John McDouall StuartPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

The sculpture commemorates the explorer and surveyor John McDouall Stuart (1815 - 1866). 

A plaque was added in 1987 commemorating the camel expedition from 30th September 1987 to 1st January 1988 from Darwin to Adelaide by members of the South Australian and Northern Territory Police Force as a joint contribution to Australia's Bicentenary.

The sculpture was restored and unveiled on the 8th September 2008. The plaque also lists the members of his party. 

The South Australian government was keen to open a route from Adelaide to the north coast and offered a reward of $4,000 to the first person to achieve it. In 1860, Stuart, accompanied by William Kekwick and Ben Head, set out on their first attempt. The party reached Attack Creek, north of Tennant Creek, before being forced back through lack of supplies and hostile aboriginals on June 27th 1860. Stuart, with Kekwick and 10 others, set out again on New Year`s Day 1861, and reached Newcastle Waters, but was again forced to return, this time because of the dense bushland. They left Adelaide again in December, 1861 and seven months later, on July 24th 1862, finally reached the north coast at a place which they named Chambers Bay, after a sponsor of their expeditions. Stuart suffered from the gruelling effort required on these journeys and returned to Scotland shortly after.



Address:Smith Street Mall & Knuckey Street, Raintree Park, Darwin, 0800
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -12.463051
Long: 130.84176
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:25-October-1861
Actual Event End Date:24-July-1862
Artist:Herbert Knoll / Geoff Todd (2008)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 28th September, 1974
Front Inscription

Stuart`s Journey

Left Side Inscription

John McDouall Stuart

Surveyor - Explorer  1815 - 1866

Sculptured by Herbert Knoll

Unveiled by His Honour the Administrator of the Northern Territory Mr. J. N. Nelson

28 September 1974.

Between 1858 and 1862, John McDouall Stuart led six expeditions which included three attempts to cross the continent, south to north, passing through the centre of Australia,

His final expedition (10 men with 71 horses) departed Adelaide on 25 October 1861, and reached Chambers Bay,  east of present day Darwin, on 25 July 1862.

Members of Stuart`s party

William Patrick Auld
John William Billiatt
James Frew
William Darton Kekwick
Stephen King
John McGorrery
Heath Nash
Francis William Thring
Frederick George â€‹Waterhouse

The sculpture was restored in 2008 by Geoff Todd

Darwin City Council

Right Side Inscription

Expedition undertaken by members of the South Australian & Northern Territory Police Forces 

Darwin to Adelaide

6th September 1987 - 1st January 1988

This joint contribution to the Australian Bicentenary pays tribute to the courage, initiative & endeavour of pioneering Police stationed along the Overland Telegraph Line

Unveiled by the Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Darwin Mr. Alec Fong Lim, A.M. 

6th September 1987

Near the site of the original Darwin Police Station

Expedition Leader
Constable R. E. Clyne, B.A. (Hons) South Australian Police Force

Committee Chairman
Assistant Commissioner C. G. WIlson, Q.P.M. South Australian Police Force

Mr. D. A. Hunt, Q.P.M. South Australian Police Commissioner
Mr. R. McAulay, Q.P.M. Northern Territory Police Commissioner

This plaque was donated by the Commonwealth Bank

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au