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Centre of Australia
Centre of Australia
Recent research and calculations, instigated by the Royal Geographical Society of Australia, Queensland and carried out by the Queensland Department of Geographic Information show that Central Mount Stuart is not the geographic centre of Australia, but lies near Finke, some 400km to the south.
Central Mount Stuart, named Central Mount Sturt by John McDouall Stuart in 1862, after Charles Sturt, because Sturt believed that it was near the centre of Australia.
The recently calculated geographical centre is at 25º36'36."4S and 134º21'17."3E, approximately 200km south of Alice Springs. The centre is known as the Lambert Centre, the Geographic Centre of Australia.
Following receipt of the calculation the RGSA, Queensland, placed a plaque on the site in 1988.
The Lambert Centre was calculated as the "centre of gravity" of Australia, with the centre of gravity being as defined in the Macquarie Dictionary as "that point of a body from which it could be suspended, or on which it could be supported and be in equilibrium in any position, in a uniform gravitational field." ¹
Further parameters were set:
- It was necessary to assume a curved surface with no distortions, as the distribution of weight, thickness of crust, distortions of gravity and so on, were not available, and
calculations were carried out on the sphere.
- The coast of Australia was digitally obtained and the DGI used two methods to determine the centre.
In August 1994, a new plaque was unveiled at the Lambert Centre by the Presidents of the Institute of Surveyors Australia and the Australian Institute of Cartographers, explaining the role Dr Bruce P Lambert, OBE, had played in the surveying and mapping industry within Australia and the United Nations. ²
¹ Queensland Surveyors Bulletin, No 4 August 1988
² Australian Surveyor September 1994, The Lambert Centre