Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

Can you help me choose a name for my outback station?


The novel I’m working on at the moment, which will hopefully be finished by mid-October, is about a girl from an outback station in New South Wales, and a road trip. I’ve had no trouble finding names for my characters but the perfect name for the station hasn’t yet revealed itself. I like Indigenous names; lots of places in Australia have them and it’s one of the things that makes our country unique. I also, though, want a name that’s simple and memorable; it might form part of the title and I don’t want it to be too hard for people to pronounce. I have a few contenders listed below, as well as their meanings, and I’d appreciate input from as many of you as possible–which is your preference?

 Allawah (home)

Jillong (land)

Tanderra (resting place)

Tandara (camp)

Warill (lonely track)

Wadarie (where)

Wahroonga (our home)

Kunari (flat country)

Carinyah (happy home)

Cooindah (happy place)

Gooyong (camp)

Gunyah (shelter)

Lambruk (homestead)

Lara (hut on stony ground)

Lumeah (here I rest)

Mirang (camp)

Quamby (camp)

Nurragi (south country)

Neerea (rest)

I have a few freebies this weekend; Demented Mothers, which is a thesis on the subject of Infanticide and Child Murder, is free on August 24th, (USA time) one day only. Her Flesh and Blood, fiction inspired by a murder case in 1910, is free at Amazon on the 23rd and 24th August and Dark Innocence, fiction with an element of the supernatural, is free from August 23 to 27. Why not grab all three and read them at your leisure? Reviews would be appreciated.

For UK readers: Demented MothersHer Flesh and BloodDark Innocence.







Author: cmsgardnerblog

I'm a writer of fiction and non-fiction, for teens and adults. I live in Central Victoria, Australia and my books are available at

43 thoughts on “Can you help me choose a name for my outback station?

  1. What is the story about; what emotions does it bring out from the reader? There is one i like from the list, but i want to choose after you reply. It’s really cool you are doing this!

    • Apologies for taking so long to reply–somehow a few posts got lost and I just figured that out. Chris, it is basically a romance and the main feeling about the property is that it’s home. Can’t really say any more but I have decided on Karinya, which is a deliberate misspelling of Carinyah because I found there is a station in NSW with that name.

  2. Indigenous names will probably work well for Oz but if you are going to try and sell worldwide you may wish to reconsider. Perhaps combine a native word with an English one. Or use something like “Rainbow’s End”

  3. On reading your request for help, the first name that popped into my head was Wongaroo, a made up name that camne from I know not where, but it is so like your Wahroonga, I would have to choose that. And it means home!

  4. A lot depends on the atmosphere at the station and the sort of people who live or visit there. Tanderra gets my vote, as it sounds evocative (even in translation!).

  5. I like Tandara, it has a nice sound and rolls smoothly off the tongue without being over the top Ozzie.

  6. I just love Nurragi. please use it – I can almost visualise the little girl that goes with it. And meaning South Country – it shows she has a long way to go – but what a journey it will be…

  7. Hi Chris,

    I like “Tanderra” and “Tandara” as I think they have a catchy ring to them and are easy to pronounce. Tandara is probably my favorite. Make a great title too.

    All the best,


  8. “Jillong” struck me when I first read your choices. “Wahroonga” my 2. choice because it sounds so “Australian”.

  9. Station Lara … All the best … Lee ;0)

  10. I like Jillong chris sounds authentically australian

  11. Without knowing the significance of the station to the character (is it a happy place? a place she wants to escape?), I like: 1. Tanderra 2. Lumeah 3. Kunari.

  12. I like Tanderra and Lambruk for their meaning, though of course I don’t know what the ‘feel’ of your book will be. Both of those names are easily pronounced and have a nice lilt to them. They also connect to Australia without feeling too different on the tongue of a non-native.

  13. Hi Chris, I had a similar situation not too long ago. I was thinking about a town in the old West. Well lo and behold a name popped into my head and it stuck. Go with your heart and it will come to you. All the best, Jim.

  14. I think Tanderra (resting place) is a lovely name that’s easy to pronounce and remember. It also reminds me of Latin terra for earth.

  15. I don’t have enough information to really nail something so here is an alternative idea. Something humorous that also might be making a statement about how hot it is outside… or about local attitudes towards visitors. The “Go Back Inn”. It’s memorable and would make the reader stop and think about it. Not knowing what the attitude of the locals is in the book, though, it may not be appropriate.

  16. I like Jillong. It feels peaceful and expansive.

  17. Station Lara. But I must admit it has a strong european and literary connection (Pasternak).

  18. Yes, it does and it is nice but doesn’t seem to work on its own. Lara Station sounds fine but I realize now I prefer a name that works on its own (without the word station). Thanks Arturo.

  19. I like Lambruk; it’s easy to remember as a place for lambs and a little running brook running through the land, though Tanderra is musical.

  20. I had a similar problem when I wrote my novel set in 19th century pioneering Australia, I ended up using the main characters family name, Noble and added Place, (Noble Place) it worked well and suited the book so it became the title.
    God luck!

  21. In reading your list, the three syllable names seem to have the best feel. Not knowing more about the plot, it’s hard to tell which inner meaning would resonate the best. Personally, I like using names and titles that have intrinsic meanings, even if only a handful of readers are ever aware of them.

    • I have decided on a three syllable name, Andrew, Carinyah, which means happy home. I’ve changed the spelling though, since I found out there actually is a station in New South Wales called Carinyah. Mine’s Karinya.

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