The History Behind Adelaide’s Suburbs

By Johnny Nguyen

When you give someone your address, you’re telling them a lot more about where you live than you realise. Flinders Park, for example, was named after explorer Matthew Flinders, and many of the streets within the suburb are named after early explorers. Meanwhile, Munno Para was taken from an aboriginal word meaning “golden wattle creek” while Blackwood was named after dark-barked blackwood or peppermint gum trees that grew there.

Author of Behind the Streets of Adelaide, Dr Jeff Nicholas said suburbs, much like street names, generally provide a snapshot of an area’s history, who settled there, how people lived and what it used to look like. “The original streets of Adelaide were virtually named three weeks after Colonel William Light surveyed the city,” he said. “He set up the Street Naming Committee which decided on 58 names and that’s how they were named.” Dr Nicholas said, settlers were then encouraged to purchase at least one acre out of town which were then considered as rural landholdings. “These landholding later became suburbs as the city grew and main street were set up.

“As for the naming of these suburbs, they usually referred back to the original owners.” But as Adelaide continued to grow and boundaries were changed, the city of churches lost a number of good suburb names. Kilburn residents, for example, used to live in Little Chicago, while Morphett Vale was once known as Emu Downs and Rosewater once bore the name of a famous bear, Paddington. As for Slapes Gully doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as Burnside.


ABERFOYLE PARK: German Christian Sauerbier owned land near Happy Valley. His son, John Chris Sauerbier changed his name to Aberfoyle after an area in Perthshire, Scotland, during WWI.

ADELAIDE: Named after Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, and founded in 1836 as the planned capital.

ADELAIDE AIRPORT: First established in 1955, a dual international/domestic terminal was opened in 2005.

ALBERT PARK: Named for Prince Albert, Albert Park was laid out in 1877 by a W.R. Cave.

ALBERTON: A corruption of the original name Albert Town, named in 1847 by Angas, Kingscote & Todd of the SA Company.

ALDINGA / ALDINGA BEACH: Claimed to be a corruption of an Aboriginal word meaning ‘much water’. Others claim it means ‘good place for meat’, ‘open, wide plain’ or ‘tree district’.

ALLENBY GARDENS: Field Mashal Lord Allenby led an army in Palestine during World War I.

ANDREWS FARM: Named after early property holders in the area.

ANGLE PARK: Named in the 1950s by SA Housing Trust.

ANGLE VALE: Angle Vale was named to describe the area – with an angled road cutting through it. Angle Vale Post Office opened on 1 October 1866

ASCOT PARK: Named after the English racecourse in 1914.

ASHFORD: Laid out by Charles J. Everard in 1909, the name comes from Kent, England.

ATHELSTONE: Thomas Shepherd called the land Athelstone Estate. He died in Edinburgh, ten years later, 20 miles from the village of Athelstaneford.

ATHOL PARK: Name probably taken from Athol Farm, a property that once occupied the area. Athol is a district of Perth, Scotland.

AULDANA: It stands on the site of a once-famous vineyard “Auldana” established by Patrick Auld.

BANKSIA PARK: Named by Fairview Park Shopping Centre Pty Ltd in 1967 after the native Australian plant.

BEAUMONT: Samuel Davenport named an existing property after the French town Beaumont which means beautiful mount.

Historical image of Adelaide Town Hall on King William Street circa 1900-1910.

BEDFORD PARK: Edwin Joseph Hancock built a homestead in the area, naming it Bedford after family connections in earlier generations with the Bedford family in England.

BELLEVUE HEIGHTS: Name proposed by May and Margaret Mills in 1965 but was initially refused because it was believed it would cause confusion with the existing Bellevue at McLaren Vale.

BEULAH PARK: Originally called Rosaville, Beulah Estate was laid out in 1912 and later extended as Beulah Park. Beulah Rd originally led to the village of Beulah, named after a village in Wales.

BEVERLEY: Named by Edward Stephens in 1850, possibly named after a town in Yorkshire, England.

BIRKENHEAD: Named by Thomas Elder and John Hart in 1864, possibly named after a Birkinhead in Cheshire, England.

BLACK FOREST: Named after a dark forest that used to occupy the area and was frequented by bush rangers and cattle thieves.

BLACKWOOD: Robert Burfield was granted a publicans licence in 1869 for the Blackwood Inn (now The Belair Hotel). The name Blackwood was apparently derived from the dark barked blackwood or peppermint gum trees.

BLAIR ATHOL: Celtic for a plain cleared of trees, and takes its name from the home of the Magarey family.

BLAKEVIEW: Blakeview is named after Joseph Blake, an early blacksmith in the area.

BOLIVAR: The hotel was built by Mr. Walpole, who arrived on the ship “Bolivar” in 1850.

BOWDEN: The Village of Bowden was created around 1842 by Sir J.H. Fisher and named after his native town in Northamptonshire, England.

BRADBURY: Name taken from a village in Durham, England.

BRAHMA LODGE: Named after the trotting horse stud run by Frank Reiss who first sold the land in 1960.

BRIGHTON: Named by Matthew Smith, solicitor, in 1839 after the seaside resort town in Sussex or New Brighton in Liverpool. The suburb’s main industries in the 1840s were whaling and smuggling.

BROADVIEW: Originally a private subdivision laid out by C H Angas & K D Bowman in 1915. Later housing developments obstructed the panoramic views.

BROMPTON: Name comes from Yorkshire, England where settler William Paxton was born.

BROOKLYN PARK: The adjacent suburb of Brooklyn was created by Oscar Gorger and Edward Lipsett in 1881 and probably named after the American city.

BUCKLAND PARK: Named after an early property in the area established by Messrs William Allen and John Ellis.

BURNSIDE: Possibly named by Peter Anderson who called his property near Second Creek Burnside.

BURTON: A small Methodist church in the area was known as Burton. The first licensee of the ‘Bolivar Hotel’ came from ‘Burton Latimer’ in Northamptonshire, England, and the second licensee was H.W. Burton.

CAMDEN PARK: Campden Estate was created by Florence M, Mackenzie of Campden in 1914.

CAMPBELLTOWN: Campbell bought the land from S.G. Smith in 1842 and subdivided about 1846.

CAREY GULLY: Corporal Young, Royal Sappers and Miners refers to the gully in a survey book as Paddy Carey’s Gully, though Patrick ‘Paddy’ Carey never owned land there.

CAVAN: Takes its name from the Hotel ‘The Cavan Arms’, licensed in 1855 by R.B Colley who was born in County Cavan, Ireland.

CHANDLERS HILL: Named after shepherd Charles Chandler, who resided at Unbunga and came to South Australia in the John Pirie in 1836.

CHELTENHAM: Native town of John Denham. Cheltenham is a town in Gloucester.

CHERRY GARDENS: Named after the abundance of native cherry trees that used to exist in the area.

CHRISTIE DOWNS / CHRISTIES BEACH: Lambert F.B. Christie purchased the land in 1858 and his wife Rosa Christie was the landowner when the land was subdivided in 1924/25.

CLAPHAM: The town shares the same name as Clapham Junction, which was named after the suburban London railway station of the same name.

CLARENCE GARDENS / CLARENCE PARK: Clarencefield is a town in Dumfries, Scotland which the original owners, the Macklin family, may have been connected to.

CLARENDON: Clarendon occurs in Canada, Jamaica and the USA – all believed to have been named after the aristocratic English family. There is a Clarendon Park in Wiltshire, England.

John Martin & Co. Ltd., Rundle Street, Adelaide. Undated historical image of pedestrians and horse-drawn buggies outside John Martin’s.

CLEARVIEW: Clearview was laid out by Clearview Ltd in 1922 and named because the suburb offered views of the Adelaide plains and the River Torrens.

CLOVELLY PARK: Named after the town of Clovelly in Devon, England by Messrs R., D.M. and P. Mitchell, in 1928, as executers of Richard Mitchell.

COLLEGE PARK: On account of its proximity to St. Peters College and named by Henry S. Anthony and William Dixon in 1874.

COLLINSWOOD: May have been named after his George F. Angas’ daughter-in law Suzanne Collins.

COLONEL LIGHT GARDENS: Named by Charles C Reade in 1915. Unimpressed with Adelaide’s haphazard development, he wanted to create a model suburb with allocation for schools, recreation areas and public buildings. If you have to ask who it was named after, you probably aren’t from around here …

CONCORDIA: Subdivision undertaken by L. Simon, F.A. Oehm and L. Belling in 1877, when part of it was sold to the government for education purposes. Concordia School opened in 1861 and Concordia is the Roman Goddess of Peace and Harmony.

COROMANDEL EAST / COROMANDEL VALLEY: The ship Coromandel arrived at Port Adelaide on 12 January 1837, when ten of the crew deserted and found refuge in a valley in the Mount Lofty Range.

COWANDILLA: Named by Edwin C. Gwynne in 1840. Possibly a reference to the aboriginal word kaunenna-dlla, meaning ‘the locality of the waters’ specifically relating to the Glenelg area.

CRAIGBURN FARM: The suburb began when part of Minda Home’s Craigburn Farm was subdivided in the late 1990s.

CRAIGMORE: Craigmore is named after an early homestead in the district.

CROYDON / CROYDON PARK: Means ‘chalk hill’. Named by owner Philip Levi who was born in Surrey, England – that country has a Croydon.

CUMBERLAND PARK: Contains an original subdivision named Cumberland by Ernest T. Saunders and Edwin Ashby in 1913. The name comes from Wales and means compatriots or fellow countrymen.

DARLINGTON: Named by Flagstaff Inn licensed victualler Samuel Lewis after the town in Durham, England.

DAVOREN PARK: Named after a pioneering family in the district in 1983.

DAW PARK: J.W. Daw owned land adjacent to South Road.

DERNANCOURT: A subdivision by Richard Arthur Hobby in 1923 which takes its name from a town in France which was the scene of World War 1 battles. A Private L. R. Hobby served in the 27th Battalion.

DEVON PARK: Laid out by Lavinia and George Charles Braund in 1920 and named after the English town.

DORSET VALE: An English name given to a post office and telephone exchange near Clarendon, circa 1850. Its local name was ‘Scotts Bottom’.

DOVER GARDENS: The name has English origins.

DUDLEY PARK: Earl of Dudley was Governor-General of the Commonwealth 1908-1911.

DULWICH: Named in 1854 by John Hector and named after a town in Surrey, England.

EAGLE ON THE HILL: Named after a stone eagle kept at the hotel on the hill. The hotel was built in 1853, opening as Andersons Inn, but soon renamed to accompany the nearby “Eagle’s Nest” residence. Unlike the rest of the hotel the stone eagle survived the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires.

EASTWOOD: The suburb lies east of Parkside and was densely forested at the time of naming.

EDEN HILLS: It was either named by E. Ashby being a description of the areas natural beauty or named by William Datmar Cook who was at one time the Master of the sailing barque “Eden”.

EDINBURGH: Named after the Duke of Edinburgh.

EDWARDSTOWN: Lawyer William Edwards laid out the town in 1838 and named it Edwardstown.


Historical image of the SA Fire Brigade on Wakefield Street, Adelaide late 1800’s. (SA Government photo)

ENFIELD: Named by George Hickox in 1843 after his birthplace in Middlesex, England.

ERINDALE: A house of the same name was built in the area around 1850. Erin is of Irish origin.

ETHELTON: Named by Doctor Phillips after one of his 6 daughters who died a young girl.

EVANDALE: Henry Goss bought a subdivision in 1861 and built ‘Evandale House’ on it. The home was sold by the mortgagee in 1885.

EVANSTON / EVANSTON GARDENS / EVANSTON PARK / EVANSTON SOUTH: Named in 1850 by James Philcox. Origin unknown.

EVERARD PARK: Dr Charles D. Everard farmed land in the Unley District from 1838 til he died in 1876.

EXETER: There is an Exeter in Devonshire and an Exeter Hall in London. The resolution to form an association for the colonisation of SA was carried here.

FAIRVIEW PARK: A descriptive name by B.E. and E.F.J. Chandler in 1967. Lt-Colonel Freeling once owned a property called Fairview near Walkerville.

FELIXSTOW: Native village of Rev T.Q. Stow, original land owner in area.

FERRYDEN PARK: Subdivision named in 1924 by William Duthie, formerly of Forfar, Scotland, where there is a Ferryden.

FINDON: G. L. Liptrott was the owner of the land circa 1855, and came from Worthing, near Findon in Surrey, England.

FIRLE: Named after Edward Castres Gwynne, who was born at Lewes in Sussex, England, near the towns of Firle and Glynde. His father was the Rector of Glynde.

FITZROY: It was either named by William E Churcher in 1882 after the Melbourne suburb or after an electoral district in England.

FLAGSTAFF HILL: It is named after the hill in the area where Colonel William Light erected a flagstaff during his survey.

FLINDERS PARK: The suburb is named after explorer Matthew Flinders, with many of its streets bearing the names of famous explorers.

FORESTVILLE: The suburb is near Black Forest and was named by Andrew Ferguson in 1917.

FREWVILLE: Named after an early settler James Frew who bought it in 1847 and subdivided in 1865.

FULHAM / FULHAM GARDENS: Originally owned by John White in 1836 and named Fulham Farm. He built his home from bricks brought over from England and the roof was thatched from local reeds.

FULLARTON: Named by James Frew in 1849 whose wife was the former Jane Fullarton.

GEPPS CROSS: Isaac Gepp opened the Windmill Inn in the area after arriving on the Fairlie in 1840.

GILBERTON: Joseph Gilbert of Pewsey Vale England purchased the property from Richard Blundell in 1839 after he was declared bankrupt and named it Gilbert Town.

GILLES PLAINS: Osmond Gilles, first Colonial Treasurer, held land in the area.

GILLMAN: Named after a former general traffic manager for South Australian Railways in 1950 when laid out by Rosewater Extension Limited.

GLANDORE: Taken from County Cork in Ireland, where one of the original settlers, John O’Dea, came from.

GLANVILLE: Named after Glanville Hall, the original residence of Capt. John Hart Chief Secretary and Treasurer. It was named after Hart’s mother’s maiden name.

GLENALTA: Sherwood Estates Limited named it after ‘a valley near a hill’ in 1961.

GLENELG / GLENELG EAST / GLENELG NORTH / GLENELG NORTH SHORE / GLENELG SOUTH: Named after Lord Glenelg, the secretary of state when the colony was founded in 1836. Town laid out in 1839. Known to the aborigines as Patawilya (cloggy green place) or Kaunennadla (place of waters).

GLENGOWRIE: Means ‘Glen of Gowrie’, in honour of Lord Gowrie (formerly, Alexander Gore Arkwright Hore-Ruthven), Governor-General of Australia from 1936-1944.

GLEN OSMOND: Osmond Gilles was the first Colonial Treasurer & landowner in the area.

GLENSIDE: Portion formerly known as Knoxville.

GLENUNGA: Named by Charles T Hargrave in 1882. ‘Glen’ because of its closeness to Glen Osmond and ‘unga’ which is aboriginal for ‘near to’.

GLOBE DERBY PARK: Created in 1998 by renaming that portion of Bolivar involved with the horses and Globe Derby Park.

GLYNDE: Edward Castres Gwynne built a cottage at Payneham called Glynde Place and laid out the suburb in 1856.

GOLDEN GROVE: Captain Adam Robertson, of the ship the Golden Grove, settled here in 1846.

GOODWOOD: Named after the seat of the Duke of Richmond in Chichester, England.

GRANGE: Originally an estate named as ‘The Grange’ built by Charles Sturt.

GREENACRES: A descriptive name by owner Christoph Samuel Mueller in 1919.

GREENHILL: A descriptive name for the colour of the winter landscape, named by Hayborough Limited in 1954.

GREENWITH: Greenwith Methodist Church built in 1866. The suburb was named in 1977.

GULFVIEW HEIGHTS: A descriptive name.

HACKHAM: Either named by Edward Castle, who sold the town, after his home in England, or previous land owner James Kingsdon, or named after JB Hack who lived in the area in 1837.

HACKNEY: The ‘Village of Hackney was created in 1847 and was named after Hackney in London.

HALLETT COVE: John Hallett discovered the cove while looking for missing stock in 1837.

HAMPSTEAD GARDENS: Named after the town in London, England.

HAPPY VALLEY: A descriptive name by Edward Burgess, who landed at Holdfast Bay and was at the first Methodist service on mainland South Australia in 1837.

HAWTHORN: A common place name in England. The suburb was named by Edward Thornber and David Garlick in 1880.

HAWTHORNDENE: Taken from a line in Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel: ‘and seen from cavern’d Hawthornden’ by the Austin family.

HAZELWOOD PARK: Francis Clark bought a property on Greenhill Rd in 1850 and named it Hazelwood after Hazelwood School in Birmingham.

HEATHPOOL: Named by the father of George Reed after his native town in Northumberland, England.

HECTORVILLE: Named by Partick Boyce Coglin after the first full time officer for the Savings Bank of SA, John Hector.

HENDON: Named by Captain Henry John Butler who established an aerodrome there, and named the suburb after an English airport.

HENLEY BEACH / HENLEY BEACH SOUTH: Name adapted from Henley-on-Thames in England and named by Arthur Harvey, Henry S. Anthony and William P. icksteed in 1877.

HIGHBURY: Named after Highbury in north London, England.

HIGHGATE: Named by F.J. Botting, who laid out the area in 1881, after his birthplace in London.

HILLBANK: Hillbank was previously known as Elizabeth Heights, and is a descriptive name.

HILLCREST: A descriptive name.

HILTON: Named after Matthew Hill QC, the original land owner.

HINDMARSH: Named after South Australia’s first Governor, John Hindmarsh. It was the first private town laid out in the colony.

HOLDEN HILL: Corruption of the name of Robert Haldon, an original landowner in the area.

HOPE VALLEY: Named by William Holden, a butcher and storekeeper in 1842. His store burnt down but he said he felt “inspired by hope”, hence the name. He later left the area when his wife was killed in an accident in 1851.

HOVE: Named after Hove near Brighton, England.

HUNTFIELD HEIGHTS: The Hunt family were landowners in the area, and served in many capacities in the local community.

HYDE PARK: Named after Hyde Park in London, England.

INGLE FARM: Name taken from a farm that was located on the land. It was named by Jabez Rowe because he had married a Miss Wright, who was from Inglewood.

INGLEWOOD: Land originally purchased by Firmin Deacon, who built a pub on the land and named it ‘Inglewood’. The name comes from Yorkshire, England.

IRONBANK: Named because iron was mined in the area in the 1850s.

JOSLIN: Named after Henry Joslin, a director of the South Australian Company.

KALBEEBA: A native word for ‘bark’.

KANGARILLA: A corruption of the native word ‘Kangooarinilla’, meaning ‘where the sheep mother sits down’.

KENSINGTON / KENSINGTON PARK: Named by Charles Catchlove after Kensington, near London.

KENSINGTON GARDENS: See Kensington. Originally known as Pile’s Paddock.

KENT TOWN: Named after Dr Benjamin Archer Kent, the first occupier of the area.

KERSBROOK: Named by John Bowden after his birthplace in Cornwall, England.

KESWICK: Named after Keswick in Cumberland, England.

KIDMAN PARK: Named after Sir Sydney Kidman, who was known as the ‘cattle king’.

KILBURN: Originally known as Chicago, but this title was never officially recognised in the Land Titles Office. Kilburn is named after a suburb of London.

KILKENNY: Named after Kilkenny in Ireland.

KINGS PARK: Believed to commemorate King Edward VII.

KINGSTON PARK: Named after George Strickland Kingston, who owned the land.

KINGSWOOD: Possibly named after Stuart King, a member of John McD Stuart’s expedition of 1861-1862, or the Kingswood in Gloucestershire, England.

KLEMZIG: Named after a north German town, it was changed in 1916 to Gaza, a World War I battlefield at the time, and was reverted back in 1935. The native name for the area was Warkowodli-Wodli.

KURRALTA PARK: Kurralta is the native word for ‘on the hill’ or ‘up there’.

LARGS BAY / LARGS NORTH: Named after Largs on the Firth of Clyde in Scotland.

LEABROOK: Named after a town in England.

LEAWOOD GARDENS: Name comes from Devon, England, and was applied by the original owner o fthe land, Margaret Gorton, who arrived on the Buffalo in 1836.

LINDEN PARK: The name comes from “Linden”, the name of a property in the suburb. Linden is a Bavarian name, made famous in the poem Hohenlinden by Campbell.

LOCKLEYS: Named after Lockleys in Hertfordshire, England.

LONGWOOD: Named by an earlier settler, W. Colley, who was born in Longwood in Yorkshire.

LONSDALE: Named after an adjacent railway station, the origin of its name is not known.


LYNTON: Believed to be named after Lynton in Devon, England.

MACDONALD PARK: Created by MacDonald Reid Pty Ltd.

MCLAREN FLAT / MCLAREN VALE: It was either named in 1837 after David McLaren, the commercial manager of the SA Company, or named after J.W. McLaren, a surveyor.

MAGILL: Surveyed in 1838 and originally laid out as Makgill, and was bought from the government by Messrs Robert Cock and William Ferguson in 1838. Named after Sir Maitland Makgill, who was the trustee for Mr Cock’s wife at the time of their departure from Scotland. The reason as to why the ‘k’ was dropped is unknown.

MALVERN: Named after Malvern in Worcestershire.

MANNINGHAM: Named after Manninghima in Yorkshire, England.

MANSFIELD PARK: Name taken from Mansfield, a town in Ayrshire, Scotland.

MARDEN: Laid out by Joseph Gilbert around 1848, who came from Marden in Whiltshire, England.

MARINO: One of the earliest recorded names in South Austrlia. The name comes from the Italian spelling of “marine”.

MARION: Named after Miss Marion (or Marianne) Fisher, daughter of Sir J.H. Fisher, first resident commissioner.

MARLESTON: Land originally owned by John Marles, who subdivided it in 1879.

MARRYATVILLE: The name comes from the maiden name of Governor Sir Henry Young’s wife, Augusta Sophia Marryat, who was the daughter of Charles Marryat of Park Field, Potter’s Bar, Middlesex, a niece of the novelist Captain F. Marrat RN, and a sister of Charles Marrat, Dean of Adelaide.

MASLIN BEACH: Originally owned by George Maslin, who bought the land in 1849 for 240 pounds.

MAYLANDS: Laid out by William Wadham and named after his second wife, Emma Josephine May.

MEDINDIE / MEDINDIE GARDENS: A native word, of which the original meaning in unknown. First spelt “Medindi”.

MELROSE PARK: Named after the aviator Jimmy Melrose, who competed in the 1934 England to Australia Air Race.

MILE END / MILE END SOUTH: Laid out by the South Australian Company in 1880 and named because it is a mile from Adelaide city.

MILLSWOOD: Named after George Mills, of Hills, Mills & Co. who owned the land.

MITCHAM: Named after Mitcham in Surrey, England.

MITCHELL PARK: Named after Richard Mitchell, who subdivided the land in 1912.

MOANA: Named after the Maori word for “blue water”.

MODBURY / MODBURY HEIGHTS / MODBURY NORTH: Named by R.S. Kelly in 1840 after his native town in Devonshore.

MONTACUTE: Believed to be named after Montacute in Somerset, England.

MORIALTA: Native word meaning “ever flowing”.

MORPHETT VALE / MORPHETTVILLE: Named after Sir John Morphett, a prominent early settler, who arrived in South Australia on board the Cygnet in 1836.

MOUNT BARKER / MOUNT BARKER JUNCTION / MOUNT BARKER SPRINGS / MOUNT BARKER SUMMIT: Named by Captain Charles Sturt after his friend, Captain Collet Barker, who died at the Murray Mouth on April 30, 1831.

MOUNT OSMOND: Named after Osmind Gilles, the first Colonial Treasurer.

MUNNO PARA / MUNNO PARA DOWNS / MUNNO PARA WEST: Taken from a native word meaning “golden wattle creek”.

MYRTLE BANK: Named by William Sanders, who bought a property and built a home on the land, which he named Myrtle Bank. His friend James Gall owned a property of the same name in Trinity, Edinburgh.

NAILSWORTH: Once covered by a forest of native pines, the area was first named Pine Forest. Enoch Fry, a farmer in the area, who named it after Nailsworth in England.

NETHERBY: Named after Netherby in Yorkshire, Cumberland.

NETLEY: Named by Thomas Hudson Beare, who owned the land, after the ruins of Netley Abbey in Hampshire.

NEW PORT: Named by the developers of the land, who originally requested to create a new suburb called Newport Quays but this name was not supported.

NEWTON: In the 1850s the road to Woodforde was known as “Road to New Town”, which became “Newton Rd”, which eventually became the area’s name. Newton is also a common place name in England.

NOARLUNGA / NOARLUNGA CENTRE / NOARLUNGA DOWNS: A native name meaning “the place with the hill”.



NORTHFIELD: A descriptive name, and the name also appears in three English counties.

NORTHGATE: Suburb created by renaming a portion of Northfield in June 2000, following a request by builder/developer A.V. Jennings.

NORTH HAVEN: Name taken from the North Haven Indenture Act, which created the suburb. Creation of the suburb was originally opposed by the Post Master General due to its size the fact there was another North Haven in Australia.


NORWOOD: Named after Norwood, near London, England.

NOVAR GARDENS: Originally laid out as Morphettville by the State Bank of Australia in 1921. The name was changed to honour Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson, 1st Viscount Novar, who was the Governor-general of Australia from 1914 until 1920.

OAKDEN: Named after John Oakden, who explored west of Lake Torrens in 1851.

OAKLANDS PARK: Originally laid out as Oaklands Estate, named after the English oaks that were planted on the property by the original owner, the Hon. J. Crozier.

O’HALLORAN HILL: Major O’Halloran was the commissioner of police and police magistrate in 1838.

OLD NOARLUNGA: See Noarlunga.

OLD REYNELLA: See Reynella.

ONE TREE HILL: The name Uley and One Tree Hill appear to have been used since the early 1850s to designate two separate portions of the area now known generally as One Tree Hill.

ONKAPARINGA HILLS: A native name, originally spelt ‘Unkaparinga’, meaning ‘Mother river, plentiful’, and first given to Onkaparinga River.

OSBORNE: Captain Osborne was an early resident and well known Port Adelaide mariner, who built the first house in the area.

O’SULLIVAN BEACH: Possibly named after an early settler in the district.

OTTOWAY: Land originally owned by Thomas Ottaway. The origin of the misspelling is unknown.

OUTER HARBOR: A descriptive name for a harbour further out than Port Adelaide.

OVINGHAM: Named after Ovingham in england.

PANORAMA: A descriptive name given because of the view of the plains and gulf from the area.

PARADISE: Joseph Ind, who arrived in South Australia in 1837, named the land after his old farm in Gloucestershire, UK.

PARAFIELD / PARAFIELD GARDENS: Name taken from the native name “para”, meaning “river or creek”, and the English “field”.

PARA HILLS / PARA HILLS WEST: Name taken from the native name “para”, meaning “river or creek”, and “Hills” to describe the area.

PARALOWIE: Name taken from the native name “para”, meaning “river or creek”, and “lowie” meaning water. It is also the name of a very old farmhouse in the area.

PARA VISTA: Name taken from the native name “para”, meaning “river or creek”, and “vista” being descriptive.

PARKHOLME: A descriptive name meaning “a flat, park-like area near a river”.

PARKSIDE: Named because it was next to the parklands that surround Adelaide.

PASADENA: Possibly named after Pasadena in California, USA. Pasadena was adopted in 1967 after residents opposed the proposed name Centennial Park.

PAYNEHAM / PAYNEHAM SOUTH: Named after Samuel Payne, who was the original landowner.

PENFIELD / PENFIELD GARDENS: Penfield is named after William Penfield, an early resident in the area.

PENNINGTON: Named after one of the three Pennington’s in England.

PETERHEAD: Named after Peterhead in Aberdeen, Scotland.

PINKY FLAT: The exact origin is unknown, but one theory is that during the 1930s depression the area was used as a camping ground by unemployed people, who were known to consume a cheap wine called “pinky”.

PLYMPTON / PLYPMTON PARK: The pioneer John Crews named his farm Plympton after his birthplace in Devonshire.

POORAKA: A native name meaning “dry waterhole”.

PORT ADELAIDE: Named by Colonel William Light as the port of Adelaide.

PORT GAWLER: See Gawler.

PORT NOARLUNGA: See Noarlunga.


PORT WILLUNGA: See Willunga.

PROSPECT: Named due to the prospect the locality presented, with its views over the plains and the parklands.

QUEENSTOWN: Named in honour of Queen Victoria in 1848.

REDWOOD PARK: Named by Realty Building Co. in 1964 with no origin known.

REEVES PLAINS: Named after Samuel Reeves, who came across the plain when looking for land for the South Australian Company.

REGENCY PARK: Name taken from the adjacent Regency Rd, which was adopted after the first visit by Queen Elizabeth II to South Australia.

RENOWN PARK: Named in 1920 shortly after the H.M.S. Renown brought the Prince of Wales to Australia.

REYNELLA / REYNELLA EAST: John Reynell laid out the town in 1854, and is recorded as planting the first vineyard and making the first wine in South Australia.

RICHMOND: Named after a town in Surrey, England.

RIDGEHAVEN: A descriptive name for the subdivision where the homes were to be situated on high areas.

RIDLEYTON: Named after John Ridley, who was the inventor of the Ridley Stripper, an agricultural machine.

RISDON PARK / RISDON PARK SOUTH: Named by Mr A. B. Cashmore after Risdon Cove in Tasmania, which was named by John Hayes in 1794 after a Devonshire family.

ROSE PARK: Named in 1878 by Sir John Rose, G.C.M.G., who was the Chairman of the S.A. Company. Sir Rose named it after himself even though “Prescott”, an early lessee of the sections was submitted to him as a possible name.

ROSEWATER: Named by Phillip Levi, who owned the area, to offset the smell of stagnant water from a nearby swamp.

ROSSLYN PARK: A Scottish name for a subdivision made in 1878. There is an Earl of Rosslyn, which is a combination of the two Celtic words ‘ros’, meaning ‘promontory’, and ‘lynn’, meaning deep pool. Roslin Castle was also the original home of the Scottish noble family.

ROSTREVOR: Named after Rostrevor in County Down, Northern Ireland.

ROYAL PARK: Named by T.J. Matters, the land agent who subdivided the area. It was originally known as ‘Piggery Park’, because of the pig farms and abattoirs that were once there.

ROYSTON PARK: Named by land agent Stephen Parsons, whose wife went to school in Royston in Yorkshire, England.


SEACLIFF / SEACLIFF PARK: A descriptive name.

SEACOMBE GARDENS / SECOMBE HEIGHTS: Named after Seacombe in Cheshire, England.

SEAFORD / SEAFORD HEIGHTS / SEAFORD MEADOWS / SEAFORD RISE: Probably named after Seaford in East Essex, England.

SEATON: Probably named by Gifford Tate after Seaton in Devon, England.

SEAVIEW DOWNS: Descriptive name for the views to the sea.

SEFTON PARK: Named after a railway station in Lancashire, England.

SELLICKS BEACH / SELLICKS HILL: Named after William Sellick, an early settler.

SEMAPHORE / SEMAPHORE PARK / SEMAPHORE SOUTH: Named because the site was chosen for a signal station and landing place in preference to Glenelg in 1837, a year after the colony was founded.

SHEIDOW PARK: Named after the Sheidow family.

SKYE: Created by Skye Estate Ltd.

SMITHFIELD / SMITHFIELD PLAINS: Named after John Smith, an early landowner in the area and built the Smithfield Hotel in the 1850s.

SOMERTON PARK: Named after Somerton in Somerset, England.



SPRINGFIELD: Named after Springfield in Surrey, England.

STEPNEY: Named by George Muller after Stepney in London, England.

STONYFELL: Name means “a rocky hill”, named by Annie Montgomery Martin.

STURT: Named after the explorer Charles Sturt.

SURREY DOWNS: Named after the English county.

ST AGNES: Named on 5 November 1959 after the products of Angoves Pty Ltd, vignerons and distillers. Dr Angove settled in the area in the early 1880s and St Agnes is the patron saint of purity.

ST CLAIR: The name was chosen to reflect the history of the area. St Clair was first used by Robert R Torrens for his home, built circa 1842. After twelve years the property was sold and a second grander home name St Clair was built by Mr Stoddard R Clarke in 1850 adjacent the current Woodville Road. This home remained until the mid 1900s when it was demolished but the use of ‘St Clair’ has been retained in the area through the recreation oval and the St Clair Youth Centre.

ST GEORGES: Named after a competition operated in 1918 by Horace Allen and Barton, land estate agents of Unley. After 400 entries, H.E. Lewis of Malvern’s suggestion was chosen.

ST KILDA: Named after the island of St Kilda, off the Scottish Coast.

ST MARYS: Named by the father of John Wickham Daw, who owned the land and helped to establish the Church of St Mary’s.

ST MORRIS: Laid out by Henry Woodock about 1880 and named after his wife, who married twice. Her maiden name was Morris and her first married name was Saint.

ST PETERS: The subdivision of St Peters was created by Joseph Jackman in 1884 and took its name from the adjacent college.

SURREY DOWNS: Named after the English county.

TAPEROO: A native word meaning “calm”.

TEA TREE GULLY: A descriptive name of trees that grew in the area.

TENNYSON: Baron Tennyson was Governor of South Australia from 1899 to 1902, and second Governor-general of Australia. He was also the son of Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

TERINGIE: An early homestead in the district was called Teringie.

THEBARTON: Name of the house was taken from Colonel Light’s English home – Theberton Hall. Thebarton was the first village laid out outside of the City of Adelaide. The current spelling with a central “a” is believed to have come about through a typographic error.

THORNGATE: Named after William Battye Thorngate, the proprietor of Thorngate Estate in South Australia.

TOORAK GARDENS: Toorak is a native word meaning “swamps, springs”.

TORRENS ISLAND / TORRENS PARK / TORRENSVILLE: The River Torrens was named by Colonel Light in 1936 in honour of Colonel Robert Torrens, Chairman of the South Australian Colonization Commissioners, and father of Sir Robert Richard Torrens, author of the Real Property Act.

TRANMERE: Named in 1838. The house was named after a place near Birkenhead, Liverpool, England.

TRINITY GARDENS: A subdivision of glebe land owned by the Holy Trinity Church.

TROTT PARK: Possibly named after an early settler in the district.

TUSMORE: Named by William Rogers, pastoralist in 1839.

UNDERDALE: Laid out and named by John Symonds Williams in the early 1850s, with no reason known for the choice of name.

UNLEY / UNLEY PARK: Unley Hall or Parish is located in the parishes of Mildenhall and Lakenheath in Suffolk, Whistler’s home County. Was originally thought to have been named after his wife’s maiden name.

UPPER HERMITAGE: Named by Thomas Williams, one of the largest shareholders in the South Australian Company, after Hermitage in Northampton, England.

UPPER STURT: Named after Captain Charles Sturt.

URRBRAE: Urrbrae is Scottish for “our valley”. It may also have been named by Robert Forsyth MacGeorge after his Scottish hometown Urr, and “brae”, Scottish for the side of a hill.

VALE PARK: Vale House was the home of Phillip Levi, a pastoral pioneer.

VALLEY VIEW: Descriptive name given by a subdivision by Pleasent Hills Estate in 1960.

VISTA: A descriptive name.

WALKERVILLE: Named by Captain Walker, R.N. in 1838.

WALKLEY HEIGHTS: Named by Dept. of Environment and Planning.

WARRADALE: Taken from the native word “warra”, meaning timber, and “dale”, meaning valley.

WATERFALL GULLY: A descriptive name due to the waterfall located in the area.

WATERLOO CORNER: Believed to be named after the Battle of Waterloo.

WATTLE PARK: A descriptive name of the area which was once densely covered with wattle trees.

WAYVILLE: Named after Way College, which was erected in memory of Reverent J. Way, father of Sir Samuel Way.

WELLAND: Named after Welland in Northampton, England.

WEST BEACH: A descriptive name for a beach west of Adelaide.

WEST CROYDON: See Croydon.

WEST HINDMARSH: See Hindmarsh.

WEST LAKES / WEST LAKES SHORE: Name established by the West Lakes Development Act in 1969 to describe a man-made lake west of the city.

WEST RICHMOND: See Richmond.

WESTBOURNE PARK: Westbourne is a well-known London name.

WILLUNGA / WILLUNGA HILL / WILLUNGA SOUTH: Willaunga means place of green trees.

WINDSOR GARDENS: Named after Windsor in England, named by Nathaniel Hailes in 1849.

WINGFIELD: Richard William Wingfield was the private secretary to Governor Jervois. Subsequently used as a suburb name.

WOODCROFT: Proclaimed in 1985, takes it name from the Early Day Woodcroft Farm.

WOODFORDE: Named after Dr John Woodforde, who came to South Australia on Rapid with Colonel William Light.

WOODVILLE / WOODVILLE GARDENS / WOODVILLE NORTH / WOODVILLE PARK / WOODVILLE SOUTH / WOODVILLE WEST: Woodville is a descriptive name of the well-timbered locality.

WYNN VALE: Possibly named after an early settler in the district.

YATALA VALE: Yatala was the name applied by the Weera tribe of Aborigines to the country north of the Torrens, from Port Adelaide to Tea Tree Gully.

Information here is taken from the Dept of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure Gazetter, The Romance of Place Names of South Australia by Geoffrey H Manning, Place Names of South Australia by R Praite and JC Tolley and What’s in a Name? Nomenclature of South Australia by Rodney Cockburn. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this list, however, there are varying accounts of the history of some suburbs

Found this article useful?
If you have found this information useful, please feel free to share the article on your social media.
Alternatively, if you have any feedback for us on how we can improve, please email us at We would love to hear from you!

Up to Date

Latest News

  • Easy Ways To Help You Save For A Home Loan Deposit

    While it might be the classic dream, owning a comfortable and spacious home doesn’t need to be an unattainable fantasy. Thankfully, there are many ways for first-time buyers to join the property ladder – all it takes is a little discipline and an easy-to-implement plan. Here are some of the best … Read more

    Read Full Post

  • Painting and Decorating Myths, Debunked!

    Don’t let a few old wives’ tales get in the way of completing your dream decorating project with confidence. Start focusing on what you want to do, rather than what you think you should do. To keep you on the right track, we’re dispelling some of painting and decorating’s biggest … Read more

    Read Full Post