I am attempting to add a scale bar into QGIS Map Composer for a single layer showing a map of Jervis Bay, NSW Australia. I have changed both the project and layer CRS to 'MGA56 (EPSG:28356)' and have tried some other CRS types but the scale is inaccurate. Each time I insert a new scale it shows an area that would be over 3 km long as only 0.2 m or so. I need the scale to be in km and I need it to be an accurate representation of the area I have on the map.

I am completely new to QGIS and have little experience with any of this software.

  • Why EPSG:4176 - Australian Antarctic, Jervis Bay is in MGA56 (EPSG:28356), you're way outside the domain of EPSG:4176. Try that and you should be able to get Km. Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 23:32
  • Thanks for your response. I changed the CRS to MGA56 (EPSG:28356) but the scale is still in meters and shows an area of around 3 km in size as only 0.2 m. I know I was able to get an accurate scale in km once but have no idea how I did it and unfortunately didn't save the map. Any thoughts? Thank you
    – Rhiannon
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 23:42
  • Ensure the map (project) spatial reference is correct, then with the map selected hit new scale bar, it should be in Km. Possibly better to start with a new composer. Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 0:07
  • Thank you, I finally got it! Not exactly sure how but it's there in km and it looks right. Thanks for your help :-)
    – Rhiannon
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 0:31
  • Also make sure the Scalebar property 'Map units per bar unit' is set to 1.
    – Jakob
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 7:51

1 Answer 1


It is purely due to the wrong UTM Zone. Choose the appropriate UTM Zone of the country or region that you are working on.

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