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German Placenames in Australia

German Placenames in South Australia

(See also: German background of the name "Adelaide")

(Photo © D. Nutting) road signIn 1914 there were many German placenames in Australia, particularly in the state of South Australia (where there were at least 69 German placenames). In 1917 (during the First World War) the government of South Australia changed 69 German placenames and names of geographical features. Some of the new names were taken from Aboriginal languages, and some were names of battles or of generals in the war in Europe (for example: Verdun, Mt Kitchener). Most of the German names have disappeared - not many were later reinstated. 76% of the name changes carried out in Australia during the war occurred in South Australia. South Australia's population also included a greater number of Germans and Australians of German descent than any other state.

An extract from the report of the nomenclature committee of the South Australian Government in 1916 on enemy place names:

…the time has now arrived when the names of all towns and districts in South Australia which indicate a foreign enemy origin should be altered, and that such places should be designated by names either of British origin or South Australian native origin… We find, from a careful examination of the official records, that there are on the map of South Australia at least 67 geographical place names of enemy origin, ranging from an important centre like Petersburg to trigonometrical stations and obscure hills in the remote interior. There may be a few not officially recorded which have escaped our notice.

List of German names of places and landscape features in South Australia, with new names.

* = original name restored in 1935

+ = original name restored in 1975

"Hundred" = old administrative term, meaning district

German Name New Name German Name New Name
Bartsch’s Creek >> YEDLAKOO CREEK Basedow, Hundred of >> HUNDRED OF FRENCH
Cape Bauer (Y) >> CAPE WONDOMA Berlin Rock >> PANPANDIE ROCK
Bethanien >> BETHANY Bismarck >> WEEROOPA
Blumberg >> BIRDWOOD Blumenthal >> LAKKARI
Buchfelde (Y) >> LOOS Carlsruhe >> KUNDEN
Ehrenbreitstein >> MT. YERILA Ferdinand Creek >> ERNABELLA CREEK
Mt. Ferdinand >> MT. WARRABILLINNA Friedrichstadt >> TANGARI
Friedrichswalde >> TARNMA Gebhardt’s Hill >> POLYGON RIDGE
German Creek >> BENARE CREEK German Pass >> TAPPA PASS
Germantown Hill >> VIMY RIDGE Gottlieb’s Well >> PARNGGI WELL
Grunberg + >> KARALTA Grunthal >> VERDUN
Hahndorf * >> AMBLESIDE Hasse’s Mound >> LARELAR MOUND
Heidelberg >> KOBANDILLA Herrgott Springs >> MARREE
Hildesheim >> PUNTHARI Hoffnungsthal + >> KARAWIRIRA
Homburg, Hundred of >> HUNDRED OF HAIG Jaenschtown >> KERKANYA
Kaiserstuhl + >> MT. KITCHENER Klaebes >> KILTO
Klemzig * >> GAZA Krawe Rock >> MARTI ROCK
Krichauff, Hundred of >> HUNDRED OF BEATTY Krichauff >> BEATTY
Kronsdorf + >> KABMINYE Langdorf >> KALDUKEE
Langmeil + >> BILYARA Lobethal * >> TWEEDVALE
Mt. Meyer >> MT. KAUTO Muller’s Hill >> YANDINA HILL
Neudorf >> MAMBURDI Neukirch + >> DIMCHURCH
New Hamburg >> WILLYAROO New Mecklenburg >> GOMERSAL
Oliventhal >> OLIVEDALE Paech, Hundred of >> HUNDRED OF CANNA WIGRA
Petersburg >> PETERBOROUGH Pflaum, Hundred of >> HUNDRED OF GEEGEELA
Rhine Park >> KONGOLIA Rhine Hill >> MONS
Rhine River North >> THE SOMME Rhine River South >> THE MARNE
Rhine (North), Hundred of >> HUNDRED OF JELLICOE Rhine (South), Hundred of >> HUNDRED OF JUTLAND
Rhine Villa >> CAMBRAI Rosenthal >> ROSEDALE
Scherk, Hundred of >> HUNDRED OF STURDEE Schoenthal >> BOONOALA
Schomburgk, Hundred of >> HUNDRED OF MAUDE Seppelts >> DORRIEN
Schreiberhau + >> WARRE Siegersdorf + >> BULTAWILTA
Steinfeld >> STONEFIELD Summerfeldt >> SUMMERFIELD
Vogelsang’s Corner >> TEERKOORE Von Doussa, Hundred of >> HUNDRED OF ALLENBY
Wusser’s Nob >> KARUN NOB

In the southeast of South Australia is a locality named German Flat (south of Millicent).

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German Australia © D. Nutting 2001