A largely undeveloped region located inland from Frankston, Skye’s name would seem to relate it to the Isle of Skye in Scotland and its attendant etymological tangle (no one is sure whether than name derives from the Celtic Skitis, the Roman Sketis, or the Norse Skuyo). And given the area’s early settlement by Scottish settlers, one might think that they had named it for their remembered homeland. One would be wrong – the Isle of Skye is rocky, hilly, and its coastline deeply notched – Skye is flat, largely free of rocks and several miles inland. Another possibility is that the name derives from the failed Norse colony at nearby Bangholme, but given that Skuyo means “misty isle”, this too seems unlikely, due to a lack of mists and the aforementioned inlandiness of the region.

In fact, the area was named by Harry Houdini when he visited Australia in 1909, when he was scouting for areas from which he planned to make the inaugural flight in Australia. (As it happens, he eventually decided on Diggers Rest instead, and he was beaten to the punch, being only the third aviator in Australian history.) But the area now called Skye was much to his liking, being flat and reasonably free from swamps, and he named it for the place he planned to enter from it, adding an e simply to make it a little more exotic (and to avoid confusion when he traveled from one sky to the other and vice versa).

Suburbs near Skye: