... about Leichhardt.
Okay, you may have known some of these before now, but we have to get a (short) headline from somewhere. What? There's only six things here, you say? Tch-tch, we will have to find some more ... or you can contribute a 'hidden gem' of your own to the list! Please ensure you have at least one source ~ preferably two or more, for cross-checking ~ before you use the contact form here.
|1||Ludwig was born in the same year that the first white Europeans (Lawson, Blaxland & Wentworth) climbed, and gazed westwards beyond, the barrier of the Blue Mountains west of Sydney in the colony of New South Wales. Just one month after Ludwig’s birthday, George Evans became the first European to cross the divide and descend to the fertile plains beyond.|
|2||A highway named after Leichhardt has its own website and driving directions. The 600km-long Leichhardt Highway runs from Goondiwindi, on the Queensland-NSW border, to the Capricorn Highway southwest of Rockhampton, and continues 100km to the coast at Yeppoon. It is the northern extension of the 1,000km-long Newell Highway, the inland route south to the Victorian border and on to Melbourne.|
|3||In more than 40 years of naming its aircraft after famous explorers and pioneers, TAA never named one after Leichhardt. There were, over time, five John Forrests, four each of Thomas Mitchell and George Bass, three James Cooks and John Oxleys, two Abel Tasmans and a Paul Strezlecki ~ to highlight just a few ~ but not a single Ludwig Leichhardt.|
|4||The paddle-steamer Sovereign, which brought Leichhardt, his party’s personal effects and 13 horses from Sydney to Brisbane in August 1844 to begin the expedition, was wrecked in 1847 – the same year of his first attempt to reach the west. Attempting to depart Brisbane on a coastal voyage back to Sydney, the vessel foundered in big seas on Moreton Bay’s treacherous South Passage Bar with heavy loss of life.|
|5||The last publicly-funded search for Leichhardt was by Bruce Simpson in 1998, with funding from the Queensland Government. The most recent searches were in 2007 and 2008, when author/historian Darrell Lewis went seeking the "L"-marked boab tree where the Leichhardt brass plate had allegedly been found, in an expedition funded by the National Museum of Australia.|
There have been at least five ships named Leichhardt ~ three at the same time in the late 19th century! The fate of two of them is unknown, and the third sank in a marine 'driving under the influence' collision in the river Thames. The fourth Leichhardt ran aground in the Torres Strait in 1987 but perhaps we should not be thinking of the explorer's restless ghost, as the fifth is giving sterling service to the ports of far north Queensland in the 21st century.