Here we have gathered a selection of material from different sources, and will add to it over time. There is a little biography and poetry, some accounts of his upbringing and adventures ... even artistic interpretations in crayon and coin! A common thread is that each item addresses some aspect of Leichhardt, the man. If you have a contribution to add, contact us here ... after all, you never know who you might meet ...

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Liebe Besucher und Besucherinnen der Leichhardtland-Website,

ich freue mich über Ihr Interesse an meinem Ur-Ur-Großonkel und Namensvetter Ludwig Leichhardt. Aufgewachsen in Deutschland nahe Berlin wurde mir in Familie und Schule immer wieder von meinem Verwandten berichtet, der die große weite Welt entdecken wollte und in Australien Expeditionen voller Abenteuer durchführte. Später widmete ich mich der Pflege seines Andenkens und der Erinnerung an die Ideale und Werte, die ihn antrieben: die bisweilen entbehrungsvolle und gefährliche Suche nach Wahrheit, exakter Wissenschaft und seine große Neugier auf Entdeckungen. Ich grüße Sie ganz herzlich und wünsche Ihnen viel Freude bei der weiteren Entdeckung des Lebens meines Ur-Ur-Großonkels und der Erinnerung an dieses Vermächtnis.

Ihr Ludwig Leichhardt


Dear visitors of the Leichhardtland-

I appreciate your interest in my great-great-great uncle and namesake, Ludwig Leichhardt. Born and raised in Germany, near Berlin, I was told time and again at home and in school about my relative who wanted to explore the whole wide world and carried out expeditions full of adventure in Australia. Later I dedicated myself to honouring his memory and recalling the ideals and values that motivated him: the quest for truth and exact science that was sometimes dangerous and full of privation, as well as his great curiosity for discoveries. I cordially welcome you and hope you enjoy learning more about the life of my great-great-great uncle and his legacy.

Ludwig Leichhardt

Family history
Ludwig Leichhardt (the younger) has compiled some interesting research into his illustrious family tree. He has very kindly given us permission to make it available on this website, and you can read the document (in German) here.


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"Dr Leichhardt's March"
With thanks to Ludwig (the younger) we have received this catalogue of ephemera and eclectica, published by Hordern House in October 2013. Among the rare items on offer is the sheet music for this piano piece composed by Leichhardt's friend Stephen Hale Marsh - who was on the same ship voyaging out to Australia. This piece was one of two composed by Marsh in celebration of the explorer's triumphant return to Sydney in 1845. 

To hear the march being played, click on the cover image (left) to open the PDF, then navigate to the catalogue's page 21 and click on the indicated link in the text!

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 DE flag button 50px With thanks to Dr Isolde Neugart, our German visitors can read a translation of this summary page here. Please 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!


Ludwig revisited
Many remember Leichhardt for the mystery of the disappearance of he and his party on his third expedition across Australia. But what do we really know of the man before he vanished? There is much more to the story of the great man's journeys across Queensland and Australia than the lasting mystery of his disappearance. Robin Kleinschmidt and others explain. This piece was published in October 2012 in the book Queensland's German connections, and we acknowledge the GACCQ for permission to reproduce it here

 DE flag button 50px With thanks to Dr Isolde Neugart, our German visitors can read a translation of this article here.

Unearthing Ludwig's diaries
Self-confessed ‘discoverer’ and ecologist Rod Fensham stumbled upon the great explorer’s original diaries hidden deep in library vaults, and embarked on a long journey of his own to have them translated and published for the bicentenary in 2013. This piece was published in October 2012 in the book Queensland's German connections, and we acknowledge the GACCQ for permission to reproduce it here.

Paterson's poem
'Banjo' Paterson was one of Australia's most revered poets and writers, whose famous works included Waltzing Matilda and The Man from Snowy River. His prolific output ranged from these evocative, haunting ballads to verse of much drier whimsy. Hardships and pomposity lost their sting when looked at through Paterson's larrikin lens. In 1899, he produced some wise words for those seeking the lost explorer, which you can read here.

Where Leichhardt Lies
Many decades after 'Banjo' Paterson, stockman and author Bruce Simpson wrote some verse of his own. No place for whimsy in Simpson's eyes, however. He creates for the reader a searingly vivid word picture of the demented dimensions of Australia's vast Outback. It is a brooding, ageless land, capable of withholding its secrets from mere mortals like us. Read Simpson's poem here.

Leichhardt in bronze
German-born Queensland sculptor Bodo Muche has an exciting vision for a larger-than-life bronze monument of the great explorer. You can read more about his work and the proposal, and see images of the small maquette (model) he made for the Bicentennial birthday here.

Leichhardt in silver
The Perth Mint celebrated the Bicentenary with the release of a stunning silver 2oz commemorative coin at the start of 2013. Ludwig Leichhardt himself attended the launch events in Berlin ~ if you don't believe us, read more (and see the pictures!) here.

 DE flag button 50px With thanks to Dr Isolde Neugart, our German visitors can read a translation of this article here.

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Leichhardt at sea
No, we're not talking about Ludwig's voyage out to Australia; we have found some interesting stories about ships bearing the name Leichhardt. Curiously, three of them appear to have been at sea, in different parts of the world, around the same time in the late 19th century ~ and we don't know what happened to two of them! At least one of them seems to have had only one 'h' in the name, and almost all have a very definite connection with the coasts of Queensland and the Northern Territory. You can see pictures and read more here.

Schools project
During 2013, Queensland Senator Sue Boyce marked the Bicentenary with an essay and drawing competition for school students who study in the electorates that Leichhardt passed through. Today that is the current electorates of Groom, Flynn, Dawson, Kennedy, Maranoa, Capricornia and Leichhardt. More than 600 entries were submitted, and you can find out more about the winners and their work here

Drug legacy lives on
This is the story of a little plant that has connected two great nations – Australia and Germany. The CSIRO's Steph Overton and Elizabeth Yuncken outline how a discovery made by Leichhardt in the 19th century remains relevant in the 21st century. Read more here.

Journal extracts
Amidst all the detailed insights and commentary in the pages of Leichhardt's published account, there is much which could be highlighted. In the GACCQ book Queensland's German connections, four particularly eloquent entries were extracted from the Journal, and each given a contemporary image and a double page spread. You can find these here. 

Which Leichhardt?
For 170 years, students, scientists, adventurers and writers have pondered the question of the man, as much as his fate. Was Leichhardt the egomaniacal fool he is often portrayed to be, lucky by accident but fumblingly predestined for tragedy? Or was he a misunderstood and misrepresented foreigner, in a harsh young colony built by prisoners and visionaries? The Goethe Institut has an interesting article ~ or three ~ on its website, and you can read more, in English or German, here.


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