DE flag button 50px With thanks to Dr Isolde Neugart, our German visitors can read a translation of this summary page herePlease note: this may not reflect the most recent uploads of information and articles - we will do our best to keep up to date, and thank you for your understanding and patience!

Welcome to 'the Fifth Continent' ~ the world's largest island, inhabited for more than 40,000 years ... explored and mapped only in the last 225 years. In these pages we aim to show you something of the land Down Under which awaited Leichhardt's eager scrutiny: how it looked then, and how it is today. 

Australia is among the most urbanised countries on the planet: the majority of the population are coast-dwellers, or live in the southeast quarter of the continent. To some extent, this is mandated by the climate and the landscape. In that regard, little has changed over two centuries. Within a few decades of European settlement, the land's new explorers, farmers and graziers had learned the meaning of a 'good' season ... and that a 'dry' could parch the country far south of the tropics and the monsoonal 'wet'. 

Leichhardt ~ and the many other explorers, pioneers and 'overlanders' enshrined in Australian history ~ had to trust the noses of their horses and livestock to find moisture, if none could be found by European eyes. Those who befriended the blacks, and learned from the eons of knowledge the indigenous tribes possessed, invariably fared better. That Ludwig Leichhardt was a keen student is universally agreed. What better way to bring history alive than travel in his very footsteps yourself! 


Leichhardt in Kakadu, 1845
Charles Darwin University humanitarian lecturer Dan Baschiera is a social worker and bushwalker with a keen interest in the early European explorers' first encounters with Indigenous Australians. Nowhere, perhaps, is the interface with 'the Dreaming' more vivid than in the rugged escarpments of Kakadu, which Leichhardt and his exhausted party had to negotiate at the end of their long overland journey. Dan has developed his own theories about the ultimate fate of the missing German, and has very kindly made available the 3rd edition of his book, and you can read more here.


Leichhardt lands in ink and oils
Artist, historian and adventurer Bill Gannon is completing a 15-month journey of his own. He and a small team of collaborating creatives have trekked, traipsed and driven their way through the same dramatic and changing landscapes as the 1844-45 expedition. The resulting artworks are about to tour Australia and, with special thanks to Bill, you can read and see more here.

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"Looking into Leichhardt"
The full catalogue of this amazing collection of artwork by Bill Gannon, and friends Sarah Larsen, Maljah Cathy Snow and Jason Benjamin, can now be viewed as an online page-turning book, by clicking here.


Proposed Leichhardt Centre
Large parts of Queensland, and north and central Australia, can stake a claim to being part of LeichhardtLand. One town and district has been advancing plans to give the lost explorer a tangible 'home' and overdue meaningful recognition of his discoveries and achievements. Taroom, a six-hour drive northwest of Brisbane, stands above the banks of the Dawson River, in the footprints of the Expedition Range ~ both features named by the explorer. Read more.

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