The John McDouall Stuart Society enjoys a close working association with:

Royal Geographical Society of South Australia Inc. Royal Geographical Society of South Australia logo

The object of the Society is to promote the understanding of geography among its members and the community by:

  • advancing geographical science
  • describing the present
  • discovering the past
  • promoting the future

Some of its activities include: Day and weekend excursions; monthly talks on geographical topics; publication of an annual Journal and bi-monthly newsletter; other occasional publications including South Australian regional guide books.

Postal Address: Royal Geographical Society of South Australia (Inc.)

GPO Box 419, Adelaide, South Australia 5001.

Telephone; (08) 8207 7265

History SA

History SA manages museums and encourages the community to enjoy, understand, preserve and benefit from South Australia’s rich and distinctive history. They hold and regularly loan a significant collection of Stuart artefacts and memorabilia. The Stuart Society enjoys a close working relationship with History SA.


Coat of Arms of Grand Lodge

The Adelaide Masonic Centre, North Tce, Adelaide is the home of the Stuart Collection.  The John McDouall Stuart Society has a strong relationship with Freemasonry in South Australia.

John McDouall Stuart was initiated into the Lodge of Truth No.933 E.C. North Adelaide on 1 August 1859.

Stuart claimed he recognised a Masonic greeting  when he encountered a party of traditional owners in northern Australia. The McDouall Stuart Lodge No.219 in Alice Springs is named in his honour.

The Ghan Railway Preservation Society (S.A.) Inc.

Postal Address: P.O. Box 3111, Rundle Mall, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000.Secretary; Mr Simon Coxon.

This Society was formed to preserve a three kilometre section of the old Ghan Railway Line and the Railway Siding of Curdimurka, adjacent to Lake Eyre South in northern South Australia. A feature of this section of line
is the bridge over the lower reaches of Stuart Creek.

In 1998, the John McDouall Stuart Society, in association with the Royal Geographical Society and the Ghan Railway Preservation Society, erected a stone cairn and placed a plaque at Curdimurka, to commemorate the 140th anniversary of Stuart’s discovery of permanent waters in Stuart Creek.

The State Library of South Australia.

A new feature of the SLSA website is SA Memory, an online gateway to South Australian culture and heritage, past and present.

Friends of the State Library of South Australia.

From 1962 to 1979 the Libraries Board of South Australia published two highly-regarded series of facsimile editions of works of Australian historical interest. One of the
series, Australiana Facsimile Editions, has now been revived by the Society.

Recent publications include the diaries of explorers Edward John Eyre, John McDouall Stuart, John Forrest and Captain S.A. White.

Members enjoy considerable savings on the purchase price of these publications.

Postal address: GPO Box 419, Adelaide, South Australia, 5001. Telephone (08) 8207 7255 . Fax (08) 8207 7247.

The John McDouall Stuart Museum – Dysart

Kircaldy, Fife, Scotland. This museum is located in the house where John McDouall Stuart was born.

There are many interesting exhibits relating to this
famous son of Dysart.

Opening hours are 2 to 5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday, throughout June, July and August.

Tourist Information Distributors Australia.

They publish an excellent guide titled “Exploring The
Stuart Highway”. It is well written, researched and illustrated.

It includes a superb picture of Stuart, as well as an excellent reproduction of his route map, and a good summary of The Great Northern Exploring Expedition.

The Royal Caledonian Society of South Australia Inc.

This Society is the premier Caledonian Society in South Australia, being formed in 1881 and home of the “longest continuing” civilian Pipe Band in the Southern Hemisphere.

Due to the inability to raise sufficient funds by public subscription, in 1895, the Citizens Fund for the erection of a statue of Stuart, was taken over by the Society. Upon completion some time after June 1904, this statue was handed over to the City of Adelaide. An annual memorial service is held there each year at which the Royal Caledonian Society is always represented.

The “Callies” are great friends and allies of the Stuart Society.

Gawler History Team

The Gawler History Team have a repository of over 21,000 photos and historical information on the Town of Gawler – South Australia’s oldest country town. Gawler was established in 1839 and has been called “Colonial Athens” and “The Best of Town and Country”. Approximately 49 km north of Adelaide, Gawler was a gateway for those traveling north in the early days of the Province. Stuart and his party had a close connection to the district and town. You can investigate these matters here:


Other useful links:

Laurie McArthur

Avid Stuart follower, Laurie McArthur, has created several websites. The first, in particular, is a valuable tool.

Australian Explorers – Searchable Journals of the Great Australian Explorers presents the journals of several Australian explorers, including Stuart, in bite sized entries, fully searchable.

The John McDouall Stuart Journals are Hardman’s edition of Stuart’s journals, and are searchable by keyword, date of entry, etc.
Australian Explorers – Searchable Journals of John McDouall Stuart

The second website describes some of Laurie’s adventures and journeys west of Lake Torrens. The stories and photographs are excellent. Campsites West of Lake Torrens

Nicky’s News is the online journal of the young Nicky McArthur. Nicky presents stories, photos and videos of his preparation and great adventure, riding his motorbike in the hoof-prints and camping in the campsites of John McDouall Stuart.

The Burke & Wills Historical Society Inc.

Their aim is “To encourage interest in, research into and the preservation of anything related to Burke & Wills Expedition and other early explorations in Australia and searches for missing explorers”.

This multimedia website focuses on the South Australian experience; what makes South Australia different from other places, and has a good summary of Stuart’s expeditions:

Flinders Ranges Research.

A useful, wide ranging website for historical information about South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Westprint maps.

Outback Australian maps, and outback travel information, is Westprint’s specialty. They make Heritage maps for modern explorers.

Much of Stuart’s route is on these maps, along with useful background information. A must for the serious traveller!

Pioneers Association of South Australia.

The Pioneers Assocaition was founded in 1935 and has the following objectives:
– To perpetuate the memory of the pioneers of early settlement of South Australia.
– To establish and maintain a faithful record of the pioneers for the benefit of present and future generations.
– To encourage the preservation of records, portraits, relics and historical materials assoociated with pioneer settlement.
– To promote awareness and knowledge of South Australian history.
– To affiliate with any other organisation with objectives similar to those of the Association.

Manning Index of South Australian History.

The Manning Index of South Australian History indexes many thousands of stories which appeared in a wide range of South Australian newspapers and magazines in the years 1837 to 1937. The index is perfect for researching South Australia’s history as reported in the press of the day and will also be of great interest for family and local history research.

South Australian Museum.

The South Australian Museum offers six floors of exhibits that reveal many fascinating stories. The museum enjoys an international reputation for the size and presentation of its collections, as wel as the breadth and quality of its sceintific research.

Explore the Outback.

Site of Society member, cameleer, and outback researcher, Phil Gee. Phil has published papers on Stuart’s 1858 route. He lives and works in Stuart Country.

Diamantina Touring Company of Australia.

First class site of member, and tour operator, Andrew Dwyer. Andrew runs multi-award winning Tours and Expeditions to the remote regions of Australia.

Connecting the Continent.

A on-line event which was presented by the Centenary of Federation. An excellent resource featuring the Overland Telegraph Line. There are many hours of interest within this site.

Atlas of South Australia.

The Atlas of South Australia is an initiative of the South Australian Government to provide a common access point to maps and geographic information about South Australia in an interactive atlas format.

Australian Dictionary of Biography.

The Australian Dictionary of Biography Online is Australia’s pre-eminent dictionary of national biography. Here are over 10,000 scholarly biographies of persons who were significant in Australian history.

A Wire Through The Heart.


A Wire Through the Heart brings to life the epic story of constructing Australia’s overland telegraph. The two central characters are dramatically recreated; explorer John McDouall Stuart and scientist Charles Todd, and the film documents their extraordinary tales of adventure and engineering struggle. Approximately one million viewers saw this screened on ABC TV in April 2007. The two different website addresses above have different aspects of the documentary & the creation of it.

J.W. Billiatt

The youngest of Stuart’s Companions on the final expedition, Billiatt led an interesting life in several parts of the world.


An educational resource for Australian teachers. Having identified a big gap in the market, they looked around at the technology available, decided upon CDs as an advertising medium, and Cursions was born. Cursions promise to change the way teachers choose quality service providers for their students.