Any interest in L. Leichhardt

Submitted: Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 10:10
ThreadID: 105137 Views:2104 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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For some time (years) I have contemplated following the explorers footsteps as a planned learning experience. Reading some of the comments on the forum and blogs it seems others have a similar penchant. My favourite explorer, both as a bushman and diligent observer, is Ludwig Leichhardt. This last October he would have been 200 y/o. Lately there has been increased interest in his story and mysterious disappearance.

A brief scenario of how I see it happening.... A small group, say up to a max of ten vehicles, would follow in the footsteps as closely as possible, given the restraints of properties and development, and attempt to experience, again within the realms of practicality, the MO of the explorer.

All of us have followed Canning and his endeavour. How many of us did not stand atop a dune and gaze in wonder at his achievement, my imagination could smell his sweat and feel the muscle ache, hear the camels snort and see the axe bounce off a desert oak. And this time I want to see the “cooking fires dotting the Plains of Plenty like stars.”

As a group we would see and experience much more than as an individual. This is not a commercial pursuit. As a group of like minded blokes there would be a collective advantage in combining each of our individual skills and knowledge. Let's tentatively look at mid 2014. At this stage all we need is a loose affiliation – probably best for the future too, no money, no boss, just avid interest.

My particular interest is Northern Australia, mainly because it is still possible to feel a sense of adventure, however, we have a big Island playground and many games to play!

At this time I suggest a MM back to me, interest would be gauged and related back as an MM to all who reply. Just a short expression now with a few details of your interests regarding such a happening. At this stage we are just putting a toe in the water!

Thanks for your attention, David W
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Reply By: Jeffrey B2 - Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 15:24

Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 15:24

There are copies of the first journey to Port Essenden by Leichardt held in some Libraries.

I have read copies of his original documents some in long hand and others typed.

I also have a "Readers Digest Topographical Atlas of Australia."

This will enable you to track his journey all the way.

This is now a rare Atlas and each page is 40 cm. x 28 cm. and
shows three degrees East to West and two degrees North to South.

Be aware his sectant (spelling) was damaged during this transit and a constant error occurs. It is very simple to trace his track almost all the way.

I can't recall if the error is Latitude. or Longitude.

You have certainly chosen a great adventure. Good Luck.

Have Fun Haji-Baba
AnswerID: 521506

Follow Up By: Member - David & Kerry W - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 08:06

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 08:06
Thanks Jeffery.

I have his journal and some mapping. His problem, as was common in those times, was longitude - latitiude was far more accurate.

It will all take time and much research.

Thanks again for your comments - cheers David
FollowupID: 802236

Reply By: equinox - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 01:07

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 01:07
Sounds like fun David.

Would you follow his journey to Port Essington or the much, much harder one?
Either way what you are suggesting will take many years of month long sojourns.

Good on you, I was thinking of taking up Leichhardt myself but have at least two more years of Carnegie to go yet.

Once you start though its hard to stop, just be aware :-)


Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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AnswerID: 521530

Follow Up By: Member - David & Kerry W - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 08:28

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 08:28
G'day Alan.

I pass on the third journey!

It will take time, big heaps of time. I have followed some of his Port Essington route near home, Atherton Tablelands, and some areas near the Expedition Ranges. Gaining access is the difficulty.

Yes, this stuff gets into you, the more you learn just generates more questions.

Have read your Carnegie exploits with interest, great man. My other interest is A C Gregory. I come from Mount Isa, on the Leichhardt R, and as young blokes the Leichhardt and Gregory Rivers were our playground. Gregory named the Leichhardt R while searching for LL.

Thanks and cheers, David
FollowupID: 802237

Reply By: Member - John N (SA) - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 11:37

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 11:37
G'day David,

I've just finished reading the book by Darrell Lewis - "Where is Dr Leichhardt?" It is a very fascinating story and discusses many theories as to where the Dr and his party were lost. I am also very interested in our early explorer history - particularly Stuart, Sturt, Burke & Wills, Gregory and Leichhardt and try to visit their important sites whenever we travel. We are heading for northern WA next year - Darrell Lewis believes the area in the north west of the Tanami desert is a strong possibility as to where Dr Leichhardt finished up.


AnswerID: 521544

Follow Up By: Member - David & Kerry W - Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 09:23

Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 09:23
G'day John.

Thanks for the reply. That was a good book, many theories. It would be great if more relics were found, and yet I guess the mystery is good to ponder. If he did end up somewhere in the GSD where would you start to search - Sturt Creek is obvious but after that?

Fortunately his exploits have been well documented up to that last fateful adventure.

Thanks and cheers, David
FollowupID: 802283

Reply By: Echucan Bob - Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 10:19

Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 10:19

I just opened a birthday present from my brother and it is the book "Into the Unknown" by John Bailey. It is about "the tormented life and expeditions of Ludwig Leichhardt" so I will read it with interest.

AnswerID: 521580

Follow Up By: Member - David & Kerry W - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 08:48

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 08:48
G'day Bob.

Yes a good read. Bailey makes him into a hard task master, and maybe he was, but a lot of country was opened up because of his endeavour. Of all of our explorers he would be the most qualified observer.

Thanks for the reply, cheers, David
FollowupID: 802363

Reply By: Member - Michael W14 - Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 10:53

Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 10:53

I read about his journey on line at

Free and there is lots more stuff there on Australian explorers. Leichhardt and Giles are my favourites.

I wonder how many times I have cut his track in the GSD on that last fateful journey.

AnswerID: 521586

Follow Up By: Member - David & Kerry W - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 08:54

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 08:54
G'day Willie.

That is a great resource. A pity more books can't be done. Maps are much harder to come by.

Giles certainly picked a hard bit of country to explore, we just have to admire their determination, luck and skill - these blokes needed all that plus more.

Thanks, cheers, David
FollowupID: 802364

Reply By: Kilcowera Station Stay - Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 15:12

Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 15:12
G'day David, have you read the book " The mystery of the Leichardt survior" by Les Perrin? A good read. Cheers Toni
AnswerID: 521979

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