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John McDouall Stuart already had an established reputation as an explorer when, in 1859, the South Australian Government offered £2,000 reward for the first person to cross Australia from south to north.
Setting out from Adelaide in 1860, he eventually reached the centre of Australia--the first European to do so. The hill named Central Mount Stuart commemorates this achievement.
On both this and a later attempt, he was forced to turn back, and it was not until 1862, with his third expedition, that he met with success, reaching the north coast near Darwin on 24th July.
Returning to Adelaide, Stuart was able to report that good pasture land was to be had to the north, and as a result of this expedition, South Australia accepted temporary control of Northern Territory. The Overland Telegraph, completed in 1872, follows very closely the route taken by Stuart.
Updated 29 March 2012