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Ludwig Leichhardt

In 1848 Ludwig Leichhardt and half a dozen companions set out from Queensland’s Darling Downs, intending to cross the continent to the Swan River Colony in Western Australia. The entire expedition disappeared, virtually without trace. Since then at least fifteen government and private expeditions have tried to ...

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Whirlwinds in the Plain by Elsie M. Webster & The Mystery of Ludwig Leichhardt by Gordon Connell

October 1980, no. 25

Inland explorers and their discoveries form a vital part of Australia’s historical consciousness and the tracks they made on maps of exploration and settlement are part of the learning process of every Australian schoolchild. All too often, though, the image of the explorer is two-dimensional and the men and their motives seem less interesting than the patterns of dotted lines in the huge expanse of the Australian continent in schoolbook maps.

One notable exception has been the Prussian explorer and naturalist, Ludwig Leichhardt, who came to Sydney in 1842 to study the land and to collect geological and botanical specimens, and who became the leader of expeditions in Northern Australia, to explore the inland rivers for new lands and routes across the vast territory to the north and west of the settled eastern coast.

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