Many Australian explorers battled cruel conditions in order to map unchartered territory.

The most daring were those who ventured away from Australia and into Antarctic waters. But it wasn't all dashing bravery and a hero's welcome. Australia's successful exploratory history is peppered with tales of disappointment and tragedy. Find out about the explorers who got stranded in Antarctica, and how Burke and Wills could have saved their own lives.

Victoria’s early explorers left a permanent mark on the landscape.
One man's private thoughts and observations provide a window into life in 19th century Gippsland.
When the Burke and Wills expedition proved a disaster, the skills of a self-taught bushman helped pick up the pieces.
A Scottish explorer is often overlooked as the first white explorer of the Gippsland region.
In 1840, young explorer James Riley joined an important expedition and experienced the cruelty of the Australian bush.
A group devoted to the advancement of science was responsible for Victoria's most famous – and ill-fated – expedition.
Burke and Wills could very well have been saved if they had relied on the knowledge and experience of Indigenous guides.
Lesser known than his fellow explorers, John King Davis was one of the quiet achievers of Australian Antarctic exploration.
A man with a genuine commitment to his science, Sir Douglas Mawson's name is synonymous with Antarctic exploration.
Although catastrophe seemed to follow wherever he went, Ernest Shackleton was a pioneer of Australian Antarctic exploration.
Years of Arctic navigation made the Aurora worthy of being the vessel for Australia's first Antarctic expedition.