Thick successions of turbidites are widespread in the Ross–Delamerian and Lachlan orogens and are now dispersed through Australia, Antarctica and New Zealand. U-Pb detrital zircon age patterns for latest Precambrian, Cambrian and Ordovician metagreywackes show a closely related provenance. The latest Neoproterozoic–early Palaeozoic sedimentary rocks have major components, at c. 525, 550, and 595 Ma, i.e. about 40–80 million years older than deposition. Zircons in these components increase from the Neoproterozoic to Ordovician. Late Mesoproterozoic age components, 1030 and 1070 Ma, probably originate from igneous/metamorphic rocks in the Gondwanaland hinterland whose exact locations are unknown. Although small, the youngest zircon age components are coincident with estimated depositional ages suggesting that they reflect contemporaneous and minor, volcanic sources. Overall, the detrital zircon provenance patterns reflect the development of plutonic/metamorphic complexes of the Ross–Delamerian Orogen in the Transantarctic Mountains and southern Australia that, upon exhumation, supplied sediment to regional scale basin(s) at the Gondwana margin. Tasmanian detrital zircon age patterns differ from those seen in intra-Ross Orogen sandstones of northern Victoria Land and from the oldest metasediments in the Transantarctic Mountains. A comparison with rocks from the latter supports an allochthonous western Tasmania model and amalgamation with Australia in late Cambrian time.