Why the Name?

The site of Donington Gardens holds a special historical significance and a close link to early colonial NSW

The village is located on the last remaining piece of land that was granted to Matthew Flinders in 1800 by the second Governor of NSW, John Hunter as a reward for his exploration of the Georges River.

Although his exploration was mostly made in unsuitable, leaky or rotten ships, Matthew Flinders has always been considered to be one of the world’s most accomplished navigators and hydrographers.

The son of a surgeon, and named after his father, Matthew Flinders (1774-1814) was born and educated in Donington, Lincolnshire, England.

Resisting family pressure to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him and inspired by his boyhood hero, the literary character Robinson Crusoe, he entered the navy where he trained as a navigator. 

He served with diligence as midshipman under William Bligh on a voyage to Tahiti in 1791 and after returning to England saw action in H.M.S. Bellerophon at the naval battle of the Glorious First of June 1794. The next year he sailed on H.M.S. Reliance from England for Port Jackson, with George Bass as surgeon. Upon his arrival, he accompanied Bass on two hazardous trips in small open boats, as they explored Botany Bay and George’s River.

The name ‘Donington’ reflects our admiration of the achievements of Flinders, while the word ‘gardens’ has been included to highlight the importance we place upon setting the village amidst extensive park-like gardens.