Naming the Flinders Ranges

  • Most of the European names of places in the Flinders Ranges were given by early explorers and surveyors.
  • Aboriginal names have been kept in more places here than in most other parts of Australia.
  • Matthew Flinders and the crew of the Investigator were the first Europeans to approach and identify what we call the Flinders Ranges in 1802. Flinders anchored his ship in Spencer Gulf, near today’s  Port Augusta.
  • He sent botanist Robert Brown, with artists Bauer and Westall and others, to climb the highest peak they could see.
  • Flinders named this peak Mount Brown. He also named Mount Arden.
  • He didn’t name the ranges, but referred to them as a ‘rugged chain of mountains’. Naming the Range itself was left to Governor Gawler in 1839, three years after the colony of South Australia was established.