Alexander Forrest Memorial - NT

  Historic Site


DEG: -15.85886 133.404404
DMS: 15º 51' 31.9" S 133º 24' 15.85" E
UTM: 53 L 8246026mN 329146mE
Altitude: 187.72m


Address & Contact

Birdum NT 0852
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Web: N/A


FORREST, ALEXANDER (1849-1901), explorer, politician and investor, was born on 22 September 1849 at Picton, near Bunbury, Western Australia, fourth of nine sons of William Forrest, miller, and his wife Margaret Guthrie, née Hill. His older brother was (Sir) John Forrest. After education at Bishop Mathew Hale's School in 1863-65, he worked at his father's mill until in 1868 he advertised himself as a surveyor. This somewhat premature move was followed by a further period of training, but by 1870 he was experienced enough to serve as second-in-command of John's first transcontinental expedition, along the edge of the Great Australian Bright. On 1 January 1871 he was appointed to the Survey Department as surveyor-in-charge of the Albany district; but, following a reorganization later that year, he became an independent licensed surveyor working by contract for the department. This kept him constantly at work during the pastoral expansion of the 1870s until his marriage on 15 January 1880 to Amy Eliza Barrett-Lennard (1852-1897).
Old colonists considered that Alexander was a better bushman than John, quicker to accept and persevere with risks, though a less careful surveyor. In August-September 1871 he had led a six-man expedition for pastoral country on the Hampton Plains, forming a favourable impression which did not survive a second reconnoitre in 1876. In 1874 he was second-in-command of John's second transcontinental expedition, frequently acting as advance scout and proving himself a loyal confidant. Following an important survey of the North-West in 1875, he planned an examination of the remaining unoccupied area in the far north of Western Australia. In March 1879, accompanied by his brother Matthew (1857-1884) and six other men, he began a six-month exploration which resulted in the discovery and naming of the Kimberley district, the Margaret and Ord rivers, the King Leopold ranges, and a vast tract of well-watered pastoral country on the Fitzroy and Ord rivers. There were privations; much valuable time was spent in fruitless attempts to penetrate the Leopolds, so that the expedition ended in a desperate dash to the security of the Overland Telegraph Line. Yet Forrest could boast the discovery of a land of good grass and water, promising prospects for gold and tropical agriculture, and Aboriginals who showed no hostility. It became a magnet for squatters and investors.

iMapPlot Reference Image


Working on it...

Get Traveller App Get the ExplorOz Traveller App to download all ExplorOz Places for navigational use on your tablet, phone, iPad or laptop.
Download Place
Use this download for GPX, Hema Navigator and OziExplorer. Geo data only no map included.



Closest Weather Station

TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Distance from Alexander Forrest Memorial 37.58km NW
Mean Max. °C35.334.434.033.831.729.329.431.835.137.337.936.8
Mean Min. °C24.023.722.519.816.313.012.314.118.422.224.324.5
Mean Rain mm208.2204.7156.

Update History

Comments & Reviews

Post a Comment
Add Photos & Files
Alert Admin Open in Traveller App

Sponsored Links