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In 186061, Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Australia from Melbourne in the south to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 3,250 kilometres (approximately 2,000 miles). At that time most of the inland of Australia had not been explored by non-indigenous people and was completely unknown to the European settlers. The south-north leg was successfully completed (except that they were stopped by swampland 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the northern coastline), but owing to poor leadership and bad luck, both of the expedition's leaders died on the return journey. Altogether, seven men lost their lives, and only one man, John King, travelled the entire expedition and returned alive to Melbourne.

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In 186061, Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Australia from Melbourne in the south to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 3,250 kilometres (approximately 2,000 miles). At that time most of the inland of Australia had not been explored by non-indigenous people and was completely unknown to the European settlers. The south-north leg was successfully completed (except that they were stopped by swampland 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the northern coastline), but owing to poor leadership and bad luck, both of the expedition's leaders died on the return journey. Altogether, seven men lost their lives, and only one man, John King, travelled the entire expedition and returned alive to Melbourne. More...

 
    Robert Burke, Australian Explorer
  Robert Burke, Australian Explorer
Robert O'Hara Burke was an Irish soldier and police officer, who achieved fame as an Australian explorer. He was the leader of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition, which was the first expedition to cross Australia from south to north, finding a...
 
    William John Wills, Australian Explorer
  William John Wills, Australian Explorer
William John Wills was an English surveyor who also trained for a while as a surgeon. He achieved fame as the second-in-command of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition, which was the first expedition to cross Australia from south to north, findin...
 
    John King, Australian Explorer
  John King, Australian Explorer
John King was an Irish soldier who achieved fame as an Australian explorer. He was the sole survivor of the four men from the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition who reached the Gulf of Carpentaria. The expedition was the first to cross Australia fr...
 
       
 
         
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