Goyder’s Day 2017

Did Darwin start 148 years ago under threat of litigation?

George Woodroffe Goyder
George Woodroffe Goyder

Many cities have fascinating beginnings but Darwin has a unique story and plenty of evidence remains….

Did Darwin start 148 years ago under threat of litigation?

The South Australian government sent George Woodroffe Goyder to the Top End in 1869 to survey the town of Palmerston (now Darwin) and the rural hinterland almost to the Adelaide River. This followed the threat of litigation by people who had purchased land in Darwin and could not get a Title because the land had not been surveyed.

A previous attempt at satisfying this requirement in 1864 had resulted in dismal failure and the purchasers of blocks of land in the north were getting restless.

Sunday 5th February 2017 is the anniversary of the arrival of Surveyor-General George Goyder in 1869 along with his team of surveyors. By September 1869 the party had surveyed Darwin and 665,866 acres of land extending east to the Adelaide River flood plains, west toward the Daly River, and south towards the later site of Adelaide River township.

Every year the National Trust celebrates Goyder’s Day with a ceremony on 5th February which celebrates his arrival on the Moonta.

This year, for the first time, the celebratory event will be held at Roadmasters House at 1 McMinn Street. The Roadmasters House is now established as a National Trust Museum portraying the development of the town of Darwin from these turbulent beginnings.

Commencing at 4.30pm on Sunday 5th February the event will feature talks and displays about the scene on 5th February 1869 both on the ground and amongst the people involved. Artefacts from the day and details of the flora on the peninsula will be on display. A guided tour will be conducted visiting various relevant sites between Roadmasters House and Goyder Park.

The event is free and open to the public. To learn more about the evolution of Darwin from its humble beginnings this is an event not to be missed.

For further details contact the National Trust on 8981 2848.

Media enquiries contact Trevor Horman 0417 838 578