The Australian Border That Isn't Straight, But Who Knew That!

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Allanswood
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The Australian Border That Isn't Straight, But Who Knew That!

Post by Allanswood »

Ask any school kid who learnt to draw a map of Australia as part of their education and they will usually get it pretty close as most borders are straight and the ones that aren't are the rivers.

I can still do it from memory. Go on, give it a go and draw the NSW, VIC and SA border. Not hard was it - straight line down.

Correct? Surprisingly to me.... no!

I was looking at the border areas on google maps and as you zoom in the border splits!

When first surveyed, which took years, they got it wrong on one side of the Murray River. From the north the border is actually correct, but from the south the border is about 3km further west taking about 1,000 sq km off SA and making 11km of Murray River frontage confusing.

This apparently was the first border determined in fledgling Australia... and it's wrong.



NSW, VIC and SA split border region.
NSW, VIC and SA split border region.




Never ever heard of this or the controversy that followed it for near 60 years.

Something else I never knew - the Murray along the NSW/VIC border is ALL in NSW, it is not a 50:50 split. VIC ends on the southern bank of the river.

But when it gets to the SA/VIC wrong border, they find that they have 11km of Murray River that is all theirs (to halfway across) and SA has the other half.

Gotta love history!


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Re: The Australian Border That Isn't Straight, But Who Knew That!

Post by MarkM »

I did not know that either. I just assumed that the rivers were split down the middle.
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Re: The Australian Border That Isn't Straight, But Who Knew That!

Post by Ubobo.R.O. »

Yes. By my calculations the border is 2.3 miles/3.7 kilometres west of where it should be.

Therefore that makes the following small Victorian towns really being in South Australia. Panitya, Neuarpurr and Serviceton.



Serviceton General Store and Post Office. Google Maps 2008.
Serviceton General Store and Post Office. Google Maps 2008.

Google Map data. 2021.
Google Map data. 2021.

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Re: The Australian Border That Isn't Straight, But Who Knew That!

Post by Allanswood »

They tried, they (VIC/SA), nearly went to war and threatened to arrest anybody trying to move the border and take their towns. The High Court decided the border will stay as is. :shock:

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Re: The Australian Border That Isn't Straight, But Who Knew That!

Post by Number-O-Ne »

Very interesting. I did some more reading about it.
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Re: The Australian Border That Isn't Straight, But Who Knew That!

Post by satsuma »

The problem was with the surveying, not the original legal definition.

When the surveying was corrected NSW and Queensland adjusted their western borders to match the legal definition but Victoria refused and so theirs was unchanged. :?

an earlier map courtesy Wikipedia commons
an earlier map courtesy Wikipedia commons
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Re: The Australian Border That Isn't Straight, But Who Knew That!

Post by Allanswood »

There is another line of research that the surveyors got it right, but about 30 years later a government contracted rabbit fence builder put the new fence along the wrong reference points as it was meant to have been the border line and he used farmers/graziers border lines instead.

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Re: The Australian Border That Isn't Straight, But Who Knew That!

Post by traralgon3844 »

Useless fact of the day.

If you want to fish in the Murray River from the Victorian bank you will need a NSW fishing licence, except it seems for that one small section of the river. I wonder what happens if you cast across the centre of the river in that area.

NSW has granted some concessions for boaties. Boats registered in Victoria may be launched from the Victorian bank and may travel the river but must not tie up at a NSW berth or wharf etc. Edit that bit about the boats appears to be in these covid times. They don't want interstate travel/access.

Either government doesn't want boat people.
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Re: The Australian Border That Isn't Straight, But Who Knew That!

Post by Global Administrator »

traralgon3844 wrote: 19 Aug 2021 20:29
Either government doesn't want boat people.

Well we do not want Victorians anyway. :lol:

Be trams down every bloody street here if you lot get in. :roll: :roll: :roll:

The highly trained NSW Navy is on high alert. You Mexicans have NO chance of success breaching our water borders. :idea:



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Re: The Australian Border That Isn't Straight, But Who Knew That!

Post by BigSaint »


And with your Gladys up there, I don't think we want to. :lol:

You would be better off with Dame Edna in charge, with her gladdies:


Dame Edna 3.jpg

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Re: The Australian Border That Isn't Straight, But Who Knew That!

Post by norvic »

When searching for the 'where is this picture postcard from' thread I came across a similar situation for the River Mississippi and the various state borders, although in this case the meandering river itself is probably the cause of the oddities:


Lousiana - Mississippi border in relation to the Mississippi river.
Lousiana - Mississippi border in relation to the Mississippi river.
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