Place Names

South Arm
Descriptive as it is a projecting arm of land. Aboriginal name was Reemere. One undated Admiralty Chart shows Droughty Point as North Arm and also records South Arm.



Early district name for the entire South Arm Peninsula south of Ralphs Bay Neck in the 1820s. This was later changed in the mid-1830s to be part of Clarence Plains. It was named after the Duke of York as part of a ducal theme.


Ralph's Bay
Named Relph’s Bay by Captain John Hayes after his ship’s master Captain William Relph in 1783. Later charts incorrectly spelt it as Ralphs.


River Derwent
Named by Capt. John Hayes April 1783 as he came from the Lakes district in Cumberland and the River Derwent runs through it. French explorer Antoine Bruni D’Entrecasteaux had named it Riviere du Nord in February 1783, only six weeks before Hayes named it.


Storm Bay
Now placed incorrectly, Tasman named an area near the southern entry to d’Entrecastaux Channel as Storm Bay as he was blown out to sea from there before returning to chart Maria Island and the Dunalley region. Capt. Cook correctly located Tasman's Stoorm Bay (Tasman's spelling) as outside the Channel (not the Derwent) but later navigators relocated to its present site outside the Derwent.
Tasman’s ship’s log states:
29 November 1642: ‘We had nearly got into the bay [ie d’Entrecasteaux Channel] when there arose a strong gale that we were obliged to take in sail and to run out to see again under reduced sail, seeing that it was impossible to anchor in such a storm.’ Refer ‘Discovery of Tasmania 1642 (AB Caudell, Government Printer)p 28


Frederic Henry Bay
The present Frederick Henry Bay was incorrectly sited there by Matthew Flinders (probably after reading d’Entrecastaux’ logs as he thought it was the bay that Tasman named in November 1642). However, Tasman named his Frederick Henricx Bay at the present Blackman Bay (including Marion Bay) at Dunalley. Prince Frederick Henry was the Stadtholder (ruler) of the Netherlands in 1642. D’Entrcasteaux named it Baie du Nord (North Bay) in February 1783.


Gellibrand Point
Site of pioneer William Gellibrand’s property known as ‘Arm End’. He built his own vault nearby at Mary Ann Bay.


The Spit
Descriptive point, as it is a sandy spit.


Pigeon Holes
Almost certainly named as a favorite place to hunt bronze-wing pigeons (similar to duck hole or fishing hole).


Mary Ann Bay
Named after the ketch ‘Mary Ann’ that capsized here in 1911 (Wrecks in Tasmanian Waters, Harry O’May) p146.


White Rock Point
Covered in white bird droppings (guano)


Mitchell's Beach
Previously Bushrangers Beach after 9 escaped convicts from Sarah Island (Hells Gates) sheltered here in 1827. They sailed over Ralphs Bay to Mortimers Bay where they robbed Henry Mortimer and widow Elizabeth Watson (mother of John, Thomas, Martha and Hannah) at York Grove. Both were robbed by the escaped convicts on two occasions before they were moved on by Captain John Welsh, Hobart Harbour Master who came down to arrest them. Nevertheless they escaped presumably to Swansea. Refer Colonial Times 29 June 1827 p2. The beach was renamed Mitchell’s Beach after a retired doctor who lived there for many years (John Taylor).

On page 3 of the Colonial Times 29 June 1827, the juvenile spirit of Thomas Watson, who was 11 years old, was reported.

'We have been informed that the runaways when they robbed Mrs Watson at Muddy Plains, took a watch, among other things, which had belonged to the father, and was preserved for the child - the latter (very young) on his return from the bullocks he had been attending, was informed by his mother that his "daddy's watch was taken away by the robbers". The little fellow demanded which way they went, pursued and fell in with the party - "Holloa", says he, "which of you men have got my daddy's watch." One of the gang gave him a gun, and pointing to another man, said "that is him, make him give it to you, or shoot him."
"So I will" said the child, taking the gun, which he could hardly lift and fiercely demanded "his daddy's watch". The men, pleased with his spirit, returned him the watch, for which he thanked them, called them gentlemen, and brought both it and the gun home to his mother in triumph.


Glenvar Beach
The beach was named after a nearby local property owned by Thomas Lloyd Gellibrand. The property is seemingly named after Glenvar, Donegal, Ireland.


Shelly Beach

Icehouse Bluff


Musks Beach, also Musk Road
Pioneer Musk family. Edmund Musk was one of William Gellibrand's 10 convict servants.


Maria Point
Unknown. The first residents here for eight years (c1813-21) were John and Mary McLeod who had a daughter named Maria (1807-61). This may explain the origin of the name. In 1826 she married John Main at the age of 19 and she later died in Victoria. ‘Exiled 3 Times’ (Schaffer & McKay) p8


Dixon Point
After first grantee here John Dixon.


The un-named Mystery Beach AKA Secret Beach
The Hobart Council disposed of their toilet waste by ferrying it to Maria Point to be buried there. People would put any unwanted waste product such as broken crockery into the toilet and it would finish up in the Maria Point trenches. The waste would either get carted away as fertilizer or would get washed away by the tides leaving bottles, jars and broken crockery scattered on the beach. Treasure hunters would come here to salvage some of these hidden treasures.


Mortimer Bay
Named after landowner and whaler Henry William Mortimer [1796-1887] who lived here 1825-39. At one stage the bay was known as Henry William Bay probably named after him or his whaling ship of this name that would have anchored here. He and William Gellibrand had a whaling partnership in the 1830s. According to Alison Alexander p41 the bay had many early names such as South Arm Bay, Cockle Shell Bay, Mortimers Bay and York Bay (Parish of York). The bay frontage of 1,453 acres was initially granted to British baronet Sir George Best Robinson who never came to Tasmania to claim his land. Sir George Best Robinson, 2nd Baronet (14 November 1797 – 1855) was a British colonial administrator who became Chief Superintendent of British trade in China.

Gorringe's Beach
Mortimer’s property was occupied by Charles Francis Gorringe Senior (born 1809) in 1867. He had lived for years at Kempton until the late 1850s. In 1861 he married Elizabeth Susannah Pickering Walker, born 1841. He was 52 and she was 19. After Charles died in 1883, Elizabeth married 1895 in Sydney - Louis Vernon Spurway ATKINSON. She died at Dover, Tasmania in 1947 aged 79 but was buried at Rokeby.

Son of Charles and Elizabeth Gorringe, Lowther Gorringe 1864-1927 and Evelyn Sophia Gorringe 1868-1954 (nee Watson, daughter of John Watson and Amelia Alomes) lived here from the 1890s. Their son 'Horrie' Horace Charles Gorringe 1895-1994 was a well-known football player for the Cananore Football Club 1914-30 and he represented the state several times.

Calverts Beach, to the south of Clifton Beach, is another popular surfing beach located 14 km from Lauderdale. Calverts Beach is adjacent to Hope Beach with Goats Bluff separating the two beaches. The name remembers Christopher Calvert jnr. who leased that part of the land now known as Arm End and lived in the house (built by William Gellibrand) until he retired in 1914. The homestead quickly fell into disrepair, was vandalised and eventually burned down.