Australia, October 17, 2014: A new interactive map of explorer Ludwig Leichhardt’s 1844-45 expedition from Moreton Bay to Port Essington has been created by experts at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. This new version corrects the previous route, and includes entries from the explorers’ journals, as well as includes the ability to use Google Earth to explore terrain described in the entries.
Leichhardt was the first white man to traverse the land in North Queensland and record it. It was the longest land exploration up to that date, and through very rugged land. Leichhardt and his team travelled 4800km over 14 months on a privately-funded east-west crossing from southern Queensland to the coast of the Top End. After running out of food seven months into the trip, they had to rely upon the land, observing local Aboriginal groups to help them survive the harsh conditions.
The team of researchers pored over Leichhardt’s journal and a map of the route sketched by British mapmaker John Arrowsmith in 1847. Although of great quality considering the resources of the time, Arrowsmith’s map was still out by up to 32km off in places.
The ANU team is now retracing the routes taken by Australian explorers, the Forrest brothers, from 1869-1879.
Source: Australian Geographic