Australia is a weird, wild and wonderful place – and its tongue-twisting town names are no exception. From scorching Central Australia to chilly Tasmania, read on to learn how to pronounce these place names that even native Australians struggle to wrap their mouth around.
Deniliquin Ute Muster | © Vzute/Wikimedia Commons
There’s a very simple way to remember how to spell the name of this fashionable inner-city Sydney suburb: cow-toilet-sheep-toilet.
Woolloomooloo | © Alpha/Flickr
This tiny sheep-shearing town smack bang in the centre of New South Wales has a fun name to pronounce, and belongs to a shire with an even better moniker: Bogan, Australian-English for an unrefined gentleman.
Nyngan | © rgifford/Flickr
The minuscule township of 300 people located 1000km north of Adelaide is basically a pink roadhouse surrounded by Mars-like landscape as far as the eye can see.
Oodnadatta | © Kr.afol/Wikimedia Commons
Pronounced: Coo-buh Pee-dee
The opal capital of the world is hardly visible above ground – it’s so hot in Central Australia that most residents live in underground ‘dugouts’ to escape the heat.
Coober Pedy | © Thomas Schoch/Wikimedia Commons
Three hours’ drive inland from Brisbane along the NSW-Queensland border lies a classic country town of 6000 residents, whose name literally means ‘duck poo’ in the local Aboriginal language.
Goondiwindi | © Aussie mobs/Flickr
In the Goulburn Valley 200km north of Melbourne is a tiny town with a great sense of humour: a mural on a water tower welcomes visitors to the world’s smallest sheep station, riffing on the town’s name, pronounced ‘one ewe’.
Wunghnu | © Mattinbgn/Wikimedia Commons
This former railway town not far from Wunghnu is only 400 strong but still organises an annual tractor pull to raise funds for local community groups.
Waaia | © Mattinbgn/Wikimedia Commons
This large town in the Latrobe Valley in eastern Victoria isn’t named after the bartender in the Simpsons or the member of the Three Stooges with a bowl cut – in fact, it’s pronounced altogether differently.
Moe | © David Lackmanson/Flickr
The name of this historic 19th Century village in the Gold Coast Hinterland comes from an Indigenous expression meaning, politely, ‘place of infant’s excrement’.
Mudgeeraba | © State Library of Queensland/Wikimedia Commons
The name of this fishing village in central Tasmania comes from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘frigid’ – that’s a pretty accurate label for a place with a maximum summer temperature that’s colder than Brisbane’s winter climate.
Liawenee | © Peripitus/Wikimedia Commons
An hour north of Perth in Western Australia sits a town whose name sounds like a stuttered drink order.
Gingin | © Orderinchaos/Wikimedia Commons
The only place name in Australia beginning with X owes its name either to philosopher Socrates’ wife, or an Aboriginal word meaning ‘looking for water from a deeper well’, the favoured local explanation.
Xantippe | © Lennix3/Wikimedia Commons