Friday, April 23, 2010

Minne Ha Ha Falls

Three words or one? e or i or ie? No one seems to know. To make it worse, there is one in NSW too. Such a whimsical name, don't you think?

I'll go with Minne Ha Ha Falls. Cazzie suggested it might be interesting to look at. While I think I have been there, I was struggling to find it on a map until I worked out that the falls were at a place called Hiawatha!

What is with these American Indian names? Surely when these places were named, average Australiaman/woman would not know about Indians. And why use Indian names?

Minne Ha Ha is not exactly Niagara Falls, but let us just say it a sweet little waterfall full of crystal clear water from Victoria's Strzelecki Rangers. Well, crystal clear if it is not polluted by a certain species of eucalypt favoured for plantation timber. I understand the same species is grown in the Strzeleckis.

Photo by tristinkee at Panoramio. Map below.

View Larger Map


  1. Hi Andrew?

    Why would average Austaliaman/woman know about Hiawatha and Minnehaha?

    I'm guessing Longfellow's 1855 poem, The Song of Hiawatha might have something to do with it.


    Prof Pants

  2. Yep.
    Says so HERE Hiawatha was originally named Fairview, then adopted the name Hiawatha from a nearby property which was named after Longfellow's poem.

  3. Prof Pants, why a question mark after my name? It is really me.

    Now you mention it, I do recall the poem, or the title at least. Funny, I never knew Longfellow was American. Now, which poem did I have to study? Paul Revere's Ride? And I did not know he was American. So long ago.

    Jayne, reckon I spent half an hour looking for the origin of name. I did even look at Yarram's hysterical society. Well done.

  4. Anonymous1:36 am

    Wow, thanks Andrewm, now I know where it is. Off the Sth Gippy Highway... well, I wonder if my Pathfinder can get to it. Might have to go for a trek with the kids and hubby :)

  5. I have been to most of these places. Does your country not have place names based an native people's language?

    Alaska - Great Country
    Allegheny - Fairest River
    Appalachian - Appalachee Indians
    Appomattox - Tobacco Country
    Canada - Collection Of Wigwams
    Cashocton - Habitat Of Owls
    Chattanooga - Eagles Nest
    Chautauqua - Foggy Place
    Chesapeake - Salty Pond
    Chicago - Wild Onions
    Chickamauga - River Of Death
    Chillicthe - Town Or Village
    Kaibab - On The Mountain
    Kalamazoo - Otter's Trail
    Kenosha - Long Fish, "Pike"
    Keokuk - Watchful Fox
    Kokomo - Black Walnut
    Lackawanna - Streams That Fork
    Lycoming - Sandy Stream
    Mackinac - Turtle Island
    Mankato - Green Earth
    Merrimac - Swift Stream
    Milwaukee - Rich Land
    Mississinewa - Water On A Slope
    Muncie - Strong Place
    Muskegon - Plenty Of Fish
    Muskingun - Moose-Eye River
    Nantucket - Far Away
    Natchez - Hurrying People
    Niagara - Thundering Water
    Okeechobee - Grassy Lake
    Omaha - Up Stream
    Oshkosh - Claws Or Scratches
    Ottawa - Trade Or Exchange
    Passaic - Peace Valley
    Penobscot - Rocky Place
    Pensacola - Hairy People
    Peoria - Place Of Fat Beats
    Potomac - Burning Pines
    Rappahannock - Quick Rising River
    Rearearge - High Place
    Roanoke - Shell Or Shells
    Saginaw - Pouring Out At Mouth
    Saratoga - Sparkling Place
    Saskatchewan - Swift River
    Savannah - Grassy Plain
    Schuglkill - Hidden Creek
    Scioto - Hairs In River
    Shawnee - Southerners
    Shenanoah - Hillside Stream
    Suequehanna - Pure Water
    Suwannee - Echo River
    Tacoma - Big Snow Mountain
    Tallahassee - Old Town
    Tecumseh - Shooting Star
    Tippecanoe - Buffalo Fish
    Topeka - Potato Country
    Toronto - Meeting Place
    Tucson - Black Base
    Tuscaloosa - Black Warrior
    Wabash - White, Flat Rocks
    Walla Walla - Many Waters
    Wasatch - Beautiful

  6. Very beautiful area Cazzie. Well worth seeing and quite different to the west.

    Stephen, we do have lots of our own Aboriginal place names. A couple within a short distance from home, old names Toorak, Prahran and then there are more newly named places such as Wurundjeri and Birrarung Marr. (I had to cut and paste those two)

    I had no idea so many American names were of Indian origin. Canada, Alaska, Chicago. Is Savannah really Indian? I always associated it with Africa.

  7. Anonymous12:28 pm

    I been there!! - was New Years Day, 3 years ago. Seemed like hundreds of people camping there, huge amounts of empty alcohol containers littered all over the place, one very small toilet block for all those people. Your photo is bucolic compared to what I saw....but it is a lovely part of the world, we were staying at a caravan park nearby, was for dogs (owners allowed to stay with them if well behaved) - was green, the whole area, think they got 3 cuts of hay that year, Tara Valley ......the rest of the state was/is blowtorched brown and dry.

  8. Some places can go crazy on NYE Michael. Nevertheless, pity about the rubbish. 'Tis a very damp part of Victoria but even there suffered very low rainfall.

  9. Anonymous7:58 pm

    Cazzie, I live just up the road from the falls and I get there easily in my 2wd sedan, your pathfinder will be fine. And a work of warning...pick a hot day to go the water is ice cold yet very refreshing at the same time. It's well worth a visit.

    1. Pat adams11:38 am

      Hey i lived at Hiawatha for one year didn't won't to move


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