I am looking for help on the best way to set up QGIS for GDA 94 zone 55. (i.e. all the relevant settings etc.)[1.8 in lieu of 2.0]

Am working off Garmin GPS/GPX data in GDA/UTM format (I access this data in QGIS usually after dumping it in Garmin Base Camp) and want to finalise maps in the GDA 94 zone 55 CRS. I am using other ESRI/shapefile layers/data which are in GDA 94 zone 55.

Currently I am having issues with measure/buffers/grids/scales etc. i.e. to make a 50m buffer on a layer I have to enter 50m as 0.0005 as buffer distance. i.e. can't make grid at all in this CRS

Any help appreciated.

Please consider that the questioner [as a not for profit volunteer] does not have formal training in GIS and is currently learning QGIS "on the fly"... and so appreciates linear explanations/GUI solutions.

The questioner is extremely grateful for all the work of those contributing to QGIS/FOSSGIS/these question/answer forums etc.

2 Answers 2


If you have to enter the buffer values as 0.0005 this means it's not projected in the correct projection. All you need to do is save your layer out with that projection.

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  • Thanks for the speedy response Nathan W.. (and to Andre Joost below) [and for fixing my capitalisation :)].
    – user20174
    Jul 17, 2013 at 16:20
  • Thanks for the speedy response. I do repeatedly attempt to set the correct project crs, and then set/save the crs of each layer as you have shown above. However, changing these settings does not seem to achieve what I desire. E.g.: I have just opened a new project, set to EPSG:38355 and its all "wack" (this is a tech. term btw) in degrees and scale = {say} 5000000:1 (i.e. in reverse to my intuition?). Now I wonder if: 1> the crs remains set to the first vector layer I add until I start a new prj(as the crs does not seem to be affected by attempts to modify later) 2> pls see comments bellow
    – user20174
    Jul 17, 2013 at 17:05
  • 2> thanks @Andre Joost for pointing out my mistake re: EPSG:4326 below. (though same issues when using wgs84 lat-long) Are you able to explain why everything seems to work in "wgs84/UTM zone 55S" as I would intuitively think it should, i.e.: measurements in metres, correct scale bar/grid (in print composer) etc. I am happy with this result (and it is accurate with my data but don't exactly know why I am using this crs. And whether it is possible to print my map as projected in GDA 94 (Zone 55) [this is important just to be consistent with colleagues]
    – user20174
    Jul 17, 2013 at 17:24
  • Thanks for your help folks, and sorry for the bother. I have just installed 1.9 and all my problems have gone away. GDA94 MGA 55H is displaying in grid reference and measuring properly. (I think I should have at least re-installed 1.8 earlier as I think a lot of plugins were causing it to go a little crazy, perhaps.
    – user20174
    Jul 18, 2013 at 15:27

Are you sure the GPX data is in GDA94 zone 55? As far as I know GPX is always EPSG:4326 lat/lon degrees.

Thats independent from any CRS you have selected in BaseCamp, QGIS or your GPS unit.

If you want to have your coordinates in GDA94 Zone 55, load the layer as EPSG:4326, and save it with rightclick -> Save As ... into the CRS you want.


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