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Surveying the Centre

Five years after the telegraph line was completed, the South Australian Government sent a party of surveyors to central Australia. It was led by Henry Barclay and Charles Winnecke.

They arrived here on 16 November 1877. One of their first tasks was to establish this trig station.

Trig stations are points whose latitude, longitude and height have been determined. The Government needed to establish a network of them so that accurate maps could be drawn. This rocky, granite hill was the first one.

Charles Winnecke - Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve SignageThe party was split in two at the end of January 1878. Barclay headed off to explore country to the northeast, leaving Winnecke to survey the Alice Springs region.

Winnecke climbed to the top of Mount Gillen on 1 February 1878 and set up a second trig station. Undaunted by the summer heat, he climb Mount John the following day to create a third.

Image: Charles Winnecke
Source: Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve Signage

 

One of the walks include Trig Hill, a 1.1 km walk, with excellent views of the surrounding region. From Trig Hill you can continue onto the Cemetery Walk, then return via the car park and kiosk.

Alice Springs Telegraph Station Images

View from Trig Hill with Mount Gillen in the distance - Alice Springs Telegraph Station Reserve
View from Trig Hill with Mount Gillen in the distance.

View over Telegraph Station with Heavitree Gap in the distance.
View over Telegraph Station with Heavitree Gap in the distance.

© Colin Leel, February 2008
MacDonnell Ranges - Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve Signage

Source: Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve Signage

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