Place Names Committee

Darwin City

Greater Darwin Area | Darwin City | Hundred
The three Palmerstons | from Palmerston to Darwin
Centre of Australia


Darwin City Roads and Parks

A guide to the origin of the name of roads and parks in the Darwin City.

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Darwin CBD


Atkinson Walk

Named after Carl Atkinson who took up a lease for the purpose of ship maintenance and storage at Doctors Gully in the early 1950's. A renowned deep sea diver and engineer he designed and built his own decompression chamber which saved the lives of a number of divers over the years. He also fed a large school of milkfish which came regularly to the inlet of Doctors Gully on high tide. The area is now a popular tourist destination. He died on the Gold Coast in 1985.

Austin Lane

Named after Frederick Steeple (Sunny) Austin who was an Insurance and General Agent in Darwin for 30 years. He died in 1960.

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Bennett Park

Named after J W O Bennett, a Draftsman who was killed by natives at Fred's Pass. His body was interred on the top of Fort Hill, and a monument erected there. Speared between hours 12 and 1 pm on Monday, 24th May, 1869. Died 10am Friday, 28th May. He was taken by wagon to Elizabeth River landing and then by boat to Fort Hill where he was buried at 2.30 pm on Saturday 29th May. The name was applied by Surveyor General Goyder in 1869.

Bennett Street

Named after J WO Bennett, a Draftsman who was killed by natives at Fred's Pass. His body was interred on the top of Fort Hill, and a monument erected there. Speared between hours 12 and 1 pm on Monday, 24th May, 1869. Died 10am Friday, 28th May. He was taken by wagon to Elizabeth River landing and then by boat to Fort Hill where he was buried at 2.30 pm on Saturday 29th May. The name was applied by Surveyor General Goyder in 1869.



Bicentennial Park

Named for Australia's Bicentenary.

Briggs Street

Named after Arthur A Briggs, Staff Surveyor in the NT 1913-1915, who affected extensive surveys between Darwin and Newcastle Waters.

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Cavenagh Street

Wentworth CavenaghNamed by Surveyor Goyder in 1869, after Hon Wentworth Cavenagh-Mainwaring, (1822-1895) (farmer, land agent and MP) who was Commissioner of Crown Lands, under Mr [Henry] Strangways, from November 1868 to May 1870 at the time. Cavenagh, born 1822 at Hythe in Kent and arriving in SA from Victoria in 1854 was a member for Yatala in the Assembly of South Australia from 1863 to 1881. He was also Commissioner of Public Works in the [Sir Henry] Ayers Government from March 1872 to July 1873. In 1887 he received permission to bear the title Honourable. Having married Ellen, daughter of George Mainwaring, who on the death of her brother in 1891, became entitled to the Whitmore Hall estate in Staffordshire, he assumed the additional name of Mainwaring. Cavenagh departed for England in 1892 and died there in 1895.

Chapel Lane

Named after a "Chapel" which is an old term describing a printing office. A meeting of the chapel is a gathering of the members of a union involved in the printing and publishing business. The name commemorates the NT News occupation of a nearby site from mid-1960 until 1968.

Church Lane

Named because of its proximity to Christ Church, Darwin.

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Daly Street

Daniel Dominick DalyNamed after Daniel Dominick Daly (the nephew of the Governor of SA, Sir Dominic Daly) who was a surveyor with G G McLachlan's No. 6 Party with Goyder's Expedition of 1869. Mr Daly afterwards married Harriet Douglas, the daughter of Captain Douglas, who was the first officially appointed Government Resident at old Palmerston (Darwin). He relieved Dr Millner who had been acting in that capacity.



Damoe-ra Park

Larrakia name for'eye'or'spring', and is the name of a nearby registered site, sacred to the women of that tribe.

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Edmunds Street

Named after R H Edmunds who was a prominent surveyor connected with NT surveys and explorations. He was with Finniss at Adam Bay and Escape Cliffs in 1864-5. Esplanade Appeared on Goyder's plan of old Palmerston (Darwin) fronting the Darwin harbour foreshore ('Public Esplanade').

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Foelsche Street

Named after Paul Heinrich Matthias Foelsche who was the Inspector in Charge in the NT Police Force 1870-1904. He was widely known for his earliest photographs of Darwin. Foelsche died in 1914 aged 83.

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Gardiner Street

Named after Waiter Gardiner, first white child born at Palmerston (now Darwin) in 1869.

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Knuckey Street

Richard Randall KnuckeyNamed after Richard Randall Knuckey, one of the many surveyors whose names were perpetuated in Darwin (Palmerston) streets by George W. Goyder on his 1869 survey expedition to the Northern Territory. Knuckey arrived in South Australia in 1849 from Cornwall, England. At an early age he joined the Survey Department as a chainman and was later appointed Cadet Surveyor. In 1868 he was engaged by Goyder as a Second Class Surveyor for his survey expedition which arrived in Port Darwin on 5 February 1869. Knuckey was with A J Mitchell's No. 1 party during the survey. Following the survey work Knuckey was appointed Overseer of Section A (Charlotte Waters) of the Overland Telegraph Line construction party. He remained with the Telegraph Department until he retired in 1889. Knuckey died in 1914 in Adelaide.

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Liberty Square

Named after the site of the "Darwin Rebellion" of 17th December 1918, and named by the Darwin Town Council in June 1919.

Lindsay Street

After David Lindsay, born 1854. Noted NT Surveyor and explorer from 1878 to 1916. He died in 1922.

Litchfield Street

Frederick Henry LitchfieldNamed after Frederick Henry Litchfield, explorer and Special Constable, old Palmerston NT with Finniss' survey party 1864/5. Found first gold at Tumbling Waters in 1868.




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G G MacLachlanMcLachlan Street

Named after G G MacLachlan, a 1st Class Surveyor in charge of No. 6 Party, Goyder's expedition, 1869. A JP, he died of disease of the lungs in March, 1873, at Port Darwin. Flags were flown at half mast.


McMinn Street

Gilbert McMinnNamed after Gilbert Rotherdale McMinn, a 1st class Surveyor in charge of the No. 4 Survey Party in the Goyder expedition to establish Palmerston (now Darwin) in 1869 and later in charge of surveying the Central Sections of the Overland Telegraph Line. McMinn was later to be appointed Government Resident of the Northern Territory. He held freehold sections in the Darwin Rural area. His wife, Anna, is buried in the old Palmerston Cemetery.



Mitchell Street

Named after A J Mitchell, leading Surveyor in charge of No. 1 Party and second in command of Goyder's Expedition of 1869. The name Mitchell Street West was adopted by the Committee in 1954 in lieu of McKay Street. Mitchell Street West became just Mitchell St.

Mott Court

Named after John W Mott, Staff Surveyor NT 1913-15. Effected extensive surveys between Roper River and north coast. He established an accurate longitude fix at Katherine, this being the first in the locality. Originally named Mott Street in 1955.

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Nuttall Place

Named after Wilfred Nuttall, Works Supervisor under W West and later successor in office until his retirement in 1955. He was with the Works Deptartment for 28 years and died in 1960.

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Dr PeelPeel Street

Named after Dr Peel, Surgeon with Goyder's Expedition, 1869.



Poinciana Park

Named after Delonix regia, the flamboyant Poinciana tree. The Poinciana was originally from Madagascar, and it is regarded as one of the worlds most spectacular flowering trees, with its large, slightly fragrant, red to orange-red blossoms.

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Raintree Park

Named after the shady raintrees growing in this park.

Reg Leydin Place

Named after Reginald (Reg) Sylvester Leydin who was a member of the first Administration. He was later appointed Town Clerk under Mayor Watts in 1928 and following the War became Government Secretary and Member for the legislative Council in 1948. He also acted as Administrator in 1954.

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Sandover Lane

Named after the business firm of post-war Darwin, Millar and Sandover, which originated in Western Australia.

Searcy Street

After Alfred Searcy, Sub Collector for SA Customs 1883-1896 with headquarters at old Palmerston. Author of "In the Australian Tropics" and "In Northern Seas".

Shadforth Lane

Named after Ernest Henry Shadforth, Water Supply Supervisor in Works Department before and after World War II. Enlisted from Darwin in 1939 and saw service in the Middle East. His father originally owned Springvale at Katherine. Mr. Shadforth died in 1961.

Shepherd Street

Named after Frank Shepherd, a Government Surveyor, who was responsible for many surveys in the Territory. He was Surveyor General of the Territory from 1932-1938.

Smith Street

A H SmithNamed after A H Smith, 1st Class Surveyor in charge of No. 3 Party in G W Goyder's Expedition of 1869. (Previously known as Smith St West prior to 1 July 1970 and prior to 1954 - Beetson Street).



Spain Place

Named after Antonio Spain, an old identity of Darwin who came from Thursday Island in 1894. He was a diver and later a hairdresser and his son Felix who was born on 21st February 1893 carried on the hairdressing business until his death.

Stott Lane

Named after the late Gordon Cameron Heaslop Stott, a Northern Territory Policeman who served for 41 years from 1924 until his death in 1965.

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Tamarind Park

Named after a tree introduced into the NT from Africa and India by the Macassans. An evergreen which has dark brown fibrous seed pods and is a laxative and thirst quencher.

The Mall

Formally Smith Street and sometimes incorrectly named 'Smith Street Mall'. Name generally given to a pedestrian precinct.

Turncock Place

Named after the late Robert (Bob) Sidney Parker. Bob Parker joined the NT Public Works Department in 1918 and in 1924 purchased a block of land overlooking Doctors Gully. During the war he was part of the essential services team engaged in the provision and maintenance of the Darwin water supply. For security reasons both Bob Parker and his home carried the code name Turncock. This name has been commemorated in the area where the Parker residence was once situated. Bob Parker was awarded the BEM in 1961 for meritorious service after 42 continuous years in Government employment in the Northern Territory. He died in 1974.

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West Lane

Named after William West, Chief Supervisor of Public Works 1925 to 1942. Travelled extensively over North Australia in the course of duty. He died about 1955.

Whitfield Street

Named after W M Whitfield, the first Town Clerk for the first District Council of old Palmerston in 1874. Originally the street was known as Whitefield Street but when this was found to be incorrect the name was changed to Whitfield Street.

Woods Street

Named after A T Woods, 1st Class Surveyor in charge of No. 2 Party, on G W Goyder's expedition of 1869.

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Yuen Place

Named after Yuen Yet Hing (better known as Yuen Yet Leong) who arrived in Darwin in 1886 and died in Darwin in 1916. He owned land in Cavenagh Street and traded under the name Yet Leong and Company.