Welcome to The Mouat Tree Project

Through the ACT region of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) and in partnership with the Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG), Office of the Surveyor-General, ACT Heritage and ACT Parks and Conservation Service (PCS), a project to plan and construct an interpretive structure to house Border Reference Tree H87 (the Mouat Tree) at the Namadgi National Park Visitor Information Centre (VIC) is underway.

The Mouat Tree Project invites you to participate in this important conservation and interpretation project. You can be part of preserving this unique chapter in the story of nation building by making a financial contribution to help realise the vision.

Visit the project’s Gofundme web site where you’re able to make a secure financial contribution. Your participation and contribution will assist in the design and construction of this exciting cultural landmark.



Greenline Construction have returned to install the shade shelter.  You can now appreciate the need for solid footings!

The vision of recreating a Surveyors Tent in paying homage to a bygone era is now taking shape.

The countdown to the Official Ministerial Opening on the 20th November is now on.

We can only sense that  Harry ‘Happy’ Mouat would be rather pleased with proceedings.



A modern approach…

Recently, on a cold, windy and wet day (probably not too dissimilar to weather experienced by Harry Mouat) the Mouat Tree site at the Namadgi Visitor Information Centre was surveyed by members of the Office of the Surveyor-General & Land Information.

In the New Year things will be moving ahead rapidly. First up, the Development Application process will be finalised and then the site will be prepared for the works to begin. The planned works can be viewed by visiting https://themouattree.org.au/the-vision/. The grand opening for the newly designed Mouat Tree interpretive structure is set to be during the 2017 Heritage Festival in April/May. Stay tuned.

Standing tall…again! Meanwhile, still in the world of theodolites, the Mouat Tree, a tree chiselled with the letters CT (Commonwealth Territory) by surveyor Harry Mouat when surveying the ACT’s southern border in 1915, is once again standing tall, this time in the grounds of the Namadgi Visitor Centre near Tharwa. Regular readers may recall that as one of the last surviving border reference trees, the Mouat tree was plucked from obscurity by helicopter from the ACT’s remote southern border last year. Mark Rodden, Senior Field Supervisor with the ACT Parks Service reports that “after being treated for a range of bugs the tree is now ready to tell the story of the hardy surveyors who defined the ACT/NSW border over 100 years ago”. “Now that the tree is once again standing we will move to the next phase, to design the ‘shade shelter’ and supporting infrastructure,” reports Rodden, adding “this will be followed by the construction of retaining walls to support the interpretive signage.” I understand the display may also feature a stone lockspit as a further means of representing our border. To read Tim the Yowie Man’s full Canberra Times article click on the link below.


The Mouat Tree stands tall again. Photo: Supplied





Harry Mouat’s Border Reference Tree is once again proudly standing. Under the watchful eye of Senior Field Supervisor Mark Rodden and the talented team from Namadgi, an historic 150 yr old border marker tree now takes pride of place as the centrepiece of a rather ambitious interpretive shelter to be built in the grounds of Namadgi Visitor Centre. The interpretive display will tell the story of how water catchments shaped the very nature of the Bush Capital. Now that the Tree is once again standing we will move to the next phase of the project being the detailed design of ‘shade shelter’ and supporting infrastructure. This will be followed by the construction of retaining walls to support the interpretive signage. We will also look to recreate a lockspit as a means of representing the border.