State Library of South AustraliaState Library of South Australia

Newly opened country lands ... : Minburra ..

Catalogue record

Creator: South Australia. Surveyor-General's Office

Object Source: Newly opened country lands for selection... : Minburra ...

Place of Creation: Adelaide

Published by Surveyor General's Office

Date of creation : 1880

Additional creator : Crawford, Frazer S. (Frazer Smith), d. 1890 Goyder, G. W. (George Woodroffe), 1826-1898

Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for personal research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.

Format : Map, 445 x 570 mm

Map of country areas in South Australia showing land for sale by name of Hundred. Details include topography, section numbers, description of vegetation, soil and arability of land. Relief shown by shading

This map of country areas in South Australia from various regions, shows land for sale by name of Hundred. The detail shows topography, section numbers, and description of vegetation, soil and arability of the land. The Hundreds of Minburra, Pekina, Willunga, Erskine and Gumbowie are shown. These areas were surveyed by the Surveyor-General at that time, George W. Goyder, who believed that land should be surveyed before being released for land sales.

George Woodroffe Goyder was born in Liverpool, England in 1826. He emigrated to Sydney in 1848 and subsequently moved to Adelaide and joined the South Australian public service in 1851. Goyder joined the Department of Lands in 1853 and was appointed Surveyor-General in 1861. As Surveyor-General he undertook several surveys in northern South Australia (1857-1866) and was responsible for determining the line of demarcation between agricultural and pastoral land, which became known as Goyder's Line.

The line was based upon a survey of rainfall taken by Goyder, which allowed him to determine which areas received adequate rainfall to support agriculture and which was only suitable for grazing. Demand for more agricultural land and several seasons of above average rainfall encouraged the Government and farmers ignore Goyder's survey result, and to extend farming to the north of Goyder's Line, resulting in the ruin of many farmers.

Goyder also conducted surveys in the Northern Territory in 1869, and was Chairman of the Forest Board (1875-1883). He retired in 1894 and died in 1898.


Further reading

Kelly, W. S. Centenary of Goyder's Line Adelaide: Libraries Board of South Australia, 1963

Goyder's Line - Its Delineation and Purpose TheRegister, 6 July 1912, page 18a,

Meinig, D. W. On the margins of the good earth: the South Australian wheat frontier; 1869-1884 London: John Murray, 1963

Williams, Michael The making of the South Australian landscape; a study in the historical geography of Australia London, New York, Academic Press, 1974


Australian Dictionary of Biography: Goyder, George Woodroffe (1826 - 1898)

Atlas of South Australia: Land survey and disposal

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