Australia’s Strange and Unusual Place Names

If you were to go to Latitude: -34.750690460 and Longitude: 139.380264282, you would find yourself in the state of South Australia. You would be around 80 kilometres east of Adelaide, slightly to the north.

You would be standing above a cave. The name of that cave?

Well It Wasn’t There Last Year Cave‘.

Yes, really, no kidding.

Strange Australian places

The town of Cowaramup in WA is strange, but it doesn’t quite make this list…

cowaramupI’ve spent a fair amount of time travelling around Australia, whether locally or in other states whilst on holiday, and it’s fair to say that Australia has some very strange place names.

One of my readers, for example, lives in a place called Wagga Wagga, which is in New South Wales. For the record, that’s nowhere near Woolloomooloo, which is just above Wollongong in the same state.

Bong Bong is also in NSW, but you should not get it confused with Boing Boing in NT. Northern Territory also has the wonderfully named Humpty Doo as well as the not so attractive sounding Little Stinking Lagoon.

Here in Queensland, I always smile slightly as I drive through Burpengary, but I can’t find any amusement in either Dismal Swamp or Broken Nose. Banana gets me back on track though.

Would you believe that Tasmania has its own Dismal Swamp as well? So if that’s really where you want to go for your holidays, you have a choice. If you decide to go to the one in Tasmania, you could also swing by at Little Hell Bay while you’re there, although I think you will have more fun in Granny’s Gut.

Not much going on in ACT when it comes to silly names, but they do boast Rotten Swamp; I’m sure the politicians go there often. We can get back on track with Western Australia though, they have a town called Useless Loop, as well as places called Damboring Rocks and Head Butts.

Are we nearly there yet?

Not quite, let’s find out what Victoria has to offer. Oh dear; Mangalore, Poowong, Tittybong and Mount Buggery.

But we have to return to South Australia for this country’s longest official place name. I’m sure somebody, somewhere, knows how to pronounce it, but it’s not me. All I understand is that it is the name of a hill, because I had no problem understanding the second word of the two in Mamungkukumpurangkuntjunya Hill.

Time for me to offer my thanks to those without whom this post would not have been possible. Firstly, my thanks to the aboriginal people who thought up many of these names. Without them many roadsigns would be far less interesting.

Next, my thanks to for their very extensive list of strange Australian place names.

And finally, my thanks to the Australia Geographic magazine I picked up whilst Visiting the doctor recently for the inspiration for this post. It was a simple, one-page article in which they made up around five or six roadsigns which included many of these unusual names.

One of these roadsigns was called “A Little Bit Rude”.

As regular readers will know, there are no rude words on my website, not in print anyway. And there still aren’t, but now there is this picture…

rude namesBrisbane; sounds a little boring now, doesn’t it?

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{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Charlotte September 10, 2015, 5:46 pm |

    Don’t forget Fannie Bay in Darwin! 😉
    I couldn’t stop sniggering when I was there and found out about this place name, I have the most juvenile sense of humour so this blog has brightened my day!

    • BobinOz September 13, 2015, 5:30 pm |

      I’ve been there, no unusual thoughts crossed my mind whatsoever, honest 🙂

  • Ronny September 9, 2015, 5:26 am |

    I meant, France’s most funny Village name (sorry for the mistake)
    (and yes it does exist, check on

    • BobinOz September 10, 2015, 1:57 pm |

      I’m sure that’s caused many a Brit to giggle 🙂

  • Ronny September 9, 2015, 1:29 am |

    Another good post here !

    If I may add, I found those two worth mentionning :
    – Come By Chance, NSW
    – Disappointment Hill, WA

    And as I’m fair, I’ll unveil french’s most funny name (for english speakers) : Condom


  • alanfs September 4, 2015, 9:12 pm |

    near Nimbin there is a place called Blue Knob which always made me laugh as a boy and at school in QLD, trips to Mount Mee caused amusment, “so when are you going to Mount Mee”, it was an all boys school.

    • BobinOz September 5, 2015, 8:14 am |

      Ah, school boy humour, can’t beat it:-)

  • djmcbell September 4, 2015, 6:37 pm |

    And some weird big place names?

  • Kamma September 4, 2015, 5:24 am |

    Ah, Australia. The country of big places and weird names. 😀

    • BobinOz September 4, 2015, 5:07 pm |

      And some big named weird places 🙂

  • djmcbell September 2, 2015, 10:04 pm |

    Ah, I remember staying in Woolloomooloo a few years back. Never did get to try the pie stand, but saw the pictures on it of the people who had.

    Having said that, I have seen a picture of a town sign in Germany. The town is called… well, it’s a popular swear word beginning with “F” (and with “ing” on the end), and underneath reads “bitte, nicht so schnell”.

    • BobinOz September 3, 2015, 6:19 pm |

      I asked my wife, she speaks a bit of German, apparently what’s written underneath is ‘please, not so quick’.

      Seems fair:-)

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