Unusually, the name of Flinders was known for many years before its location was ever discovered by those who named it. The name has been in use in English since at least the fifteenth century CE, around four centuries before Europeans ever came here. But they knew what it meant, nonetheless.

Flinders was a location of the mind, a place almost but not quite unimaginably far away, to which one might easily be dispatched by the impact of a cannonball. The items and people hit by those projectiles were almost always blown to Flinders, which may account for its many calcium rich hills.

Flinders was first found, coincidentally, by Matthew Flinders, who recognised it for what it was, but tried very hard to attach another name to it out of modesty. But in the end, his love of naval tradition was simply too strong, and he confessed to a superior officer that he, a Flinders himself, had found this location, so long believed mythical. The Royal Navy wasted little time is trying to build a base there (in the hopes that enemy troops blown to Flinders would thus be easily captured for interrogation, but soon relocated to the more congenial inlet now called HMAS Cerberus. Only a scattering of lighthouses mark the fact that they were ever there, although those too were in observance to naval tradition.

The expression is “blown to” Flinders, after all, not “run aground on” it.

Suburbs near Flinders:

Cape Schanck Boneo Main Ridge Shoreham Western Port Bay
Cape Schanck Flinders Flinders Flinders Western Port Bay
Cape Schanck Bass Strait Bass Strait Bass Strait Bass Strait