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 Local place names 

Collected By G.E. England [not dated]

[Electronic version of original hardcopy]


The word Coff is a corruption of Korff. John Korff, a shipbuilder and Insurance Surveyor for Lloyds, is said to have called at our harbour when a storm prevented his ship "The Brothers" entering the Bellinger River (perhaps about 1847). He reported the harbour gave a safe shelter in a southerly gale and for some years it was known as Korff's Harbour. In 1861 a reserve was set aside for a village and the port called Coffs Harbour.
The aborigines called the harbour Gitten Mirra. This means "Big Moon" for the full moon seemed to rise out of the waters breaking over a reef of rocks now under the northern wall.
The southern end of the harbour where there was a camp was called Corambirra (Red Oaks).


Bo-wamba meant to hit and was used as a hunting call as the tribes drove kangaroos, wallabies and paddymelons into Boambee or Bonville creeks. They called "Boamba" as they struck the ground with a stick to scare the animals. Boamba, Boambi, Boambie and finally the school was called Boambee and the name became official.


Bongil Bongil meant a place where one stayed a long time. This was because of the abundance of food to be found there. W.E. Bayldon, the first selector in the area, 1872, called it Bonville.


Named after Mr Oswald Sawtell who subdivided the land to form the township.


Names of villages in England. (Pronounced Rah-ley in England)


A long beach. This stretched from Bonville to Hungry Head.


When food ran out the early settlers used to go to this point, where the Bellinger then entered the sea, to wait for supplies brought in by small ships.


Possibly from Billingin or Belleegin meaning a "cheeky fellow" or "one who talks too much". Bellinger may be a corruption, as the old letter "r" could be taken for the letter "n" if badly written or it may have been named after Bellinger, a village in Hampshire.


A bendy stream.


Originally called Nambucca but confused with Nambucca Heads, so named Macksville because there were several families whose names began with "Mac" living there.


Named by the Singleton family after a village in central Ireland to which their family had fled after the Rising of Bonnie Prince Charlie had failed.


Originally Korora. "Where the waves make a loud noise." To avoid confusion with Karara in Queensland, the PMG Department altered the name to Kororo.


Originally Moonee Moonee from Munee, a "small wallaby" or "paddymelon" which was found in great numbers there. By repeating a word the aborigine meant many or very large numbers. So Moonee Moonee meant "many paddymelons". The northern end of Moonee Beach was a popular camping ground for visitors from the inland in winter. It was here, too, that Ulitarra, the original aborigine and later the god of the Kumbaingeri tribe, landed when he first arrived.


From Bucca Bucca. Bucca meant bendy and the aboriginal name meant "very bendy" - an apt description of Bucca creek.


At Kororo, is possibly a mis-spelling of "Copps", which was in turn a mis-spelling of Coffs. It appears in shipping records 1879-80.


Named after a captain of a small ship which used to load cedar from Korora Basin in the calm waters of the bay.


After Donald Macauley (an American?) who lived in a house on that headland. It was propped up with stout poles to prevent being blown away in gales.


Named after Michael Bruxner MLA, Minister for Forests.


Upper Bucca. In the village at the Beacon Mines the 400 inhabitants appointed a committee to keep order in the little community. All arguments had to be settled on Sunday morning at 10 o'clock on a cleared space called the Convincing Ground.


From the native name of the wild duck. Surveyor Small disturbed some of them when getting water from the creek. His aboriginal guides called out "Karangi" and Small wrote the name on to his map.


Means a sight of the sea and was first applied to the mountain where now stands the radio telephone tower. Pioneer Rudder, who selected his farm at the foot of the mountain, called his home "Coramba" and later the Post Office in his home was called Coramba. Later when the Post Office was moved to the new village the name of the Post Office was taken to the village.


NA-NA was a small lizard found in the hills in this area.


Where the perch lives. Many perch, Murray cod and eels were found in this stream.


The Scottish glen from which some of the early settlers of this area came.


The Scottish homeland glen of the McFadden-McFadgen clan. They were pioneers in this branch of the Bellinger river.


Until recently Don Dorrigo, from Don Durrigo, a tallowwood tree.


Until 1966 the official name was Woogoolga. (So gazetted in 1887). From Wee-gull-ga, a native plum plant bearing oblong berries about the size of one's thumb. Purple when ripe. Picked just before ripe the berries were cooked in a pit in which stones had been heated. Clumps of these trees grew between the lake and the shore.


From Bendagen or Bemdagen meaning a good camp. Rainmaking ceremonies were held here. Capera grounds nearby. A magic woman lives out on the reefs and is sometimes seen among the trees like a mist.


(Upper Orara) Friday was a member of the aboriginal tribe which lived at Yellow Rock. He frequently took his hunters to this area to hunt.


The name came from the yellowish rocks which jut out into the back stream linking the North and South Arms of the Bellinger.


A branch of Bonville Creek. Large stands of Colonial/Dorrigo Pine grew here.


(Kororo) From the fine stands of pine which grew here along with cedar.


Additional entry - not a part of G.E. England's original document, but added later by unknown source:
ARRAWARRA Also spelt YARRAWARRA : a social gathering near water
Coffs Harbour City Council