Last updated 5Jun24

Using NSW SIX Maps

The NSW Mapping Authority produces 1:25000 (and 1:50000, 1:100000 in western NSW) topographic maps of ACT and NSW. These remain relevant to hikers. They can be accessed in a number of ways from the Spacial Interchange eXchange (SIX) website at, depending on how you wish to use them.

Download latest versions of 18 1:25000 topographic maps that cover the ACT, calibrated for use in OziExplorer

There are 18 1:2500 topographic maps that cover the ACT. They are:

Umburra 8627-1S, Hall 8727-4S, Sutton 8725-1S, Cotter Dam 8627-2N, Canberra 8727-3N, Bungendore 8727-2N. Tidbinbilla 8627-2S, Tuggeranong 8727-3S, Hoskinstown 8727-2S, Corin Dam 8626-1N, Williamsdale 8726-4N, Captains Flat 8726-1N, Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S, Michelago 8726-4S
Yaouk 8626-2N, Colinton 8726-3N, Shannons Flat 8626-2S, Bredbo 8726-3S.

They were sourced from As at June 2024, the latest versions are October 2022. I chose to work with maps containing the map legend (ie. collar_on).

Some time was spent calibrating the maps for use in OziExplorer. After calibration, the locations of many waypoints were checked on other available maps (eg. TopoView2006 and OZraster NSW). I can guarantee the calibration accuracy.

Download all of them (only 175MB), or the required .map and .tif pairs, from a cloud-based Google Drive here.

Store them wherever you keep your .map and source data files. But, for the map source file, if this is other than C:\OziExplorer\Maps\SIX etopo\map-name.tif, you will need to change line 3 of the corresponding .map file.

Download a pdf version of the currently available for purchase Topographic Map

  1. Go to
  2. Choose the map you want from the Select a map: dropdown list, or pan and zoom to the desired area and click it.
  3. Activate the Download PDF link.

Print a map segment to scale for use on a hike

It can be useful to carry a printed map segment to write on, follow your current route, use for map and compass navigation, etc. This saves marking your topographic map of the area and preserves it from constant unfolding and folding.

However, if you have the relevant topographic map, do carry it in your pack. It gives much more context than a small printed segment.

  1. Go to the portal at
  2. Select the map you want, either by pan and zoom then click the area, or select from the drop down list via Search Map Name in Topo Map Index
  3. Click the area. A pop up box appears. The blue links are hard to read – maybe maximise the pop up box. Map identification data is presented, along with a series of More info links to:
    • CollarOn_yyyy: A complete map in pdf format including title page and legend
    • CollarOff_yyyy: The map in tif format without title, legend or borders
  4. Open the downloaded file in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Reader. (Download and install Acrobat Reader from if you don’t have it. You may need to click the hamburger menu (the three horizontal lines) at the upper left corner, choose “Disable new Acrobat”, restart Adobe Acrobat Reader.) Acrobat will automatically convert a tif to pdf. Don’t try the following steps in a browser if you have a pdf add-on; first start Acrobat Reader, then open the downloaded file.
  5. Pan and zoom to an area of interest
  6. In the Acrobat menu line, do Edit, Take a Snapshot. Select an area of maximum 7 * 5 or 5 * 7 grid squares. OK. Do File, Print, select your printer. In the Page Sizing & Handling area, select the Custom Scale radio button and ensure it is set to 100%. Print
  7. You have produced a map segment of the same scale as the 1:25000 topo map. Check by using the 1:25k scale on your compass that the grid squares are 4cm*4cm. If the map segment does not include an Easting and a Northing, write them in so you can determine GRs. Make a note of the Grid-Magnetic angle.

Just Having a Look Around/Want the exact Coordinates of a Location?

Pan and zoom around aerial photography and topographic maps of the ACT and NSW to get an idea of areas worth hiking. Determine the coordinates of a Point of Interest (POI).

  1. Enter the site at
  2. Enter a location (eg. Canberra) in the Search box to centre the display on a known area, Search. Pan and zoom. Map scale and distance scale at bottom left.
  3. Use the Basemaps (top right) dropdown slider to overlay NSW Imagery and NSW Map.
  4. To see topographic maps, click ‘Looking for 1943 or other imagery?’ Select Topo Maps (Current). To see an overlay of NSW Imagery and Topo Maps (Current), adjust the slider
  5. To determine the coordinates of a Point of Interest (POI), activate the Coordinate Tool from centre top. Left click on the map at the POI. The coordinates will show in the Coordinate Tool window. Click Go and the map will centre on the POI and show a marker.
  6. Set the drop down entry to GDA94 – MGA55 to get UTM Grid References. Set the drop down entry to GDA – Geographic to get lat/lon in hddd.dddddd format.

Calibrating Maps for use in OziExplorer

Maps downloaded from SIX can be calibrated for use in OziExplorer.

  1. Download a pdf formatted map (CollarOn_yyyy). You’ll need that because it has the Eastings/Northings numbers on it. If you want a CollarOff_yyyy version, you’ll have to get the Eastings/Northings numbers from another version of the same map.
  2. Use Acrobat Reader to open the file, then Save As to a tiff. Change the file extension from tiff to tif
  3. Note the Grid-Magnetic angle from the sheet legend to be used.
  4. Use OziExplorer’s File, Load and Calibrate Map Image process. Easiest to use calibration points at grid line intersections. Choose several random, well spaced points.

Obtaining Map Tiles for use in Digital Navigation Apps

I’m no expert here and with an iOS smart phone I make occasional attempts at using HandyGPS.

One excellent Android navigation app is Backcountry Navigator PRO (BCN). Talk to guru Peter Conroy about this app.

These apps access map tiles from SIX (and other state and country mapping authority) servers. See here to get an idea.

SIX Maps in QGIS

A powerful tool. I’m just beginning. Keith Thomas is the expert.