state Geographical Names Board, who didn’t want two words to be used for some reason.

Bibra Lake

The name of Bibra Lake was adopted in 1967 based on the name of an early European Landholder Benedict von Bibra, who had bought land there in 1843.

Bibra’s name in turn is an aristocratic German family name which was first recorded in 1119. They had a lot of power and influence in what is now central Germany, but I don’t know why Benedict came to Australia.


Bunbury parkrun is of course named for the town, which was founded by Lieutenant Henry William St Pierre Bunbury, who opened up an overland route to the spot from Pinjarra in the early 1800’s – but he did not settle or live there.

Bunbury was from an aristocratic English family, and the name derives from a place in NW England, which was listed in the Norman Domesday book as Buna Burh (Castle of Buna).

Burswood Peninsula

Burswood was named by the first English landholder Henry Camfield (which also explains the name of the road and the pub adjacent to the course), after his father’s farm Burrswood, which was near Groombridge in Kent.


Do you know the origin of this parkrun name? Email Alison runswithabarcode@gmail.com

Canning River

Canning River was named by Capt James Stirling, after a tour in 1827.

It was named for George Canning, the British Prime Minister at the time, who arranged the funds for Stirling’s expedition.

His father was from Ireland, so the name may have originated from the Irish “Cannan” meaning Wolf Cub. Of course the river already had a name, early French explorers named it Moreau, after one of their crew, and apart from that the Nyungar name is Djarlgarra.

Carine Glades

The name came from the Big and Small Carine Swamps that delineated the area, which was earlier part of Hamersley Estate – owned by the migrant Hamersley family.

Maybe one of them named the swamps, after someone with the French first (female) name Carine?

Champion Lakes

The name was made up in the year 2000, for the proposed water recreation centre based around Wright Lake in the City of Armadale.

The rowing & regatta centre in the Champion Lakes regional park was opened in 2007, and the name has also been used for the residential real estate area near the centre.

Claisebrook Cove

Claisebrook Cove parkrun, the first to be established in WA, starts on the site of the old East Perth Gasworks – this site and surrounding industrial areas were redeveloped as residential, commercial and parkland in the early 2000’s.

The name has morphed from the English name for the stream “Clause’s Brook”, bestowed in the 1827 tour up the river by Capt James Stirling. Frederick Clause was a naval surgeon who was present on Stirling’s tour, but his memory was lost as the name schlepped into Claise Brook in the mid 1800s.

Collie River Trail

In 1829, the Collie River was ‘discovered’ by the crew of the survey ship HMS Sulphur, which explored the area after bringing British Troops to the Swan River colony.

The river was named after the ship’s surgeon Dr Alexander Collie. The Collie River Trail was recently upgraded as part of a network of walking and cycling trails around Collie


Governer Broome named Cottesloe in 1886, after Baron Cottesloe, aka Thomas Fremantle, the elder brother of Captain Charles Fremantle whose name will be familiar in WA.

The English name itself has been tracked back to 1086, being derived from the Saxon name for a place in Buckingham in England, Cota’s Lau (Cota’s Hill).


Dawesville is named after Louis Dawe, a South Australian tinsmith who initially worked at the Peel Inlet Preserving (Canning) Works.

In 1913 he built his own fish cannery and a homestead “Allandale” at what is now Dawesville.

Edinburgh Oval

Edinburgh Oval parkrun is named after the oval the course runs around.

The oval was named in honour of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh for his visit to the Western Australian Institute of Technology’s Bentley campus in March 1971.

The institution is now named Curtin University.

Garvey Park

Garvey Park was named after Thomas Laurence Garvey, Councillor from 1911 and later President of the Roads Board, who was responsible for the development of the park.

Previously it was known as Redcliffe Park then East Belmont Recreation Reserve. Despite being named Garvey Park in 1923, it was not officially gazetted until 1983.

Geographe Bay

The bay was named in 1801 by the French explorer Nicolas Baudin, after his ship Géographe (Geographer).

He arrived on a scientific expedition bankrolled by Napoleon Bonaparte, with two ships (the other being the Naturaliste (Naturalist)).

The expedition is responsible for a number of French place names scattered along the South West coast.

Hampton Oval

The port of Dampier was established in 1963 by the Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd.

The company town soon followed, named for the British seaman William Dampier, who arrived in Australia 80 years before Captain James Cook.

The sports oval is named such because it lies next to Hampton Harbour.

The name Hampton comes from Old English and means simply home settlement.

It is a common part of place names in England, and the link with Dampier is out there somewhere.

Heirisson Island (since closed)

The island was named after midshipman François-Antoine Boniface Heirisson, a crew member of the Naturaliste (see ‘Geographe Bay’). Members of Baudin’s expedition mapped the lower Swan river and gave the island its current name.


In 1884 Thornlie Park, including the homestead, was established on land owned by the now-famous Walter Padbury. It was farmed by Frank and Amy James (Amy was Walter’s niece), whose work involved experimentation on what crops were right for the area. Some of the olive trees they planted survive in the park, along with the ruins of the homestead itself, which was destroyed by fire in the 1970s.

After that the whole area degraded and became choked with introduced weeds.

It was rehabilitated and made into a park starting in 2012.

The name Thornlie was used for the surrounding suburb and was originally bestowed by James as a re-use of the name of a business house in Madras (India) run by Frank’s grandfather.

Kadina Trail

Do you know the origin of this parkrun name? Email Alison runswithabarcode@gmail.com


The name of the first of the twin cities probably comes from the Wangkathaa word ‘Karlkurla’ which is the name of a plant called ‘silky pear’ in English. The name Boulder is carried over from an early mining lease called ‘the Great Boulder” because the mining lease contained a number of, yes boulders, containing small stringers of gold.


A number of ideas were put forward to name the new town built for the Ord river irrigation project, and in 1960 the name Kununurra was settled on, and the town was gazetted in 1961.

The originally spelling Cununurra was changed due to objections from the Postmaster General that it was too similar to other town names in Australia.

The name is probably derived from Goonoonoorrang (or Gananoorrang) which was the name used for that part of the Ord river in the Miriwoong language

Lake Joondalup

Perth’s largest freshwater lake nearly retains its Noongar name Doondalup, which means something like ‘glistening place’.

The city of Joondalup was named after the lake, when the authorities decided to develop a number of sub regional centres away from central Perth.


Manjimup is the Noongar word meaning ‘Manjin place’, the Manjim being a broad leafed plant with an edible root.

An early settler, J Mottram, named his property Manjimup House in the 1860s, and in 1863 the name of a local brook was officially recorded as Manjimup Brook by the surveyor Thomas Treen.

The townsite was officially gazetted in 1903 as Manjimupp, but changed back to Manjimup in 1911.

Margaret River

The river was supposedly named in 1831 by early settler John Bussel (founder of Busselton) after his step-second-cousin Margaret Whicher.

The name appears on a map of the region made in 1839. The first British settlers arrived in the 1850’s – including John Bussel’s brother Alfred and his wife Ellen, most engaging in farming and logging.

The townsite was established from 1919 to 1920, and the big historical turning points of course were the planting of the first commercial vines in 1966, and the establishment of a professional surfing competition in 1985.


The Batavia Coast Marina in Geraldton was opening on 25 Feb 1995, and was the result of planning and construction starting in 1987, after closure of the Westrail marshalling yards at the site.

From the start, the Marina was planned to be not just a mooring facility, but to include a motel, housing and retail.

The precinct also includes parkland and the Museum of Geraldton.

Maylands Peninsula

The name Maylands is thought to have been bestowed by Mephan Ferguson, who established a foundry in the area in 1898 to manufacture the water pipes for the Goldfields Pipeline.

He supposedly named the area after his aunt, or his daughter, each of which was named ‘May’.

The only problem is that the name appeared in print in 1896, in a poster advertising land for sale… before Mephan bought it.

So that theory is probably wrong and we need to look to the Tranby family who held the area from 1830.

The name probably has no connection to the original Noongar name of Wu-rut.


This is undoubtedly a Noongar name relating to the area, but the meaning is in doubt.

Some say it was the name of a nearby well, others that it derives from Moora-Moora meaning ‘good spirit’, and yet others that the name originally meant ‘grandparent’.

Perhaps a grandparent can be a good spirit, and may also be found near a good source of water, too.

Mount Clarence

This well-known memorial-bearing mountain in Albany was named after the British Duke of Clarence, who later became King William IV.

It has recently been officially ‘joint named’ with its original Noongar name Corndarup, meaning ‘place of red berries’.

The English name may have been bestowed by George Vancouver in 1791, or by Matthew Flinders in 1801. The name is based on land around the English town of Clare, in Suffolk.

Mount Helena

This area was once known as White’s Mill, after the White family who built a sawmill in 1882, then later Lion Mill, before being renamed to Mount Helena in 1924.

The name was dreamt up by the Progress Association, based on it having a hill and being near the Helena River.

The river is thought to have been named by Governer Stirling during his 1829 tour, after Helena Dance, the wife of the captain of HMS Sulphur, William Dance (see Collie River Trail parkrun).

Mundy Regional

The name commemorates Mundy (sometimes written ‘Munday’), a man who became an important negotiator for the Whadjuk community.

Mundy was leader of the Beelu aboriginal people at the time of European settlement, a group who used the area as a winter camp site.

The park was established in 1957 as Kalamunda Regional Park, and was given its current name in 2008. The notoriously hilly parkrun started in 2019.

Perry Lakes

The name of the lakes recalls Joseph Perry, who was born in Westminster, London in 1837 and came to Australia in 1842 with his parents and two younger brothers, William and “Cappy”.

He became known as Perth’s “first cowboy”, responsible for managing the City’s cow herds which he grazed between Mount Eliza (Kings Park), Dyson’s Swamp (Shenton Park) and the Limekiln’s Estate at City Beach.

In 1879 he purchased the Limekilns Estate, which included Bold Park and surrounding land, including Perry Lakes.

The property included a vineyard, a slaughter house and horse breaking and stock dealing facilities near the lake.

Port Hedland

Marapikurrinya was officially renamed Port Hedland in 1896, named for the Swedish-born Peter Hedland, who first proposed the area as the site of a port back in 1863.

The port was first developed in the 1890’s, and was significantly improved in 1966 to ship iron ore.

Originally named Lars Peter Hedlund, Peter emigrated to Australia in the 1850s, and made a number of trips to the North West in the boat Mystery that he had built at Point Walter near Fremantle.

Before his death in 1881, he fathered 11 children with his wife Ellen Adams.

Quinns Rocks

In 1867 Assistant Surveyor James Cowle recorded an offshore reef and decided to name it after Robert Quin, his predecessor who had carried out early surveys of parts of WA near Perth.

In 1925 the Wanneroo Road Board added an ‘n’ when they named the area “Quinns Rocks” while planning a road to that part of the coast.


In May 1830, three ships arrived in WA, chartered by Thomas Peel to bring settlers to the colony.

The Hooghly and the Gilmore made it to port, but the Rockingham was blown ashore and ultimately abandoned.

During attempts to refloat the ship, the would-be settlers camped ashore and supposedly named their tent city Rockingham Town.

The name became official with the government survey 1847. Some years later it became the site of a timber port, and thrived until the development of Fremantle Inner Harbour and a rail connection to the south west.


Shelley was approved as a separate suburb in the mid 1960s. It is believed the name refers to shells found on the shores of the Canning River nearby.


This is possibly the only parkrun in WA named after a kiddies’ playground! Shipwreck park was named for the large adventure playground in the middle.

The park and the playground were integral parts of the Stockland land development of Sienna Wood in the late 2010s.

Around that time the developers realised that they needed to include ready-made facilities for young families to make their developments more marketable and attractive to customers.


This is a Noongar name meaning something like ‘place of the digging stick’.

Prior to European settlement there were around 60 families living from the natural resources of the lakes in the area.

The land was parcelled up by surveyors in the early 1800s. In 1844 John Smithies established a disastrous farm funded by the Wesleyan Mission Society, to be worked by aboriginal people.

A town site was gazetted in 1907 and the Yellagonga Regional Park which contains the parkrun(and Lake Joondalup parkrun) was established in 1989.

Whitfords Nodes

Whitford was first named in 1976 as an electoral district for WA state elections, and was first used in the 1977 election for the legislative assembly.

The district was later subdivided but the name lives on in a number of local businesses.

The ‘nodes’ refer to the dunes which participants in parkrun will be familiar with.

Woodbridge Riverside

Woodbridge was the name of a farm established in what was then part of Midland, in 1830, by Captain James Stirling.

He had a small house built there but spent little time at the farm, and leased it when he permanently left the colony at end of his stint as governor in 1839.

The farm was named after Woodbridge near Guildford in Surrey (England), the birthplace of his wife, Ellen Mangles.


The name is a Noongar word for dingo and was named as a possibly more euphonious counter to ‘Dog Swamp’ nearby.

The original European land grant in 1840 gave the land to T. Walters, but it remained undeveloped and came into the ownership of Western Australian Golf Ltd.

Subdivision and settlement happened in the late 1940s, and the area was completely built out by the 1970s.

Fortunately the Yokine reserve was retained and is home to a number of sports organisations including parkrun.