Australian Place Name Pronunciations

Ever came across an Australian location that was pronounced differently to what you thought?

Well, HERE is the place to list them…

Here’s a few that caught me out

Ardlethan (NSW) - correctly pronounced "Ard-leth-en"
Breadalbane (NSW) - "Bread-dole-bin"
Barcaldine (QLD) - "Bar-cauld-din"
Cohuna (VIC) - "Khuna"
Goonoo Goonoo (NSW) - "Gunna gah noo"
Launceston (TAS) - " Lon-cess-ton"
Towradgi (NSW) - “Toe-rod-gee”

Which ones have caught you out?

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Canowindra ca-NOW-n-dra


Yes, I used to think that was “Can-no-wind-dra” when I was a kid :grinning:

What about the i :slight_smile:

Can-no-wind-dra will win out eventually.

The only one I can think of is Cowan (NSW) Cow-Ann

A couple of years ago, I thought the Victorian town of Bairnsdale was pronounced as “Barnsdale”.

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This one always used to get me.

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Just listen to Tim Lane.

Corrected me many years ago.

Off topic, but please for Tim, put a footy team in Tassie!

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A TV transmitter site, in Western NSW;

Mt Cenn Cruaich (which I believe to be “Sen Crew-itch”).

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One of my favourites the town Colac Colac in north east Victoria. Now there’s a city in south west Victoria, Colac . Confusing enough for cartographic enthusiasts you’d think. But let’s pronounce them, the city is pretty easy, COL-AC, the town well of course, that’s Clack Clack!

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Though I’m sure I’ve heard it incorrectly pronounced as “Col-lick” (West Vic one).

Another one I should have included earlier

Biloela (QLD) - correctly pronounced as “Bill-oh-eel-lah”.

Stawell in western Victoria is correctly pronounced as “Stall” but for many years I thought the second syllable (well) was pronounced too.


We holidayed there in 1988. The following weekend there was we were watch Seven News when Peter Mitchell pronounced it as “Staywell”, the family had a giggle.

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I think that pronunciation was made most famous by Juan Antonio Samaranch when he said that one sentence in Monte Carlo which would forever change a city (and a state/nation) on the morning of 24/9/1993! :slight_smile:


Biloela is another one that I always struggled with, although I thought it was “Bill-o-la”… did I have it wrong?

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I heard it on a TV travel show (not sure which one).

I also remember them saying the locals called it “Billo” for short.

As if. More likely that the spelling will change

But then again, seeing how British place names have survived for centuries without being changed to phonetic spelling, maybe not. And some of these place names have been reused in Australia for suburb, town and street names.

Greenwich GREN-ich
Chiswick CHIZ-ick
Woolwich WOOL-ich
Gloucester GLOSS-ter

Leicester LESS-ter
Creswick CREZ-ick


Lucknow, outside of Orange NSW is pronounced:
Luck-NO not Luck-NOW as even most locals pronounce it.

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There are a few of those.

Mackay Mack- EYE but now even some locals say Mack-AY
Cairns CAIR-ns but now often CANNS

Forster is FOSS-ter

Albury is always ALL-burr-y
Albany is always AL-bahny


Albany in WA always thru me as we have a suburb in Brisbane called Albany Creek and we prounce it All-ban-ee Creek

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