The 1869 survey markers are located within the original Virginia Town site which covers an area of 92 hectares. The survey markers consist of ironwood pegs and man-made stone trenches.
The stone survey trenches and ironwood survey pegs located within the Townsite of Virginia are significant to the Territory as they are possibly the only remaining physical evidence of George Woodroffe Goyder’s 1869 survey of Port Darwin and its environs. Goyder, who at the time was South Australia’s Surveyor General, and his survey team had surveyed 270,000 hectares in eight months from Port Darwin, to the east and south of Adelaide River, and west beyond the Finniss River.
The survey also included four townsites of Palmerston (now Darwin) Southport, Virginia and Daly. This survey was a remarkable achievement for its time. It defined the capital of South Australia’s new northern province of the Northern Territory and laid the foundation for the modern city of Darwin. Due to disturbance by natural environmental conditions, fire and an expansion of settlement throughout Australia original survey markers are exceedingly hard to locate and now considered rare.
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