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Place Names Register Extract

Mount Sonder

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Name Mount Sonder
Type Designation Mount
Place Id 15796
Place Type Feature
Status Registered
Date Registered 5 August 1959
Location (Datum GDA94)  
Latitude: -23° 34' S (Decimal degrees -23.5802)
Longitude: 132° 34' E (Decimal degrees 132.5781)
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Locality / Suburb  
  Mount Zeil
Local Government Area  
  MacDonnell Shire Council
History/Origin Mount Sonder is believed to have been named during Ernest Giles' 1872 exploration to the west of Alice Springs after Dr Otto Wilhelm Sonder (1812-1881), a Hamburg (Germany) pharmacist and botanist and friend of Ferdinand Von Mueller since the latter's student days. Mueller sent him duplicates of his early Australian plant collections, which were described by Sonder and other under the title "Plantae Muellerianne" in 'Linnaea' 25 (1853), 26 (1854-55), 28 (1856), 29 (1857). Earlier (1845) Sonder had described the algae collected by L. Preiss in Western Australia. Sonder's extensive world-wide herbarium was purchased by the Victorian Government for the National Herbarium of Victoria in 1883.

Pastor P Scherer of Hermannsburg Mission in 1956 wrote to the Director of National Mapping, Canberra, with information on a number of central Australian features. Pastor Scherer indicated that although Giles on 6 September 1872 alludes to the existence of high mountians he does not name them and a footnote in Giles Journal by Baron von Mueller states that the latter (ie Mueller) gave the names to Mounts Heuglin, Sonder and Zeil.

In "Geographic Travels in Central Australia from 1872 to 1874" by Ernest Giles, published in Melbourne 1875, the footnote on page 68 reads "On reference to the accompanying map it will be observed, that one of the culminating points in the MacDonnell Range, discovered during this expedition was named Mount Sonder, in honour of Dr Will. Otto Sonder of Hamburg, who largely elucidated the marine 'Algae' of Australia, and who also much contributed towards the knowledge of the land plants, particularly of the south-western portion of our continent. Two other high mountains in the same range were dedicated to Count Zeil and Baron ven Heglin, who distinguished themselves by recent geographic explorations in Spitzbergen, the latter also by his extensive zoologic research in North Africa. - F.v.M."

Register & Gazettal information

Date Gazettal Comment
05/08/1959 NTG34
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