AUSTRALIA

Jane Resture's Gold Coast - Part 2
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ABORIGINAL NAMES

The Colourful Link To The History

The Aboriginal language is a colourful link to the history that, in many parts of Australia, helps to preserve our past through indigenous place names. But, of course, not all Aboriginal place names have been retained. For instance, the Aboriginal name for Surfers Paradise was Umbigumbi (place of the ant). One early Gold Coast historian, Isobel Hannah, describes the name as 'somewhat fitting' because according to the Koran, the ant was one of the creatures admitted to Paradise. Would our resort ever have attained the reputation as Australia's tourism capital with a name such as Umbigumbi? Some say it would have been unpromotable. Yet its attraction would have remained the same. Another Aboriginal name which at least two historians have credited to Surfers Paradise was Kurrungul (a tree used to make boomeranga). Here are some more Aboriginal place names from the Region, and their meanings:

* Biggera (ironbark) - Biggera Creek, Southport * Billinudgel (place of parrots), a village on the Tweed. * Boobaingum (dolphin or ashes), now corrupted to Benowa. * Borrogurra - Main Beach. * Bundall (a prickly vine) * Caningeraba (oyster ground), now West Burleigh. * Canungra (a scrub tree), a Hinterland community and site of the Australian army's jungle warfare training camp. Coochimudlo (red clay), an island in Moreton Bay. * Curragee (currajong tree), village on South Stradbroke Island. * Goombireen or Gumai bireen (big cliffy mountain), now Tamborine. It has also been suggested that the mountain's name was corrupted from Jambree (the wild lime tree). The local blacks knew the mountain was Wonglepong (deaf), a name now preserved for an area just west of Canungra. * Guralbang (brown snake), corrupted to Kooralbyn. * Jimboomba (name of a tree), a community near Beaudesert. * Jumpinpin (Pandanus root), name for an area which became the sea passage between North and South Stradvroke Islands. * Karara (a long flat), corrupted to Carrara.

* Karabari  Corroboree. Koombahubah (home of turtles, or a pocket of land), Coombabah. *Kummera-kummera (a species of wattle), Coomera. *Kurrohmin (kangaroo), Currumbin. * Maybree (a tree), the original native name for Tallebudgera. * Mibun (wedgetail eagle). * Moonjerabah (mosquito), corrupted to Moondaarewa, the southern end of Stradbroke Island. * Mudgeeraba (place where they tell tall stories). * Neerang (shovelnose shark), Nerang. Nganga-Wal - Nerang River. * Numinbah (holding light - the Aborigines believed the valley held the two mountain ranges of Springbrook and Beechmont closely together). * Peempeema (peewee place, Pimpama. * Wooroongary (a vine used for tree climbing). Worongary. *Wynnum (breadfruit tree), a Brisbane bayside suburb. * The Gombemberri word for goodbye is 'Yani'.

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(E-mail: jane@janeresture.com  Rev. 25th June 2009)