Ludwig Leichhardtludwig himself.jpg
By Nick Cross, Steven Lam, Anthony Martenstyn
Ludwig Leichhardt

Ludwig Leichhardt was born October 23 1813 named as Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Leichhardt at Trebatsh in the Mark of Brandenburg. He was the 4th son and 6th child born and was the son of Christian Hieronymus Matthias Leichhardt and Charlotte Sophie. He passed school and went to university and studied to become a teacher, however, a friend named Nicholson made him change his mind and made him study to become a doctor. He never passed university but still called himself a doctor. His friend that he met at university suggested for Leichhardt to migrate to Australia with him but his friend ended up not going. Leichhardt's trip was paid for by his friend and was given some extra money too. Leichhardt landed 14th February 1842 at Sydney Cove with the aim to explore inland Australia. Ludwig Leichhardt went missing 1848 with no conclusive evidence of where or how he went missing as all that was found were two trees marked with the letter 'L'. A factor as to why Ludwig Leichhardt went missing could have been because of his very poor eye sight.

Expedition NO.1

The date Ludwig Leichhardt left was on October 1st, 1844.Seven other englishmen and two aboriginal stockmen accompanied him on his journey.
He took with him 17 horses, several bullocks and almost 1000 kg of food.

The went from Jimbour station on the Darling Downs they went north on the Eastern side of the great dividing range. They then went west and stayed close to the Gulf of Carpentaria. 9 Months later they were near the eastern edge of the gulf of carpentaria. Near the end of their journey, their clothes were hanging of them in strips and they had eaten the last of the bullocks but a group of friendly aboriginals helped them find food and guided them on their way. At the end of March 1846 , the survivors of the journey arrived back in Sydney where they were given a massive welcome. People had long given them up for dead.

On the 28th of June 1845, the party was camped up on the edge of a lagoon when at about 7:00 in the evening, a shower of spears rained down upon them. After numerous shots of gunfire and the aboriginals retreated, they found that John Gilbert had been speared through the neck and was killed. Two other men had been severley injured that night.

On their journey they named rivers after each other that they came across. 12 JUly 1845, they crossed a small river. Leichhardt named it after his friend his dead friend Gilbert who had died the night of the aboriginal attack. 19 October, they reached a large river which leichhardt named after John Roper who spotted it first.

Expedition NO.2

In 1848, Leichhardt set out on his second attempt to cross the Australian continent starting at a point north from Brisbane.He took a team of about 80 bullocks and six other men accompanied him. In his earlier attempt two years earlier, Leichhardt and the 8 men who accompanied him were forced to return because of exhaustion and suffering from tropical fevers after trekking for nine months. A total of nine expeditions went out looking for Leichhardt’s team but nothing was found. It still remains perhaps the greatest mystery in Australian exploration.

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ludwig doctor certificate.jpg Pamphlet translated in German about Leichhardt

The Sgnificance

In 1847 a year before his dissapearance Ludwig Leichhardt eperienced three major privileges. he was ginen Paris' geographic discovery award from the Geographical Society, he was also given the Patron's Medal from the Royal Geographical Society in Londan as well. Prussia also recognised his acheivment and granted him a King's pardon for having failed to return to Prussia when he was supposed to serve a period of compulsory military training. But it was in 1851 when Ludwig Leichhardt's exeditions were recocnised, especially his expedition to Port Essington, these soon made a great contribution to science. However things were not all good for Leichhardt as he was contantly criticised after his dissapearance as a person and as a professional explorer which had a huge impact o his reputation, nevertheless his dicoveries and expeditions were valued and always have been.

What made Leichhardt's expeditions so important as not only the fact that it made a huge impact on science today but the Port Essington expedition in particular gave the people of New South Wales an insite on the great pastrol country we know as Australia, this has ranked him as one of the most successful European explorers and as one of the most authoritative early writers or recorders of Australia's environment and as the best trained natural scientists to explore Australia in that time period. This is why he was so important to the people of Australia and why peopleall over Australia to this day are studying whathe did.

Australia has remembered Ludwig Leichhardt through the use of his name in several places such as; Leichhardt, a suburb in inner Western Sydney, and the surrounding Municipality of Leichhardt; Leichhardt, as a suburb of Ipswich, which consists of the Leichhardt Highway, there is also the Leichhardt river in Queensland.they have also named insects after him, there is a species of Eucalyptus tree bears under Leichhardt's name as well as the insect "Petasida e phippigera" which is commonly known as the Leichhardt's grasshopper. Then there is his famous nameplate found in 1900 by an Aboriginal around Sturt Creek just inside of Western Australia, and was authenticated by historians and scientists in 2006; a tiny brass plate with "LUDWIG LEICHHARDT 1848" engraved into it. It is now on display at the National Museum of Australia.


Ludwig Leichhardt Nameplate


Overland expedition to Port Essington

1974, Complete History of Australia part one, Paul Hamlyn, Dee why West(NSW)
Edited June 5th, Ludwig Leichhardt (Wikipedia), viewed 7th June 2012,
Edited 21st June 2011, Ludwig Leichhardt (State Library of New South Wales), viewed 7th June 2012,
Ludwig Leichhardt, 2009, illustration , accessed 14 June 2012,
Pamphlet about Ludwig Leichhardt, 2009, photograph, , accessed 14 June 2012,

Ludwig Leichhardt Nameplate,photograph, Google images, viewed 13th of june 2012,,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1024&bih=560&wrapid=tlif1339672667750107&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=fMjZT8y0CcegiOfx85SCAw

L. Leichhardt,1845, Overland expedition to Port Essington,State Library of New South Wales website,viewed 13th of June 2012,