From 7 March 2003, access to the area was restricted following a
decision by the Irrunytju (Wingellina) Community in whose traditional
land the Surveyor Generals Corner is situated. Access to the area is
limited to guided tours and visitors require a special permit in
addition to the standard Great Central Road transit permit. The nearest
settlement is the Aboriginal community of Kalka in South Australia,
situated on the Gunbarrel Highway just a few kilometres to the south.
There are three occurrences of New Year's Eve at Surveyor Generals
Corner (also in Cameron Corner and Poeppel Corner), because it is
located at the intersection of three time zones. One interesting piece
of trivia is that fewer people have visited this site than have been to
the South Pole.
Where actually is the corner?
When looking at the offical corner marker (above), anyone who knows
their geography knows there is something not right here. Take a quick
glance at most maps of Australia and you could be forgiven for thinking
that, as the Western Australian border is a straight line, the line
depicting the Western Australian border on the marker should be a
straight line from one side of the marker to the other, and not the
Northern Territory border. Nevertheless, the marker accurately depicts
the border at that point. Let me explain.
The border which runs along the eastern edge of Western Australia is
not actually one continuous straight line. In 1922 an agreement was
signed between the prime minister W. M. Hughes, the acting premier for
South Australia, Sir John George Bice, and the premier of Western
Australia, Sir James Mitchell to set the border along the 129th
meridian east longitude and defined the boundary by lines drawn north
and south through the centre of the Deakin Obelisk, erected in 1926
near Deakin, Western Australia, and the Kimberley Obelisk, erected in
1927, near Argyle Downs, in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia.