Last updated 28Apr23
Local Map-Marked Names
I do like to know the naming history of the features I walk to, so was most grateful for the following information provided by the ACT Land Information Centre and, specifically, Lorraine Bayliss. She researched a number of data sources for me and also provided a copy of ‘The Australian Capital Territory’s Gazetteer A Dictionary of Geographic Names HISTORY Origins and Meanings‘, Department of the Environment, A.C.T. Government, Researched and compiled by Brian Smith of the ACT Land Information Office. On Peter D’s suggestion, I’ve added locations (they’re UTM format, GDA 94).
• Mt Aggie (UTM 55H 660361-6073916) – Mountain located in Namadgi National Park, Australian Capital Territory; 1496 metres in height. Named after Agnes Franklin, a pioneer at “Brindabella”. (Ref: Matthew Higgins, Freelance Historian)
• Ashbrook Road (UTM 55H 671332-6073127) – John Staunton settled at “Ashbrook” on Hurdle Creek in 1885, but did not apply for the land. He did however apply for other land portions in the Tidbinbilla Valley. one becoming the homestead block for “Mt Domain”. Although “Ashbrook” no longer exists the name is carried on with Ashbrook Creek and Road, at the top of Tidbinbilla Valley. This creek is near where George Green and George Hatcliff built their hut at “Ash Corner”, probably in 1885. They probably used this name because of the Alpine Ash in the area. Before leaving England for Australia, George Green promised his wife-to-be, Mary Ann McCaffrey, that he would write to her once he had made a home for her in Australia. After being married in Sydney on the day after her arrival in October 1886, he brought her to this humble abode. They had to walk the final twenty seven kilometres from “Castle Hill”. Source: Bulbeck 1991 Flint 1983.
• Back or Grassy Creek (UTM 55H 681591-6028840) – The Brayshaws and Crawfords settled in the 1840’s at two homesteads in the Bobeyan Valley, which is one valley north of Back or Grassy Creek. This would explain the first part of its name while the creek is of a grassy nature. Surveyor Martin’s 1886 plan of the dividing line of Holding No 381 uses “Back or Grassy Creek”. In the plan of Portion 13, Parish of Brayshaw (1893), the same surveyor uses “Grassy Creek” to describe this feature. Other surveyors in the early 1900’s have used both descriptions of this water feature. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com Parish of Brayshaw, Portion Plans.
• Bendora (UTM 55H 662996-6078684) – The origins of features bearing this name can be traced to Charles Lane-Poole. He named the arboretum and adjacent hut after a species of New Guinea timber. Charles Edward Lane-Poolewas the inspector-general of forests and acting principal (1927-44) of the embryonic Australian Forestry School, situated in Canberra. He was one of the great pioneers of Australian forestry and was the first president of the Canberra Alpine Club. Bendora Hut is a distinctive iron hut with a skillion roof, having a fireplace along the long side wall. It was built, probably in 1938-39, for the forestry and road construction activities of that period. Source: KHA Newsletter No 80 Higgins 1994 pers com Aust. Dictionary of Biography. Last one left standing Back in 1928, the Commonwealth Forestry Bureau (then known as the Forestry and Timber Bureau) began planting trees in arboreta to discover more about which species were potentially suitable for timber and paper forest plantations in Australia. By 1969, 34 arboreta had been established in the mountains and lowlands of the ACT, and after the 2003 fires took their toll, only one upland arboretum was left standing – the Bendora Arboretum in the Brindabella Ranges of Namadgi National Park. Most of the 52 different species planted at Bendora are conifers, larches, spruces, firs and white pines. None of the hardwoods grew well but other trees thrived, but by 1974 the ACT arboreta had fulfilled their primary purpose; the Monterey pine Pinus radiata had been confirmed as the best species for most sites in cool temperate southern Australia. Given Bendora’s cultural significance, and the fact that it’s the last one left standing, it is not surprising that the arboretum has its supporters. Friends of the ACT Arboreta (FACTA) along with the Kosciuszko Huts Association are caretakers of the nearby Bendora Hut, built in the 1940s to shelter those working to establish the arboretum. More recently FACTA have also worked with Parks, Conservation and Lands to develop the Bendora Arboretum walking track and install new interpretive signs. Together, the new signs and the track will go a long way to enhance the walks and talks currently offered by rangers and members of FACTA. Source: NPA Bulletin Vol 46 No 1 March 2009, extracted from News from the Alps #37 2008.
• Black Mountain (UTM 55H 690779-6094576) – This was first named by Surveyors Dixon and Hoddle in 1834, while the property was originally owned by John McPherson. Possibly the first non-Aboriginals to ascend the mountain were two members of Charles Throsby’s exploration party, Smith and Vaughan. They climbed Black Mountain on December 8, 1820. There appears to be three possible interpretations as to the actual origin of the the name Black Mountain. The dense forest on its slopes compared with the lighter coloured grasslands below. Another suggestion alludes to the dark shadows cast by the mountain. In the colder months the aboriginal people would have moved up from the frost plains to use the warmer south eastern slopes. Their habitation close to the mountain may have led to the common usage of “Black Mountain”. This was originally called Black Hill although the Parish of Canberra map of 1912 identifies it as Black Mt. It was declared a public park in July 1970 under the Public Parks Ordinance of the ACT (1928-42). Source: Gale 1927 Watson 1927.
• Blue Gum Hill (UTM 55H 678534-6064982) – (no hill listed) – Australian tree; common name of wide group of eucalypts. Blue Gum Creek – One of the earliest references to this water feature is on Portion Plan 110 of 1884. This creek is the most southerly tributary of Paddys River. The wet gully habitat located on Blue Gum Creek below its confluence with Georges Creek represents the most easterly distribution of wet gully birds in the ACT. The vegetation is complex and diverse including tall forest, several undisturbed swamp communities and several plants only recorded in the ACT at this location. Source: Portion Plan 110 Parks and Cons.1988.
• Blundell (UTM 55H 666314-6090108) – The Blundell family settled on the Condor Creek in the 1860’s and their name is commemorated by a number of features in the vicinity. In 1897 development work for extracting gold took place at Mount Blundell, but no gold was produced. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com. Smith 1963.
In Apr 09 Brian B contacted me and provided: “In the early 1840’s my gr, gr, gr grandfather moved to what is now Regatta Point. He was a convict from Kent. In the early 1860’s his son, my gr gr grandfather, took up a selection on Condor Creek, which is now known as Blundell’s Flat. His son, or my gr grandfathers brother, was the one who started the mines. It was a big deal back then with everyone from the region contributing capital towards it. My theory is they got the bug from all the miners travelling through to the gold fields at Kiandra. Apparently the miners would take a short cut through Condor and over to Brindabella. A letter written by my gr gr grandmother in the 1890’s tells of how at Condor they had sunk 4 tunnels and built a hut with a stone chimney. In 1890 they advertised in a Queanbeyan newspaper that they were installing an expensive stomping machine. My gr grandfather built a road running north from the mines along Blue Range and out the other end somewhere. I don’t think the mine was ever successful. Their lives were full of hardship. In 1915 they were evicted from the area as they were in the catchment of the new Cotter Dam. We hear now of all the good stories about the creation of Canberra, but as I’ve discovered there was some pretty rough treatment handed out to those who were in the way.”
• Boboyan Hill (UTM 55H 677484-6029943) – appears on Portion Plans just after the turn of the century. The origin of the name is not known, but has been applied to a number of features in the locality.; (Ref: ACT National Trust; Namadgi Historical Summaries, 1991; Plan of Boboyan Trig Reserve Portion Plans, Parish of Boboyan.) Boboyan – Although “Boboyan” is most commonly used, the original spelling of the name was “Bobeyan”. The valley was first settled by James Ritchie in the late 1830’s and by the time he left in 1839, he had thirteen employees housed in slab huts. Besides having a small area under cultivation he ran horses, cattle and sheep and was also producing commercial quanties of butter. Queanbeyan storekeeper John Gray took over the station from Ritchie in 1839, but in 1844 he became bankrupt. Charles McKeahnie and Alexander Crawford then bought the property in partnership. The partnership was short lived as McKeahnie sold his share to William Brayshaw in 1844, after the latter married Flora the daughter of Alexander Crawford. McKeahnie then moved north to Gudgenby. This property, like Gudgenby, also had the Queanbeyan to Kiandra gold track passing through it. The original homestead was built in the 1840’s and was replaced in the latter part of last century. The last Brayshaw to live in this new homestead was Richard, the thirteenth son of William and Flora. He sold it to the Lutons of Shannon Flat (NSW) who used it occasionally until it was pulled down in 1971. The chimney still stands, a sentinel to a bygone pastoral era. The property was resumed a short time later. The Boboyan Pine Forest is a misnomer as the pines are all in the Gudgenby area. It was intended that the plantation would extend into Boboyan, but the area was not suited to pines. Problems were encountered with rabbits, while the cockatoos nipped at the buds. The Boboyan Trig Reserve is first shown on a plan in 1896. Boboyan Hill appears on Portion Plans just after the turn of the century. Source: ACT National Trust Namadgi Historical Summaries 1991 Plan of Boboyan Trig Reserve Portion Plans, Parish of Boboyan.
• Bogong (UTM 55H 671159-6045788) – The creek and gap derive their names from the Bogong Moth (Agrotis infusa) that aestivate (the summer equivalent of hibernation) in rocky crevices in the mountains during summer. They were not a reliable food source as they were subject to being blown of course during their migration. However they were an important diet supplement during ceremonial occasions. They are highly nutritious and were a favoured food of the local Aboriginal people. Ethnographic accounts show that only the men collected and consumed the moths. Occupation of this area by Aborigines is evidenced by the number of artifact scatters found on the easiest access route to Bogong Gap. One of the earliest recordings of a feature by this name is in 1885 on Portion Plan 7, Parish of Gudgenby which shows Bogong Creek passing through Portion 7. Source: Parish of Gudgenby, Portion Plan No 6&7 Flood 1984 Argue 1991.
• Booroomba (UTM 55H 679454-6071189) – Aboriginal word for “a wallaby jumping over a rock”. In official lists of last century it has also been spelt “Booroaroombi”, “Barroomba” and “Booraroomba”. The Official Post Office Directory of NSW 1867 uses “Booroomba”. The portion plan of 1861 for Charles McKeahnie’s property, indicates that he called his licensed run “Booroowombi”, although the homestead is called “Booroomba Head Stn”. The property was first taken up by James Wright about 1840 and occupied by his father-in-law, William Davis Snr, from 1843 to 1860 when the Davises moved to Ginninderra. The property was aquired by Charles H McKeahnie, who used “Booroomba” for his station’s name. It was a large cattle run of some 28,000 acres producing top quality Hereford cattle. The first reference to this water course appears to be in 1891 on the plan of Portion 6, Parish of Naas. Source: Gillespie 1992 Gale 1927 Robinson 1927 Flint 1983 CDHS Files Naas Portion Plans.
• Booths Hill (UTM 684553-6044171) – Named after James Booth of Gundaroo who was grazing stock in area in the 1830s. (Ref: Matthew Higgins, freelance historian; Canberra and District Historical Society Journal 3, 1979; Parish of Yarara, Portion Plan No.45.) Booth – These features are named after James Booth of Gundaroo who was grazing stock here as early as the 1830’s. Thomas Booth was one of the organisers of the initial Queanbeyan races starting in 1854. Booth Trig Reserve was surveyed in 1896. The position of Booths Creek appears to be the subject of some debate. The 1902 survey of Portion 45, Parish of Yarara, shows Booths Creek originating from where Brandy Flat Hut now stands. The Parish Map of 1968 also has the creek in this location. However the AUSLIG Sheet 8726 (1:100,00) and the CMA map (1:25,000) have Booths Creek starting on the northern slope of Booths Hill and flowing into Gudgenby Creek. Both maps have Gudgenby Creek approximately starting from Brandy Flat Hut. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com. CDHS Journal 3 1979 Plan of Booth T.R. Parish of Yarara, Portion Plan No 45. AUSLIG 8726 CMA 8726-IV-S.
• Brandy (UTM 55H 682833-6046000) – The initial selection at Brandy Flat was taken up by Thomas Gregory in the late 1880’s-1890’s. Source: Namadgi Historical Summaries 1991 KHA.
• Brayshaws (UTM 55H 679195-6028126) – This extant hut was named after David (Davey) Brayshaw (1852-1931), the sixth of fourteen children to William and Flora Brayshaw. It was built in 1903 possibly by an elder brother, Edward. It was a slab dwelling with a shingle gable roof, which was later clad with iron. A slab skillion was also part of the structure. The property was resumed in the early 1970’s. The Brayshaw family is one of the most significant families assocoated with the southern ACT. William Brayshaw was born in Yorkshire, England, and arrived in Australia on the convict ship “Henry Porcher” in 1835. He received his ticket of leave in 1839 at Queanbeyan. In 1844 at Cooleringdon, he married Flora Crawford, a daughter of another family who had taken up land in the Bobeyan area. Brayshaw bought out the Crawfords partner, Charles McKeahnie, the same year. The Brayshaws lived at “Bobeyan” homestead while the Crawfords lived further up the valley at “Old Station”. The Brayshaws had fourteen children, with the last Brayshaw leaving the area in 1950. William died in 1888 while Flora died three years later. Source: Namadgi Historical Summaries 1991.
• Breakfast Creek (UTM 55H 676075-6036063) – According to legend, Elizabeth McKeahnie fearing for her safety, travelled overnight through rough country with her children towards Boboyan. The next morning she stopped to feed her young children at a creek which has since been known as Breakfast Creek. It appears on Portion Plan 8, Parish of Boboyan in 1908. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com. Corp 1989 Parish of Boboyan Portion Plans.
• Brindabella (UTM 55H 657773-6080151) – Aboriginal word meaning “two kangaroo rats”. In 1840 T A Murray used the spelling “Berindabella”. The Franklin familiy have been at “Brindabella” since the middle of last century with several geographic features taking their name from this pioneer family. Miles Franklin wrote her satirical novel “My Brilliant Career” at the age of twenty, influenced by the history of the present ACT and the Brindabella region. Source: Gillespie 1992 Namadgi Historical Summaries 1991 KHA.
• Bulgar Creek (UTM 55H 680696-6087260) – Bulgar was an Aboriginal word for “a mountain” or an “isolated hill or mountain”. Source: Gillespie 1992.
• Bullen (UTM 55H 678800-6085132) – One of the earliest references to this Trig Station is in 1895 on Portion Plan No. 134, Parish of Congwarra. Source: Parish of Congwarra, Portion Plans.
• Mt Burbidge (UTM 55H 671583-6046264) – This mountain was Gazetted on 14 October 1992 in memory of Dr Nancy Burbidge. A botanist, she held a number of positions in conservation bodies, including; President, National Parks Assoc of ACT, ACT National Conservation committee and, Tidbinbilla Fauna Reserve committee. She was also involved in the advancement of womens issues. Source: ACT Gazette No S181, 14 October 1992.
• Bushfold Flats (UTM 55H 683354-6063391) – These flats are in a small basin to the west of Mt. Tennent having distinctive grassy woodland vegetation. It produces many wildflowers and at least eight orchids, two of which are uncommon in the ACT. Source: Parks and Cons.1988.
• Canberra (UTM 55H693401-6092409) – Aboriginal word for “meeting place”. Also said to mean “woman’s breasts”, the breasts being represented by Black Mountain and Mount Ainslie. In some Aboriginal dialects it meant “young kookaburra”. Dr Lhotsky in 1834 called this area “Kembery Plain” after he apparently heard the aborigines call the Molonglo River, “Kemberry River”. Surveyors Dixon and Hoddle used “Canberry” and “Canbury” to describe this area in the contact period. Source: Gillespie 1992 Gale 1927.
• Castle Hill (UTM 55H 684423-6071674) – Sheedys occupied this property. Castle Hill rises four hundred metres above the river flood plain and the crest is topped with large tors. It is an excellent avifaunal habitat supporting a high density of birds including the uncommon White-browed Woodswallow and the Regent Honeyeater. Source: Flint 1983 Parks and Cons.1988.
• Chalet Road (UTM 55H 662854-6078195) – This is part of the old section of the road to Mt Franklin Chalet, which was by-passed when the new road was constructed in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Mt Clear (UTM 55H 686352-6027822) – Geographic features bearing the name “Clear” are so named because the hills in the area were apparently relatively clear earlier this century. The Clear Range appears on the Parish of Gigerline Map in 1911. (Ref: Matthew Higgins, freelance historian; Parish Maps.)
• Mt Coree (UTM 55H 664567-6091346) – Source of name unknown; Mt Coree was originally shown as “Pabral” on Mitchell’s map of 1834; (Ref: ACT National Trust; Sir Thomas Mitchell (1834), Map of the Colony of NSW; Alan Fitzgerald (1977), “Historic Canberra, 1825-1945, A Pictorial Record”.) Coree – Mt Coree is a dramatic volcanic plug forming part of the northern Brindabella Range. It marks the north west corner of the ACT border. Mitchell’s map of 1834 shows this peak as “Pabral”. On 8 March 1841 Pabral Peak was scaled for the first time by non-Aboriginals. Mt Coree is also known as a Bogong moth aestivating site. Source: ACT National Trust Mitchell 1834 Fitzerald 1977 Argue 1991. Pabral – This was the early name for Mt Coree. Mitchell’s map of 1834 shows this peak as “Pabral”. Surveyor Robert Dixon was the first to do a general survey of the area and may have named this peak. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com. Fitzgerald 1977 Watson 1927.
• Corin (UTM 55H 666435-6065971) – Features bearing this name are derived from William Corin (1867-1929), an electrical engineer. While chief electrical engineer for the NSW Department of Public Works, where he saw the advantages of interstate electrical links.He then turned his enthusiasm to hydro-electricity, producing a series of reports on a Snowy River scheme. He later advised both Australian and overseas governments on hydro-electricity. To achieve the greatest hydro-electric potential he advocated afforestation to arrest erosion in catchment areas. Source: Aust Dictionary of Biography. Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Coronet Peak (UTM 55H 667827-6053099) – This peak presumably takes its name from the huge granite outcrop on the summit. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com. It is interesting to note that this summit is also shown as King Rock on some early maps. An 1870s grazier on the upper Cotter was Robert King, which makes you wonder about the changes in nomenclature over the years. (from Matthew Higgins 31/5/15).
• Cotter (UTM 55H 665745-6053219) – Garrett Cotter and his wife, Ann, were true pioneers in the mountainous region of the present Namadgi National Park. The Cotter River is named after Garrett Cotter and the name was first officially used in 1839. Garrett Cotter was born in 1802 in County Cork, Ireland. The British had taken direct control of Ireland and he fired on the troops in a minor uprising. A military commission sentenced him to transportation to Australia for “the term of his natural life”. He arrived in the colony of New South Wales in 1822 aboard the “Mangles 2”. After working in the Campelltown and Lake George areas he was granted a ticket-of-leave in 1832, conditional on him staying on the western side of the Murrumbidgee. Here he lived alone and was accepted by the Aborigines of the area. He built a house near the headwaters of the river that was later to bear his name. In 1841 he married Ann Russell and they had seven children. Cotter was given a conditional pardon in 1846 that gave him freedom of movement, except in Britain and Ireland. The Cotters later moved to near Michelago, where they built the family home which is still occupied by the Cotter family. This solid durable structure with thick walls is a tribute to Cotter’s skill as carpenter and stonemason. The Cotter Hut, in the Cotter Flats, was built in the 1890’s by Thomas Oldfield. The Cotter Dam was built between 1912 and 1915, with an original proposed height of 30.5 metres. It was only built to a height of 18.3 metres although this was raised to 25.8 metre in 1949-1951. Source: ACT National Trust Namadgi Historical Summaries 1991.
• Creamy Flats (UTM 55H 671305-6049541) – The Big and Little Flats, plus the Creek take their name from the colour of the brumbies here in the 1930’s. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Deadmans Hill (UTM 55H 681884-6062192 MGA94) – SH1317. Ever noticed that Deadmans Hill is misplaced in OSM? How did this happen? An old edition (2nd Edn ©2003) of the Corin Dam 8626-1N 1:25000 map has the map-marked Deadmans Hill correct. But a SIX e-topo 2017 Version has it marked as SH1396, the ‘Granite Dome’ top of Booroomba Rocks. The SIX e-topo 2017 Version of Williamsdale 8726-4N 1:25000 map has Deadmans Hill correctly located. So NSW map planning authority has Deadmans Hill marked at two nearby locations. I guess an OSM contributor chose the wrong one.
• De Salis Creek (UTM 55H 667606-6057356) – This is named after the De Salis family of “Cuppacumbalong” who had a grazing lease here. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Mt Domain (UTM 55H 669666-6072740) – John Staunton originally settled in the 6062192Tidbinbilla Valley at “Ashbrook” on Hurdle Creek (1884), but later took up Portion 37 which became the site for his “Mt Domain” homestead. Mt Domain, at the south west boundary of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, takes its name from this early property. (Ref: Bulbeck, 1991)
• Dutchies Peak (UTM 55H 670009-6060840) – “I was accompanied by six or so Club members and a foreign visitor to our shores, a delightful young Dutch woman whose first name was Antja. Antja (a keen bushwalker from the Netherlands) made a very strong favourable impression on all of us. l originally toyed with the idea of naming the peak Mt Antja, but it didn’t sound quite right to me. “Dutchies Peak” seemed much more poetic and appropriate and doubtless that would have been the name that I would have ascribed to it in my trip report for the Club Newsletter.” Source: Frank Bergersen email 29/3/19
• Mt Eliza (UTM 55H 676405-6075404) – This feature is named after Eliza Webb a member of a pioneering family. George Webb was the first settler in the Tidbinbilla Valley in 1839. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Fastigata Creek (UTM 55H 664939-6089898) – This is presumably named after Eucalyptus fastigata (brown barrel) that are found in this area below Mt Coree. They are also found in moist gullies of forests, and in the cooler south and east facing slopes. They grow tall and straight to a height of 50 metres, with a brown fibrous trunk. The branches are smooth with their bark peeling in ribbons. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com. National Parks Assoc 1983.
• Fishing Gap (UTM 55H 669893-6071014) – This gap was used by people from the Tidbinbilla Valley and beyond, wishing to fish in the Cotter River. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Franklin (UTM 55H 660126-6071082) – The Franklin family were pioneers of the Yass and Brindabella districts. The patriach, Joseph Franklin was born in County Clare, Ireland in 1815. He landed in Sydney in 1839 with his wife, Mary, and infant daughter Elizabeth. He quickly became overseer of a property near Yass, but after eight years squatted in the Brindabella Valley,on the Goodradigbee River. After several setbacks at Brindabella, he set of for the Victorian goldfields, leaving his wife and children in the care of the McDonald’s of “Uriarra”. With the money from the diggings, he purchased land on the Goodradigbee River near Yass. Here he was successful and in 1963 he bought “Brindabella” off Hall and Webb. He died in May 1898 aged 83. His descendants have continuously owned and operated the property until the present day. Miles Franklin wrote her satiral novel “My Brilliant Career” at the age of twenty, influenced by the history of the present ACT and the Brindabella region. The geographic and cultural features of the area take their origins from the Franklin family. The Mount Franklin Ski Chalet is a most significant building, being the oldest standing ski chalet on the Australian mainland. It represents the enterprise and efforts of a dedicated band of people who carried the construction materials the final three kilometres, on their backs. It was built in the summer of 1937-1938 under the supervision of a builder, Mr Warren McDonald, using volunteer labour. It was officially opened on 2 July 1938 By Mr Lamble, Director of NSW Tourist Bureau. Source: ACT National Trust KHA Newsletter No 80 Namadgi Historical Summaries 1991 KHA Aust Biographic Encyclopedia ( ).
• Georges Creek (UTM 55H 683311-6064625) – One of the first official mentions of this feature is in the Naas Portion Plan 36 of 1906. Source: Naas Portion Plans.
• Gibraltar (UTM 55H 676760-6074330) – The first use of this name for a feature appears to be in 1864. This is on Booroomba Portion Plan No 8 where a water course is described as Gibraltar Rivulet. On Portion Plan 22 of 1880, this same feature one kilometre downstream is called Gibraltar Creek. This name is supported by the 1885 Stock Returns, with this name now in common use. Probably the first official reference to “Gibraltar” peak is on Booroomba Portion Plan 2 of 1864. In 1890 George Hatcliff purchased and leased 400 acres which he called “Gibraltar” after the rocky mountain at the south-west corner of his property. The origin of “Gibraltar” is somewhat obscure, but is possibly named after the imposing Maltese mountain. Hatcliff held the property after George Woods, who with his family had settled this area in the 1880’s. The Hatcliff’s first child, William, died in 1897 aged two and half months. His grave at “Birrigai” is marked with a headstone and a low picket fence. George Hatcliff remained at Gibraltar” until it was aquired for the Federal Capital Territory in 1915. This property is now the site for Birrigai Recreation Camp. Gibraltar Rocks was an important site for brush-tailed rock wallabies (Petrogale pencillata) and would be a suitable site for the re-introduction of this species into the ACT. The summit and northern slopes of the peak contain one of the most striking assemblages of granite boulders in the ACT. From the natural safe rock platforms on the boulders Canberra can be seen. Gibraltar Falls descend through a vertical distance of fifty metres by a series of steep cascades and falls. The cool moist atmosphere in the walls of the gorge favours four uncommon species of plants and a dragonfly which only occurs in this location in the ACT. The flats belowwere used by Aboriginal tribes as a montane valley camp. Source: Flint 1983 Parish of Booroomba,Portion Plans. Parks and Cons.1988.
• Mt Gingera (UTM 55H 661319-6061472) – Mt Gingera is also known as a Bogong moth aestivating site. Source: Argue 1991.
• Gudgenby (UTM 55H 679524-6042759) – One of the earliest references to the Gudgenby River is on Naas Portion Plan 32 of 1859. Gudgenby Creek, however, seems to recorded much later, appearing on Cuppacumbalong Portion Plan 148 in 1902. The Gudgenby Trig Reserve was surveyed in 1896. Another interesting feature is that Assistant Surveyor Edward Fisher in his original plan of Naas Portion 32 identifies the the Gudgenby River as “Little River”. He further states in the textual description of the property that there is water “unfailing in the Little River to which this land has frontage”. The position of Booths Creek and the upper reaches of Gudgenby Creek appear to be the subject of some debate. The 1902 survey of Portion 45, Parish of Yarara, shows Booths Creek originating from where Brandy Flat Hut now stands. The Parish Map of 1968 also has the creek in this location. However the AUSLIG Sheet 8726 (1:100,00) and the CMA map (1:25,000) have Booths Creek starting on the northern slope of Booths Hill and flowing into Gudgenby Creek. Both maps have Gudgenby Creek approximately starting from Brandy Flat Hut. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com. C&DHS Journal 3 1979 Plan of Booth T.R. Parish of Yarara, Portion Plan No 45. AUSLIG 8726 CMA 8726-IV-S. The Gudgenby Valley was used by a large number of Aborigines passing through in the summer months, to collect Bogong moths (Agrotis infusa) in higher areas. The first squatter in the valley was probably Moses Joseph in the late 1830’s. The first official reference to the Gudgenby Run is in the NSW Government Gazette of 30 September 1848. It is described as being 15,000 acres (6070 hectares) in the name of Edward Severne. It appears that he had the property at least as early as 1841. In 1845 Charles McKeahnie (see McKeahnie entry) came to manage the property for Severne, eventually buying the proerty in 1853. He constructed a house for his wife and their three young children, using local timbers Eucalyptus viminalis (…..) and E. rubida (candlebark). It was of split slab construction, a shingled roof with the living area having pit-sawn timber flooring. Travellers from Queanbeyan heading for the Kiandra goldfields passed through the valley. McKeahnie provisioned the diggers with bacon, dairy produce and vegetables as they passed through. This was a cattle run on the headwaters of the Gudgenby River. The property was bought by Charles Greenfield in 1873. National Park – A move to have part of the Gudgenby area declared a national park started in the late 1950’s. In 1960 a public meeting was chaired by Prof Lindsay Pryor at which Dr Nancy Burbidge moved a motion that a national parks association be formed. Flora and Fauna surveys were conducted to emphasise the uniqueness of the area. On Thursday 26 April 1979, the anniversary of the centenary of the Royal national Park, Gudgenby Nature Reserve was proclaimed. It encompassed 51,000 hectares or 20 per cent of the ACT. This was enlarged in 1983 to include the Boboyan Pine Forest, Gudgenby Homestead and the catchment areas of Bluegum and Honeysuckle Creeks. The Namadgi National Park, which incorporated the Gudgenby Nature Reserve, was proclaimed on 5 June 1984- World Environment Day. The new Park now covered 94,000 hectares or approximately 40 per cent of the ACT. Source: Robertson 1927 ACT National Trust Namadgi Historical Summaries 1991 Corp 1989 Alder 1989 Portion Plans.
• Honeysuckle Creek (UTM 55H 679992-6060957) – The first reference to this water course appears to be in 1891 on the plan of Portion 7, Parish of Naas. Source: Naas Portion Plans.
• Horse Gully (UTM 55H 686628-6033638) – The original Horse Gully Hut is believed to have been built in the 1860’s by selector, John Lenane. It was constructed of posts and mountain ash weatherboards, rough split logs for the floor and an iron roof. The hut was divided into two rooms, with the main one being nearly five metres square, while the smaller one was used for saddles and harnesses. The main room had three bunks made of wooden slats, while there was a fireplace approximately one and a half metres square. The new hut was built by Tom Roseby and Stan Bowerman in the 1940’s. Great difficulty was experienced in obtaining sufficient sand for the concrete required for the footings and chimney. Since 1917 it was used as an out station of “Bombalong”. This station is on the western bank of the Murrumbidgee River and some ten kilometres north of Bredbo, NSW. Source: Namadgi Historical Summaries 1991 KHA.
• Hospital Hill (UTM 55H 679925-6038108) – The names Hospital Creek and Hospital Hill came into common usage around the turn of the Century, due to the practice of accommodating calving, lambing or sick animals in this area. The first official record of this watercourse in on Portion Plan No. 1, Parish of Greenfield, surveyed in January 1879. (Ref: Tony Corp (1989), “Gudgenby: the Last 150 Years”; Parish of Greenfield, Portion Plan No. 1).
• Johns Peak (UTM 55H 671399-6077370) – Named after John McDonald, the husband of Eliza Webb
• Mt Kelly (UTM 55H 669851-6046059) – Named by Harry Mouat on his border survey.
• Leura Gap (UTM 55H 661227-6055304) – This is named after the grazing lease held on the western side of the Brindabellas by Bert Reid. The area was called Leura by Dave Perrott who built the Leura Hut for Reid in the 1930’s. Perrott took the name from Leura in the Blue Mountains (NSW). Source: Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Lickhole Creek – I don’t know this one. Is it Licking Hole Creek (UTM 55H 670024-6047635)? – One of the first reference to this name appears on Parish of Booroomba Portion Plan No 63 of 1896. Source: Parish of Booroomba, Portion Plans.
• Mt McDonald (UTM 5H 676539-6091110) – This hill with trig station is named after the McDonald family who owned “Uriarra” last century. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Mt McKeahnie (UTM 55H 669709-6061292) – Pioneer settler of the Canberra region; owner, at various times, of properties in Boboyan, Gudgenby, Orroral and Booroomba areas. McKeahnie – The mountain and creek are probably named after Charles McKeahnie who managed or owned properties at Boboyan, Gudgenby, Orroral and Booroomba in the middle of the nineteenth century. Charles McKeahnie was born in 1809 in Argyle, Scotland. He immigrated to Australia with his wife, Elizabeth in 1838, and was employed on the Boboyan run by John Gray who was the second settler on this property. McKeahnie later bought the run with Alexander Crawford in the 1840’s, but later sold his share and bought Gudgenby in the 1850’s. Subsequent purchases by the family included Orroral and Booroomba. Elizabeth McKeahnie laid the foundation stone of St Stephens Prebyterian Church, Queanbeyan in 1872.Source: Robinson 1927 ACT National Trust Namadgi Historical Summaries 1991 KHA.
• McQuoids Hill (UTM 55H 684855-6082758) – Thomas McQuoid, Sherrif of New South Wales, was given the grant over “Tuggeranong” in 1837, with geographic features named after him. Source: Robinson 1927.
• Middle Creek (UTM 55H 675618-6043622) – Probably named as it is the middle creek, between Rendezvous and Bogong Creeks that converge near the “Gudgenby” homestead. One of the first records of this name is on Portion Plan No 5, Parish of Gudgenby that was surveyed in 1885. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com Parish of Gudgenby, Portion Plan No 5.
• Molonglo (UTM 55H 682457-6095066) – Aboriginal word meaning “like the sound of thunder”. The extension of “Moolinggoollah” is probably due to Robert Dixon who was surveying the course of the Molonglo River in 1829. The early explorer Throsby, referred to this river as the “Yeal-am-bidgie”, as indicated by his margin notes of his journal. The Polish explorer Dr John Lhotsky called it “Kemberry”. Source: Gillespie 1992 Robinson 1927 C&DHS Files 1994 Watson 1927.
• Morass Flats (UTM 55H 661910-6066600) – Sphagnum moss flats were referred by some of the mountain people as “morass” areas. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Murrays Gap (UTM 55H 662612-6049828) – This feature is named after Terence Aubrey Murray, early owner of Yarralumla and Coolamine. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Mt Murray (UTM 55H 662098-6049003) – Mount Murray was named after Sir George Murray (1772-1846). He was British Secretary of State for the colonies from 1828 to 1830. One of the first documents to show Mt Murray by name, is Surveyor General Sir Thomas Mitchell’s map of the Colony of NSW of 1834. It also refers to this mountain as “Marragurall”. Surveyor Robert Dixon was the first to do a general survey of the area and may have commemorated the peak with the name Murray. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com Aust Dictionary of Biography Mitchell 1834 Watson 1927.
• Murrumbidgee (UTM 55H 682402-6081072) – When Captian Mark Currie explored this area in June 1823, he called this river the “Morumbidgee”. When Charles Throsby explored this area in 1820 the local Aborigines stated that this river flowed into the sea a long distance to the south and that at that point it waters were tidal. This is an early indication that Aboriginal social and trading networks did existed. This name was still in use in 1834 when both White and the Surveyor General, Sir Thomas Mitchell, used this name in their maps. By 1861, however, the name that we now know this river by, Murrumbidgee, was in use on the Parish Portion Plans. SOURCE: Gale 1927 Portion Plans.
• Mt Namadgi (UTM 55H 670975-6048103) – Namadgi – The origin of the name is not stated in gazette, but is thought to mean ‘belonging to the Namwich’. The territory of the Namwich tribe, a sub-group within the Ngunnawal, was said to be the mountains beyond the Murrumbidgee, opposite the Limestone Plains. Namwich may have been pronounced ‘Namwich’ and that ‘adgi’ and ‘gi’ endings sometimes mean ‘belonging to’. – Gazetted in Special Gazette No. S394 on 3 October 1984. Namadgi – This was the name used by Dr John Lhostky in 1834, for these ranges that form part of the western border of the ACT. When Captian Mark Currie explored this area in May 1823, he remarked about the “Morumbidgee mountains to the south-west, partially covered with snow”. When Robert Dixon was surveying the Molonglo River in 1829 he reported several tribes along this river and the Murrumbidgee. One he called the “Nammage” and were described as “peaceable”. Parallel lines of small rocks were found in the 1970’s by Drs Joe Jennings and Alec Costin on the peaks of Sentry Box, Namadgi and Coronet Peak. These arrangements were given the name Namadgi, while the peak also came to be known by that name. Namadgi National Park was proclaimed in 1984 and constitutes approximately forty per cent of the ACT. SOURCE: Gale 1927 Robinson 1927 Alder (C&DHS) No 23 1989.
• Narrabundah Hill (UTM 55H 683795-6087689) – Aboriginal word meaning “small hawk”, although Watson gives a different meaning, namely “the hills to the south of the city”. As the usage of Narrabundah preceded the development of the modern Canberra city, this latter does not appear to be valid. Source: Gillespie 1992 C&DHS Files 1994.
• Nursery Swamp (UTM 55H 678438-6050178) – The name is derived from the practice of local landowner, Charles McKeahnie, using this valley as a lambing and calving area. The northern part of the valley also formed part of the stock route between the Gudgenby and Orroral properties of McKeahnie.One of the first official recordings of this feature is in 1884 on Portion Plan No 13, Parish of Gudgenby. An Aboriginal painting site is located in this area with the motif, techniquie and style similar to those at Yankee hat and Rendezvous Creek. Excavations indicate human occupation dating back to at least 3700 years ago. Archaeologist Sue Feary believes that there were “sufficient resources and shelter to enable year-round occupation of Nursery Swamp”. This and other similar montane valleys could have sustained Aboriginal populations, as well as being on the routes to the Bogong Moth aestivating site in the mountains. Source: Rosenfeld et al 1983 Parish of Gudgenby, Portion Plan No 13 Argue 1991.
• Oak Hill (UTM 55H 695802-6109119) (I thought this was Oakey Hill (UTM 55H 687940-6087549) until Peter D pointed out there is an Oak Hill on the ACT-NSW border E of One Tree Hill) – Named after the oak tree that grew on it. Source: Gillespie 1992.
• Orroral (UTM 55H 677148-6055450) – This is a beautiful valley some 15 kilometres long flanked by high mountains crested with rock castles. Orroral River flows though a swamp on it’s way to the Gudgenby River. One of the first references to Orroral River is on Portion Plan 1, Parish of Orroral in 1878. The swamp is shown on the plan for Portion 4-7 in 1884. After passing through the swamp, Orroral River re-emerges in Portion 30, Par. of Orroral. The peak, Orroral, is the high point of the ranges on the south-west side of the valley. The deep valley provided an ideal site for the Orroral Valley Deep Space Tracking Station, which has now been demolished. Land was originally taken up in the 1830’s by William Herbert, who had ten people living in slab huts in 1839. These dwellings were further down the Orroral Valley. The property passed to the McKeahnie family in the 1860’s.The “Orroral” house and adjacent kitchen are shown on the 1893 plan of Portion 28, Par. of Orroral. The survey for the resumption of the Orroral Trig Reserve was completed in September 1896. It is thought that Archibald McKeahnie built the Orroral Valley Homestead in approximately 1865. It originaly consisted of three rooms constructed with a timber frame and flooring and vertical slab infill. The end walls are rendered stone incorporating fireplaces, while the timber roof was covered with shingles. It is one of the oldest surviving homesteads in the region and is evocative of an early Australian pastoral enterprise. This valley is the site of one of two “Rowleys Hut”, the other being in Rendezvous Creek.Hugh Gregory had aquired the land in 1947 and the following year had the hut built. This hut at the northern end of Orroral was built by Stan Cregan in less than two days. Like Rowleys Rendezvous Creek Hut the fire place is located on the long wall, rather than the end wall. It was built for Hugh Gregory in 1948 after he acquired the land the previous year. Source: Robertson 1927 ACT National Trust Namadgi Historical Summaries 1991 KHA.
• Padovans Crossing (UTM 55H 671552-6089117) – This is named after early forestry worker Atilio Padovan. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Pheasant Hill (UTM 55H 677826-6029263) – Last century, lyrebirds were referred to as pheasants. The hill and creek probably take this name from the populations of lyrebirds in the vicinity. One of the first official recordings of Pheasant Hill is on the survey plan for Holding No. 381, Parish of Boboyan in 1886. Pheasant Creek appears on Portion Plan No. 9, Parish of Gudgenby in 1885. (Ref: Matthew Higgins, freelance historian; Parish of Boboyan, Holding Plan No. 381; Parish of Gudgenby, Portion Plan No. 9.)
• Pryors Hut (UTM 55H 661151-6063143) – Pryors Hut was built at the northern base of Mt Gingera in 1952. It is named after Professor Lindsay Pryor. The hut was used as a shelter for Pryor and other men working on the Alpine Botanic Gardens, on the side of Mt Gingera. The huts design also allowed for a small ante-room as an emergency shelter for the public. Pryor was a forester in the Brindabellas before becoming head of Parks and Gardens, Canberra, in 1944. He later became the inaugural Professor of Botany at the Australian National University. His father, Oswald, was a noted cartoonist from 1901 until 1966, while his son, Geoff is cartoonist with the Canberra Times. Source: KHA Newsletter No 80 Aust Dictionary of Biography.
• Red Rocks Gorge (UTM 55H 684411-6079889) – This three kilometre long gorge is on the Murrumbidgee River between Kambah Pool and Tuggeranong Creek. It has been incised out of the softer rock leaving a high level rock terrace that indicates the river channel before incision occurred. The gorge is a valuable wildlife habitat and water supply for animals in the dry surrounding country. Source: Parks and Cons.1988.
• Reedy Creek (UTM 55H 686818-6039014) – One of the earliest records of this feature is found on Portion Plan No 3, Parish of Greenfield that was surveyed in March 1879. Source: Parish of Greenfield, Portion Plan No 3.
• Rendezvous Creek (UTM 55H 674497-6050307) – One of the first references to this water feature is on Portion Plan No 2, Parish of Gudgenby in 1879. This valley is the site of one of two “Rowleys Hut”, the other being in Orroral Valley. For more details see “Rowleys Hut”. Source: Namadgi Historical Summaries 1991 KHA Parish of Gudgenby, Portion Plan No 2.
• Rolleys Flats (UTM 55H 666462-6048440) – This flat is in the headwaters of the Cotter River and is named after nineteenth century selector Rowland Robinson. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Rolling Ground Gap (UTM 55H 661014-6057528) – This named for the brumbies’ habit of rolling on the ground in this area. Source: Higgins 1994 pers com.
• Rowleys Hut – There are two huts with the same name, one in Orroral Valley and the other in Rendezvous Creek. Orroral Valley (UTM 55H 675478-6057375): This hut at the northern end of Orroral was built by Stan Cregan in less than two days. Like Rowleys Rendezvous Creek Hut the fire place is located on the long wall, rather than the end wall. It was built for Hugh Gregory in 1948 after he acquired the land the previous year. Rendezvous Creek (UTM 55H 677589-6045900): In 1948 Noel (Rowley) and Alan Gregory bought land in Rendezvous and Middle Creeks. It was here that Stan Cregan, assisted by Rowley, built the hut around 1948-50, but after Cregan had built Rowleys Orroral Hut. In the 1960’s plywood from the Orroral Tracking Station was used to line the hut. In 1973 Rowley extended the hut with the assistance of Fred Blundell. Source: Namadgi Historical Summaries 1991 KHA.
• Sawpit Creek – There are three separate creeks having the identical name. They are situated in the Tidbinbilla Valley (don’t know this one), at the top of Orroral Valley (UTM 55H 672758-672758) and between the Gudgenby and Boboyan Valleys (don’t know this one). One of the first references to the one in the Tidbinbilla Valley is on Parish of Booroomba, Portion Plan No 33 surveyed in 1887. Source: Parish of Booroomba, Portion Plan No 33.
• Shanahans Mountain (UTM 55H 682516-6032885) – This feature is named after the nineteenth century grazier Thomas Shanahan, who lived at Michelago and later at Bungendore. One of the earliest records to show this feature is Portion Plan No. 9, Parish of Brayshaw. The 1889 plan shows both Shanahan’s Mountain and Falls. (Ref: Matthew Higgins, freelance historian.)
• Sheep Station Creek (UTM 55H 675430-6032923) – One of the first instances that this name is used is in 1883 on Portion Plan 31 & 32, Parish of Boboyan. Source: Parish of Boboyan Portion Plans.
• Smokers Gap (UTM 55H 672835-6067476) – This feature was originally known as Kangaroo Flat. Smokers Flat is a habitat of Lathams snipe, a migratory waterbird that utilises several of the wetland habitats of the ACT. The Flat contains the closest subalpine herbfield bog community to Canberra. Source: Higgins No 33 1994 Parks and Cons.1988.
• Stockyard Gap/Creek/Spur (UTM 55H 660590-6064835) – The Franklins of Brindabella built a stockyard in the area, with a creek, spur and gap taking their name from the stockyards. Around 1940, Prof. Lindsay Pryor and Jack Newlyn spent a weekend at Stockyard Creek Hut cutting alpine ash billets for Canberra Alpine Club members to make skis from. The cleared area adjacent to the hut, was to become Stockyard Creek Arboretum. The hut was of slab construction but is today a complete ruin. Source: KHA Newsletter No 80. Graeme Barrow recounts in his book Namadgi & Tidbinbilla Classics: Tough Bushwalks in Canberra’s High Country on page 35: “Stockyard Creek and Stockyard Spur take their names from a stockyard that once existed at Stockyard Gap. It was built by the Franklin family of Brindabella Station who once had grazing leases in the Brindabellas.”
• Sugar Loaf Mountain – There are two geographic features having similar names in the Tidbinbilla and Paddys River area. “Sugerloaf” (UTM 55H 674571-6087002) is three kilometres south-south-west of the Cotter Reserve and on the western side of Paddys River Road. “Sugar Loaf Mountain” (don’t know this one) is on the eastern range of the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, south-south east of the Visitor information Centre. It appears on Parish of Booroomba, Portion Plan No 78 of 1906. Source: Parish of Booroomba, Portion Plan No 78.
• Mt Taylor (UTM 55H 688547-6083740) is named after Griffith Taylor, an Australian geologist who explored Antarctica and who, on return joined the Australian Federal Capital Survey (source: NPA ACT Bulletin Vol 18 No 1 September 1980, P6)
• Mt Tennent (UTM 55H 685335-6064041) – This prominent landmark south of Canberra on the western bank of the Murrumbidgee River, is probably named after the bushranger, John Tennant. This was not always the case. Alan Cunningham, the “Kings Botanist”, while travelling through the Limestone plains in 1824, named this feature Mt Currie. This recognised the exploration done in this area by Capt Mark Currie in the previous year. The Aborigines called this feature Tharwa. White produced a map of the Morumbidgee and Lake George area in the same year (1834) as the Surveyor General Sir Thomas Mitchell published his map of the Colony of New South Wales. Both called this landmark “Mt Tennant”, indicating that the change of spelling for this feature occurred after this date. In the Portion Plan for the Tennent Trig Reserve of July 1899, uses the spelling “Tennent”. After growing up in Belfast Tennant gained experience in rural skills. However it was his burglary skills that led to his transportation, arriving in Sydney aboard the Prince Regent in July 1824. He was assigned to Joshua Moore, and was sent with his superintendent John McLaughlin to establish Canberry station. This was the first white settlement on the site of the future national capital.In September 1826 Tennant was convicted of stealing six pound from Moore, and was assigned to No 1 iron gang at Emu Plains. Only a month later Moore was surprised to see Tennant at large. From this point he became a bushranger engaged in subsistence crime. A reward of twenty pounds was posted for his capture by the Colonial Secretary in September 1827, plus a ticket of leave if the apprehender was a prisoner. In Tennant’s day the main road from Sydney to the Monaro passed the base of Mt. Tennent, from where he could see the laden drays heading for the squatters stations. He apparently never used unnecessary force in procuring food and clothing. He was apprehended in January 1828 possibly just south of Mt Taylor. He and his accomplices were sent to Sydney for trial, found guilty and sentenced to death. Before they were executed news reached Sydney that the statute under which they were sentenced had been repealed in England. While still in custody they were charged with a capital offence and pleaded guilty, not having been informed that the original death sentence was invalid. Mr Justice Dowling strongly advised them to alter their plea to not guilty. They were not convicted of the capital crime but were guilty on a lesser charge. This resulted in being sentenced to transportation for seven years, and in October 1829 they were despatched to Norfolk Island on the Isabella. In a touch of irony. the area where Tennant was caught was named Isabella Plains by Capt Mark Currie in 1823, as shown on his published map of 1825. He returned on the Caernavon to Sydney in September 1836 a broken man. He died less than a year later in Windsor Hospital. The early pioneers reported that Mt Tennent was held in great sanctity by the local aborigines, particularly as a burial site. The Parish of Tharwa Map describes this mountain as “Tharwa or Mt Tennent” SOURCE: Gale 1927 Mawer (….) White 1834 Mitchell 1834 Portion Plans.
Mt Tennent – The tallest, isolated mountain to the south is Mt Tennent which overlooks Tharwa. Mt Tennent was named after John Tennant, a bushranger, who was arrested in 1827 by the manager of Duntroon, James Ainslie. Rumour has it that John Tennant and his gang had their hide-out in a cave on Mt Tennent.
• Tidbinbilla Mountain (UTM 55H 669510-6075957), Tidbinbilla Peak (UTM 55H 670683-6076921) – Tidbinbilla is an Aboriginal word meaning “the place where all males are presumed to be young men” or “the place where initiation ceremonies take place”. The exact origins of the naming of “Tidbinbilla” are not clear. It is believed that the Ngunnawal tribe called the mountain “Jedbenbilla” or “Jedbinbilla”. In the early 1840s, George Webb called his run in this area “Jellbinbilla”. Tidbinbilla Station consisted of 10,000 acres and was used for cattle and horse breeding. (Ref: Lyall Gillespie (1992), “Ginninderra – Forerunner to Canberra”; Frederick Robinson (1927), “Canberra’s First Hundred Years and After”; Monica Flint (1983), “To Green the Memory”; Parishes of Congwarra and Booroomba Portion Plans; Frederick Watson (1927), “A Brief History of Canberra”; W Wright (1923), “Canberra”. Tidbinbilla – Tidbinbilla is also believed to be a combination of “Tim and Billy”, two patriarchs of the tribe. The origins of these two names is obscure, making this explanation implausable. A map and listing in the NSW Government Gazette of Squatters Runs of 1848-50 refers to the area as “Tidbinbilly”, with George Webb being the first white occupier in 1834. Webb describes the location of Tidbinbilly in part as “bounded on the west by the Tidbinbilly ranges”. The Official Post Office Directory of NSW 1867 describes the area as “Tidbinbilly – Tharway”. When in 1864 George Webb when took out a conditional lease on Portion 2 in the Tidbinbilla Valley, the River was refered to as Tidbinbilla Rivulet. The Tidbinbilla Trig Station was dedicated in 1896. On 25 September 1908 the Tidbinbilla River was stocked with trout railed from Sydney. Tidbinbilla Peak was an important site for brush-tailed rock wallabies (Petrogale pencillata) and would be a suitable site for the re-introduction of this species into the ACT. Source: Gillespie 1992 Robinson 1927 Flint 1983 Parishes of Congwarra and Booroomba Portion Plans. Watson 1927 Wright 1923 Parks and Cons.1988.
• Woods (UTM 55H 676029-6071937) – Martin Woods and his family settled at “Gibraltar” in the 1880’s. This was later to be occupied by George Hatcliff. The Parish of Booroomba Map of 1912 shows John and Edward Woods having extensive holdings along the western side of Gibraltar Creek. Martin Woods had adjoining properties totalling over 2100 acres, on the eastern bank of the creek. Woods Reserve is located at the bottom of Gibraltar Falls, and is named after this family. Source: Flint 1983.
• Yankee Hat (UTM 55H 674934-6041538 and 675624-6042428) – I have no record of the origin of this name although it is said the peak resembles a hat. Yankee Hat – One of the first documents to show this feature is a survey plan of 1885 which shows the Converted Pre Lease No 1273. Source: Parish of Gudgenby, Portion Plans.
Yankee Hat has moved!
• Mt Yarara (UTM 55H 690852-6047653) – The Trig Reserve on this mountain was surveyed in July 1899. Source: Plan of Yarara T.R.
Reference List –
ACT Forests (1994) Stromlo Forest Cork Oak Management Plan (Draft), Canberra.
ACT Gazette No. S181, 14 October 1992
ACT Government, DELP, (1992) Canberra’s Suburbs and Street Names, History – Origins and Meanings, ACT Govt Printer, Canberra
ACT Parks and Conservation (1988) Resources of the Paddys River – Tidbinbilla Area Interim Draft.
Alder, Reg, (1989) Namadgi National Park, Canberra and District Historical Society Journal New Series No.23.
Argue, Debbie, (1991) Bountiful Brindabella – Towards an Understanding of the Prehistory of the Southern Uplands, B.A. (Honours) dissertation, Australian National University, Canberra.
Brayshaw, Steve, (1994) Boboyan Valley – A Walk with the Brayshaws, Kosciusko Huts Association, No 83.
Burden, R. (1993) CORROBOREE PARK
Conservation Council of the South-East Region and Canberra, (1992) The Natural and Cultural Significance of Mulligan’s Flat, Gungahlin, ACT.
Corp, Tony, (1989) Gudgenby: the last 150 Years, Canberra and District Historical Society Journal New Series No.24.
Coutts, Lorraine, (1990) Historical Cultural Landscapes Report – Horse Park Homestead and Wetlands Gungahlin, Canberra ACT, Canberra
Currie, Capt. Mark John, (1825) Map of the country to the South of Lake George.
Esau, Neville, (1983) Field Guide to the Native trees of the ACT, National Parks Association of the ACT, Canberra.
Fitzgerald, Alan, (1977) Historic Canberra 1825 – 1945 A Pictoral Record, Canberra, AGPS.
Flint, Monica, (1983) To Green the Memory.
Flood, Josephine, (1983) Archaeology of the Dreamtime, Sydney, Collins Australia.
Flood, Josephine, (1984) Recent research on traditional Aboriginal society of the Canberra area, Canberra and District Historical Society Journal New Series No.13.
Gale, John, (1927) Canberra – It’s History and Legends, Queanbeyan, A M Fallick and Sons.
Gillespie, Lyall, (1979) First Race meetings held in the 1840’s – Early Recreation, entertainment, Canberra and District Historical Society Journal New Series No.3.
Gillespie, Lyall, (1984) Aborigines of the Canberra Region, Canberra.
Gillespie, Lyall, (1991) Canberra 1820 – 1913, Canberra, AGPS,
Gillespie, Lyall, (1992) Ginninderra – Forerunner to Canberra – A History of the Ginninderra District, Canberra, The Wizard.
Higgins, Matthew, (1992) Southwells in the High Country, Kosciusko Huts Association, No 76.
Higgins, Matthew, (1992) Namadgi has a “New” Homestead, Kosciusko Huts Association, No 78.
Higgins, Matthew, (1993) Good Times in the Brindabellas, Kosciusko Huts Association, No 80.
Higgins, Matthew, (1993) Heritage Week Walk, Kosciusko Huts Association, No 81.
Kosciusko Huts Assocoation, (1991) Namadgi Historical Summaries
Mawer, G.A. (19 ) John Tennant: “Terror of Argyle”, Canberra and District Historical Society Journal New Series No. 13.
Mitchell, Sir Thomas, (1834) Map of the Colony of New South Wales.
Murphy Greg, ( ) Canberra. What’s in a name?, Canberra and District Historical Society Journal New Series No.
Nairn, Bede, ed. at al (1986) Australian Dictionary of Biography, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne,
Reed, A.W., (1965) Aboriginal Words and Place Names, Rigby, Adelaide.
Robinson, Frederick W., (1927) Canberra’s First Hundred Years and After, Sydney, WC Penfold, Sydney.
Rosenfeld, Andree and Winston-Gregson, Jonathan, (1983) Excavations at Nursery Swamp 2, Gudgenby Nature Reserve, ACT, Australian Archaeology No 17, Dec.1983.
Shumack, Samuel, (1967) Tales and Legends of Canberra Pioneers, Canberra, ANU Press, Canberra.
Smith, Edith M., (1963) Notes on Prospecting and Mining in the Australian Capital Territory and Environs, Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics, Canberra.
Watson, Frederick, (1927) A Brief History of Canberra, Federal Capital Press, Canberra.
White, H. (1834) Survey of part of the Morumbidgee and country south of Lake George
Wright, W. Davis, (1923) Canberra, John Andrew and Co., Sydney
Space Tracking Station Sites
Thanks to John Saxon for providing me with the following links concerning the 3 space tracking sites (Honeysuckle Creek, Orroral Valley and Tidbinbilla), the first 2 which we often use as start points:
• Honeysuckle Creek http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeysuckle_Creek_Tracking_Station , http://www.honeysucklecreek.net/, http://members.pcug.org.au/~jsaxon/space/hsk/honeysuckle.htm
• Orroral Valley http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orroral_Valley_Tracking_Station
• Tidbinbilla http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canberra_Deep_Space_Communications_Complex , http://www.cdscc.nasa.gov/ .
• Brandy Flat Hut (UTM 55H 682661-6045801) – Tom and Barbara Gregory built a hut on the Brandy Flat site in the 1890s. There may have been a hut on the site before this. The Gregory’s place was replaced by a slab hut in the 1940s by Kevin Foster which had collapsed by 1978. This present hut, situated about one hundred metres from the original site, was built in the 1980s by the ACT Parks and Conservation Service for the use of walkers. 16 Jan 07, 19 Aug 06, 26 Jul 06.
• Hospital Creek Hut (UTM 55H 677757-6037548) – Hospital Creek Hut was built in about 1966 by brothers Frank and Jack Oldfield …ng with Jack’s son Les. The Oldfield family has played an important role in the development of the Namadgi region. The hut was on the Oldfield’s Dry Creek lease an was used for overnight shelter whenever the Oldfields were working on the lease. In 1979 the lease was resumed as part of the Gudgenby Nature Reserve and incorporated into Namadgi National Park when it was declared in 1984. 21 Jun 06.
• Luton’s Crutching Shed (UTM 55H 675792-6033516) – This Crutching Shed was built by Noel Luton, Alan Robinson and Herb Dybal in the mid 1960s. The fork-style log fence was built by the Crawfords in the 1800s. Alterations for re-use have occurred to both structures over time. The Crutching Shed is the only structure of its type in Namadgi National Park and may be the only purpose built crutching shed in the Alps National Parks. The fork-style stockyards are significant for representing a type of vernacular fencing no longer used. 3-4 Jul 04, 16 Oct 04, 28 Nov 06.p
• Nil Desperandum (UTM 55H 674481-6078218) – a pise cottage erected by George Green and George Hatcliff in the 1890s for Henry Ffrench Gillman and later occupied by the Blewitt and Gilmour families. 5 Dec 06.
Local Names known in Bushwalking Club Circles
I do have a fascination with Namadgi National Park and the local names ascribed by members of local walking clubs, and others, to features not named on maps. Having asked several old hands, I finally tracked reliable sources:
• Beat’s ‘Cave’ (UTM 55H 669399-6073505) – This feature was seen by walkers in late December 2022 whilst looking south from the crest of the Tidbinbilla Range towards Mt Domain. Tough CBC walker Beat O found the feature, placed a geocache there and shared the location. A trip to the cave/overhang/cliff in February 2023 named it Beat’s ‘Cave’.
• Blue Gum Hill – GR783651 (MGA94) on Corin Dam 8626-1N 1:25000 map. Blue Gum Hill was so named by Murray Dow, because it is a prominent feature near the head of Blue Gum Creek. Another unofficial name is Mt Lincoln. (Information provided by Rupert B in the CBC it of July 2006.) 23 Oct 04, 5 Sep 06.
• Dutchies Peak – GR700608 (MGA94) on Corin Dam 8626-1N 1:25000 map. A significant rock pile 550m SE of Mt McKeahnie. 19 Jul 06.
• Granite Dome – UTM 55H 680330-6062744 – SH1396, the high point at Booroomba Rocks. Named by Matthew Higgins.
• Mt Herlt – GR739479 (MGA94), Spot Height 1612 on the 1st edition Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S 1:25000 map and the feature above the 1600m contour on the 2nd edition map. Mt Herlt was named after Tony Herlt, a tiger walker in the 1970s who led a lot of day trips in Namadgi. It is probably best known for the huge granite rock face on its northern side. Alas Tony “retired” from bushwalking when he became a family man but if my memory is correct my naming of the mountain after him did entice him back to do this walk. (Information provided by Jeff B, the ‘horse’s mouth’ who named Mt Herlt.) 24 Nov 09, 14 Aug 07, 28 Jun 06.
• Mt Mavis – GR723493 (MGA94), Spot Height 1711 on the Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S 1:25000 map. Mt Mavis was named after Gary Medaris’s mother. Gary was a prominent and enthusiastic leader in his very early twenties in 1973. He phased out of club walking in late 70’s when he married, but continued to walk solo and with his wife. (Information provided by Alan V; Ann GJ) 24 Nov 09, 17 Jun 08, 23 Sep 06.
• Mt Mertle (now Mt Namadgi) – GR710481 (MGA94), Mt Namadgi on the Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S 1:25000 map, also trig point Boyle. Mt Mertle was named by Terry Jordan after his Mother. Terry was one of the club’s tiger walkers who led a lot of trips in the 1970s. Sadly, he was killed in an avalanche while climbing near Mt Aspiring in New Zealand.(Information provided by Jeff B and Alan V; Ann GJ.) 7 Nov 09, 7 Nov 08, 10 Nov 07, 30 Sep-2 Oct 06.
• Mt Mouat (UTM 55H 671680-6041989) – The 1730+m feature on the south-east Scabby Range north-west of Mt Gudgenby and between Sams Creek and Bogong Creek. Named by Matthew Higgins. Also known (primarily by the Brindabella Bushwalking Club) as ‘The Fortress’.
• Murgatroyd – the Kelly Spur. As far as I know Murgatroyd was a ‘made up’ name in the mood of naming features after people’s mothers, but I may be wrong and it is an actual mother! (Information provided by Alan V.) Named by Terry Jordan. (Information provided by Ann GJ).
• Mt X (now Mt Burbidge) – GR715464 (MGA94), Mt Burbidge on the Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S 1:25000 map. (Information provided by Alan V.) Mt X which I think sits alongside Mt Mable was named by Gary Medaris. (Information provided by Ann GJ). Named after Dr Nancy Burbidge DSc, AM (1912-1977). Botanist. President of the National Parks Association of the ACT in 1960. She was President of Royal Society, President of the Canberra branch of the Australian Federation of University Women, International Secretary of the Pan Pacific and Southeast Asian Womens Association and served on the committees of the ACT National Conservation and Tidbinbilla Fauna Reserve. 17 Nov 09, 9-11 Dec 06, 19 Nov 05.
• Ridge of Stone – the NE ridge of the Orroral Valley, N of the old tracking station site. Named in Graeme Barrow’s Exploring Namadgi & Tidbinbilla: Day walks in Canberra’s high country. Many of the features are named in ACT Granite. Barrow calls Sentinel Rocks (GR760594) on the Corin Dam 8626-1N 1:25000 map, The Eyrie. 31 Dec 05, 12 Jul 06, 2 Jan 07.
• Tarn on the Mt Scabby – Mt Kelly ridge. It is quite substantial in area but shallow. It is usually there, but may be dry late in dry summers. It is a delightful campsite and publishing its location may cause it to be loved to death. (Information provided by Alan V, GR provided by George C.) 8-9 Jul 06.
Other Local Things
• A cobble scree slope is a steep slope of loose rocks about the size of shoe boxes. There are lots of these on the western slopes of Tidbinbilla at the headwaters of creeks, sometimes stretching hundreds of meters in length. They can provide a clear passageway providing that the rocks are reasonably stable underfoot. (Chris L.)
• ACT border markings – see https://johnevans.id.au/other-resources/act-border-markers/ .
• Old Joe Hill – in Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve, part of the Canberra Nature Park. Named by Kevin Wellspring, a retired surveyor and holder of various positions in Commonwealth survey positions, in honour of Joe Gallagher. Joe, known as ‘Old Joe’, supervised chainmen in the 1950s and 1960s. ‘He was a fine supervisor who ensured all the chainmen were kept occupied and that anything that needed to be done was carried out promptly and efficiently.’ Source: NPA Bulletin Vol 47 Number 1 March 2010, p 49, article by Graeme Barrow.