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Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

A monument commemorates the explorer Ludwig Leichhardt. The plaque was unveiled on the centenary of Leichhardt's reaching Port Essington.

In October 1844, Leichhardt left the Darling Downs with a party of nine men on an expedition to find a new route to Port Essington, near Darwin. He took with him 17 horses, 16 bullocks, 550kilograms of flour, 90 kilograms of sugar, 40 kilograms of tea and 10 kilograms of gelatine. Leichhardt was a very poor bushman and the party was always becoming lost. Two members of the party turned back shortly after the expedition started, and another, John Gilbert was killed by aborigines. Seven exhausted men finally reached Port Essington after a journey of 5000 kilometres. The journey had taken them 15 months.

On December 17, 1945, it will be one hundred years since the explorer. Ludwig Leichbardt, reached Port Essington on the Coburg Peninsula, which then had a British Garrison. A permanent memorial to record this will be erected on the foreshore of Darwin, but a memorial plaque will be unveiled by the Administrator of the Northern Territory at 11am on Monday, December 17, 1945. The ceremony is regarded by the Federal Government as an official one and a representative of the Royal Geographical Society is flying specially from Brisbane to be present. The Service heads will also be present. Two thousand special envelopes will be postmarked with the Darwin Post Office stamp dated December 17, 1945. and these will have a distinct philatelic value.
Army News (Darwin, NT), 15th December 1945.


Address:The Esplanade, Bicentennial Park, Darwin, 0800
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -12.462222
Long: 130.836111
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:17-December-1845
Actual Event End Date:17-December-1845


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 17th December, 1945
Front Inscription

(Top Plaque)
Freidrich William Ludwig Leichhardt

Naturalist and explorer and a party of path finders from Brisbane reached Port Essington 17th December 1845.

The party comprised John Gilbert, (mortally speared 28·6·45), John Roper, James C. Calvert, John Murphy, William Phillips and the aborigines Harry Brown and Charley.

Unveiled on the 17th December 1945.

(Lower Plaque)
(Map of rivers discovered)
Leichhardt was born in Trebatsch, Brandenburg province, Germany on 23rd of October 1813. He arrived in Sydney on 14th February 1842 and was soon after appointed a Government naturalist.

Eager to lead his own expedition, he finally received backing from graziers and friends to lead a party 4800km from Brisbane to Port Essington. They travelled from Sydney to Brisbane by sea and departed Brisbane 1st October 1944.

Their trek, lasting 14 months and 17 days was a great physical achievement and of major importance to Australia. It resulted in the discovery of many great streams and large areas of grazing land.


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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