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Tasmania's quirky and unusual place names reflect the island's colourful history like Bagdad, Paradise and Promised Land

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Holiday House Holiday house in Doo Town

Quirky Place Names of Tasmania

Tasmania's quirky and unusual place names reflect the island's colourful history. Here a just a few.


The small rural community of Bagdad, 40 km north of Hobart, was bombarded by confused web users in 2003, after the Iraqi invasion began. Messages of sympathy and support were sent to the town's Online Access Centre from around the world. Whereas the besieged Iraqi city of Baghdad is home to around  5 million people, the population of the town is just 650.

Bay of Fires

In the far north-east, the Bay of Fires was named by Captain Tobias Furneaux in 1773 upon seeing the blaze of Aboriginal fires burning along the shore.

Bust-Me-Gall Hill and Break-Me-Neck Hill

Situated on the road from Hobart to Orford, the precise derivation of these two names is not known for certain, however, early east coast settlers and travellers with their bullock drays laden with supplies had great difficulty in negotiating the two steep sections of road.

D'Entrecasteaux Channel

This area was named after French Rear Admiral Bruni d'Entrecasteaux, surveyor of much of south-eastern Tasmania in 1792.

Doo Town

Just passed Eaglehawk Neck, in the Tasman National Park is the holiday village of Doo Town. The homes have all been named in the 'Doo' theme: Gunadoo, Doodle Doo, Love Me Doo, Doo Us, Doo Me, Doo Nix, Wee Doo, Xanadu, Rum Doo and the house which reputedly started it all, Doo Little - a suitable name  for a holiday home. There is one dissenting house in the town, daringly named Medhurst.

Elephant Pass

Named after Mount Elephant, which is said to look like the silhouette of the animal.

Hell's Gates

Popular belief has it that this name refers to the fact that the entrance to Macquarie Harbour can be treacherous. In fact, it was named Hell's Gates because of the hellish conditions of the penal colony in the harbour.


Paradise, in north-west Tasmania, was named by its first white settlers who were devout Calvinists. The original name was Reuben Austen's Paradise, after one of the settlers who remarked upon seeing the sun glistening on the picturesque mountain vista, "This is Paradise."


This pretty seaside town overlooking Bass Strait was named by the distinguished botanist Robert Campbell Gunn after – unsurprisingly - the fairy penguins that still inhabit the local coastline.

Promised Land

Named by early settlers because of its promise of a better life, the area is today home of Tasmania's International Rowing Course at Lake Barrington.


South along the Channel Highway from Hobart lies the adorably named town of Snug. Proclaimed a town in 1908, the name is believed to have come from sailors who found 'snug' anchorage for their ships in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.

And more

Daisy Bell, Egg and Bacon Bay, Flowerpot, Jetsonville, Milkshake Hills, Nook, Nowhere Else, Needles, Ouse, Squeaking Point, and Tomahawk… and many more to discover.