Louis BernacchiPrint Page Print this page

20-October-2007 (Kent Watson)
20-October-2007 (Kent Watson)

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Graeme Saunders

The sculpture commemorates the Tasmanian Antarctic explorer Louis Bernacchi (1878 - 1942). The sculpture is titled"Self portrait, Louis and Joe", and shows Louis Bernacchi posing with his dog in front of an old-style camera.

Bernacchi voyaged from Plymouth to Hobart as a seven year old and was educated at the Hutchins School in Hobart before studying astronomy, magnetism, meteorology and physics at Melbourne Observatory. He became a physicist trained in astronomy and terrestrial magnetism. As a member of Borchgrevink`s 1898-1900 Southern Cross expedition he endured the first winter on the Antarctic continent and collected a complete set of magnetic data over an annual cycle. He became the first Australian to work and winter in Antarctica.

Bernacchi also took the photographs that illustrate his book and Borchgrevink`s "First on the Antarctic Continent". The results are really the first comprehensive collection of photographs of an expedition that was not ship based and portraying continental Antarctica.

Later he was recruited as physicist for Captain R. F. Scott`s British National Antarctic Expedition (1901-04); he was regarded as a tireless and energetic observer and a `cheerful and loyal friend` to all the party. His scientific writings and Scott`s published views testify to the value of his work, and he was awarded the Royal Geographical Society and the King`s Antarctic medals as well as the French Cross of the Légion d`honneur (1906)


Address:Franklin Wharf, Hobart, 7000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.882261
Long: 147.33505
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Artist:Stephen Walker A. M. (Hobart, TAS)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 10th September, 2002
Front Inscription

The Bernachhi Tribute
"Self Portrait" Louis and Joe

Tasmanian Louis Bernachhi (1878 - 1942) was the first Australian to winter in Antarctica.

Louis grew up on Maria Island, attended Hobart`s Hutchins School, and from his early years was a strong advocate for Australia`s involvement in Antarctica.

A scientist, photographer and writer, Louis left Hobart with the Borchgrevink Antarctic Expedition on the 17th December 1898.  Their vessel, "The Southern Cross" departed from the point where this tribute now stands. 

Louis later joined Scotts 1901 - 1904 `Discovery` Expedition as Chief Scientist, taking his favourite Husky "Joe" who had Been with him on Borchgrevink`s earlier expedition.

Right Side Inscription

Plaque :

"Heading South"

Presented to the people of Hobart by James and Margaret Bleasel to commemorate the historic links between the
Port of Hobart, the Southern Ocean and Antarctica

"Seals and Penguins: unveiled by the Rt. Hon., the Lord Mayor of Hobart Alderman Dr. J. W. Freeman
7th January, 1998

"The Bernacchi Tribute" unveiled by Mr. Jim Bacon. M.H.A., Premier of Tasmania
10th September, 2002

Sculptor, Stephen Walker A.M.

Inscription in Proximity


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