The small Central Mount Stuart Historical Reserve, approximately 212 kilometres north of Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway, commemorates the discovery of the centre of Australia by explorer John McDouall Stuart in 1860. Overnight camping is permitted and water is available.
Stop a while and stretch your legs at the rest area affording panoramic views. Central Mount Stuart is the approximate geographical centre of Australia. Stuart initially named it Central Mount Sturt after his companion explorer Charles Sturt, whose expedition he was part of in 1844. Later it became known as Central Mount Stuart on John McDouall Stuart’s return to Adelaide. Take a look at the cairn at the reserve, which was constructed in 1960 to commemorate the centenary of Stuart’s expedition. Stuart’s success in paving a route through the centre of Australia enabled the construction of the Overland Telegraph.
South along the Stuart Highway, Ryan’s Well Historical Reserve is another reminder of the region’s pioneering history. The well was hand-dug in 1889 to supply water to travellers and stock along the Overland Telegraph Line. On the opposite side of the highway The Glen Maggie Homestead ruins reveal the way of life of pastoral settlers during the early 20th century.