Madigan Trip 2008

Hope no one minds as this trip was a couple of years ago but someone will get some info from it.

Back from the trip so a bit of a trip report is called for, will build on it over the following weeks/days (now I'm back at work)

I suppose a round up of the injury toll.

Discovered the fuel change over solenoid for the brand new aux tank doesn't work, hence ran out of fuel 22km out of Nyngan.

Leaking rear wheel inner hub seal - no oil needed to be added to rear diff over 7000km

leaking lift pump.

Busted N/S rear sliding window (rock rebound)

Short circuit in power to indicator circuit - no indicators, fuel gauge, temp gauge from Birdsville onwards.

One removed mud flap.

Replaced seized?? rear door lock and striker plate in Alice Springs - didn't want to take the chance of not being able to open the rear door, that would have been a trip killer.


and a few suspension bushes that will no doubt need some attention.


Itinerary for the trip as follows:

Day 1 - Home to Dubbo - bush camp
Day 2 - Dubbo to Mays bend (Bourke) - bush camp
Day 3 - Bourke to Cunnanulla (meet with the "BIL & sis") and on to Lake Bindegolly - bush camp
Day 4 - Lake Bindegolly to Innamincka - bush camp & shower
Day 5 - Innamincka to Kooncherra dune (Walkers crossing track) - bush camp
Day 6 - Kooncherra to Warburton track - camped near rig road - bush camp
Day 7 - Rig Road onto WAA line to near Erabena junction - bush camp
Day 8 - WAA and rig road to Purnie Bore - bush camp & shower
Day 9 - Purnie Bore to 3 O'clock creek - bush camp
Day 10 - 3 O'clock creek to Goyder creek via blood creek, Abminga and Old Ghan line - bush camp
Day 11 - Goyder creek to Chambers Pillar - bush camp
Day 12 - Chambers Pillar to Alice Springs - link up with friends who will be travelling with us
Day 13 - Alice Springs (Heavitree gap c'van park)
Day 14 - Alice Springs to Rainbow valley - bush camp
Day 15 - Rainbow Valley to Kulgera Shower meet with another mate travelling with us, ( and washy & Lynda for a day) shower and bush camp east of Kulgera.
Day 16 - Kulgera to East Bore via Old Andado - bush camp and shower
Day 17 - Madigan line - bush camp
Day 18 - Magigan line - bush camp
Day 19 - Madigan line - bush camp
Day 20 - Geosurveys Hill - bush camp
Day 21 - Madigan line - bush camp
Day 22 - Madigan line - Madigan claypan - bush camp
Day 23 - Madigan line - bush camp
Day 24 - Madigan line - bush camp
Day 25 - Madigan line - Kuddareee waterhole - bush camp and shower
Day 26 - Madigan line - Kuddaree to Old Annandale - bush camp
Day 27 - Madigan line camp 25, Birdsville Pub - Bush camp & shower
Day 28 - Birdsville
Day 29 - Birdsville to Marrianna Creek via Cordillo Downs - bush camp
Day 30 - Marrianna Creek to Noccundra via Durham Downs - bush camp & shower
Day 31 - Noccundra to Currawinya - bush camp
Day 32 - Currawinya - bush camp
Day 33 - Currawinya to Fords Bridge - bush camp
Day 34 - Fords Bridge to Louth - camp & shower met up again with "Washy & Lynda"
Day 35 - Louth
Day 36 - Louth to Tilpa to Louth
Day 37 - Louth Races
Day 38 - Louth
Day 39 - Louth to Dubbo - Motel
Day 40 - Dubbo to Home

Put the tent up twice (Alice Springs and Louth) Motel one night (Dubbo) the rest of the time nice and cosy in the double swag.

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 1

Underway from home at approx 10:25 with light rain and a little bit foggy as this was only a transport day we were in no hurry and made our way via the M7 and M4 westward towards Dubbo for an overnight camp.

Once onto the M4 the Landy was making some strange noises which was tracked down to one of the load straps on the roof making a loud vibration. A quick fix with an occy strap to act as a vibration damper saw us on the way again. Lunch was at Lithgow before we headed off again towards Dubbo. As a last concession towards luxury we decided on dinner at the RSL before heading the 15 km out of town to camp at Minore Falls on the bank of the Macquarie River.

With plenty of fire wood due to a fallen river gum we had a small camp fire and a hot cup of tea before retiring to the swag under the stars for a cold night.
We however were nice and warm.

Day 1 455km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 2

Early Morning - Macquarie River

Whilst doing some research and downloading maps from the Geoscience Australia site I had come across the centre of NSW cairn south of Trangie/Nyngan and decided that it would be worth a look, so leaving the highway at Trangie we headed down through Tottenham and out to 5 ways and down Cockies road to the ‘Centre of NSW’ a Becentennial (sic) project with Bogan Shire Council.

Geographic Centre of NSW

A quick boil up with the eco billy and lunch was underway. Amanda decided that this would be an ideal location to gather some sand for our neighbour, after a few photos it was off back along the Bogan River heading toward Nyngan and onto Bourke. (or so we thought). When we were 20km up the Mitchell highway I discovered that the solenoid valve on the brand new Long Ranger auxiliary fuel tank didn’t switch so we ran out of fuel. One thing I didn’t have was a syphon hose so had to resort to calling the NRMA.

I naively thought that with the bonnet up passing traffic may drop below the 120 -130 km/hr

Apparently the NRMA wont allow their guys to transfer fuel anymore, so it was a trip on the tilt tray back to Nyngan to fill up. Even though the 300Tdi is self priming I had never run it dry before so didn’t know what to expect when trying to start it. No need to have worried after approx 10 second of cranking it fired into life and we were on our way again, having lost around 2 hours of time. Arrival at Mays bend north of Bourke was going to be in the dark and I only had a rough idea of where it was, it didn’t however turn out to be a problem and we were set up in camp at around 19:15, cooked up a spaghetti bolognaise for dinner and another night under a brilliant star filled sky.

Day 2 532km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 3

We awoke to a slightly overcast sky although it had been clear most of the night,

Camped at Mays Bend - North of Bourke

We were on our way towards Cunnamulla to meet up with 'The Numpties' around lunch time. Immediately on crossing from NSW into Qld the road deteriorated. We pulled into the Park in Cunnamulla at around 12:40 and met up with Numpties for lunch. The eco billy caused a bit of a stir with one guy thinking the cars were on fire and rushing over to see what was going on.
Heading out from Cunnamulla at 14:00 we aimed for a camp at Lake Bindegolly NP about 50km from Thargomindah, arriving around 16:00 and quickly set up and boiled the billy.

Camping is not allowed in the actual NP (on the northern side of the road) but bush camping is permitted on the southern side (signposted). The lake although shallow had water in and spread for quite a distance to the SE.

Sunset that night was a good one even allowing for the lack of cloud to give any real ‘character’

Logged in with VKS737 and tried to contact friends we were meeting up with to no avail.

Due to the Walkers crossing track being closed due to recent rain we were going to head towards Quilpie and then across towards Arrabury to meet other friends that were heading to camp 16 on the Madigan instead of our previous plans of meeting them at Innamincka

Day 3 419km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 4

Getting under way at just past 8am weather is light overcast and cool, heading towards Quilpie. At approx 9:30 we received a message from the guys we were to meet via VKS that the Walkers crossing track had reopened the day before, we were now back on our original plan. From here to Innamincka was a nice easy run with Amanda taking over the driving after our morning tea stop.

Heading off we passed through the Jackson and Naccowlah oil fields before reaching Innamincka. The bitumen ended near the Karoma oil field and we were onto the dirt, bitumen was something we wouldn't see for a while.

The intent was, whoever arrived first was to leave a message for the others but as luck would have it we were all filling with fuel at the store at the same time, us with the two landies and our friends with the 1942 Jeep. Things had done the full turn for us as we had all met at Innaminka some 19 years ago after our first Simpson crossing. Myself with the Rangie, BIL &sis with the Stage 1 V8 had met Shorty (rangie) and Mitch coming from different directions, now we were all meeting up again, although Mitch was heading off to meet another group, and we would be meeting Shorty later at Kulgera.
After refueling and buying a few small items we headed out to camp near Kings marker, and partake in a welcome shower, dinner and a few quiet ales around the fire.

Day 4 - 441km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 5

The evening before was punctuated with the sounds of an oil/gas drilling rig not that far from where we were camped so day 5 started with goodbyes to Mitch's team, although the intent was to meet for lunch and maybe camp together again that night. We departed camp at around 09:40 and headed for a look around the Kings marker site, even though we had all been there before.

This was to be my third and ultimately successful attempt at crossing to Birdsville (or reverse) via Walkers Crossing (all other times it was flooded). We headed off stopping for lunch with Mitch and crew at Walkers crossing itself.

There is a tree with an inverted cross in a blaze near the actual crossing, I have no idea of the significance of this. anybody have any info?

Once heading off we were intending to camp near Cartoongannie waterhole, the track in this area had been realigned so it took us a while (with a bit of backtracking as well as resorting to the 1:250k paper maps) to find the old wheel ruts in and to locate the old Land Rover that Pat Perry, Vince and Jan had found on their previous trip. We located the Landie but were confronted with a new fence across the track, as it was blowing well and cool we decided that maybe camping in the lee of Kooncherra dune might offer more shelter so headed off again.

Once at Kooncherra there were already a group camped in the spot we intended to set up in so we headed further along and found a spot, although not quite as sheltered, but with a bit of firewood. Camp tonight was a cold one, and we had to resort to jackets to keep warm.

Kooncherra typifies sand dunes of the desert areas and was one of the first significant dunes we came to it offered some great photographic opportunities.

Day 5 - 220km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 6

Awoke in the swag to another clear cool day, at least the wind had dropped off a bit.

Bacon and eggs for breakfast, before packing up.

After all the gear was packed we went for an explore over the dune,

I love wandering over dunes, there is usually an amazing amount of evidence of life, but rarely do you see anything. We did hovever discover a small claypan in the middle of the dune, too hard to get to from the southern side but would be fairly easy from the northern side opposite the yards/dam and we figured it would make a nice sheltered camping spot for the future (provided it hasn’t rained).
We left Kooncherra mid morning heading for the Birdsville track to turn south and intersect the Warburton Crossing track into the Simpson.

We reached the Warburton crossing track at lunchtime so a short way in, we were into the dunes – well at least there was one windblown dune about a metre high. Just across Warburton Creek we stopped for lunch. Later on we were to figure it must have been around here that we donated 2 loaves of bread, bought at Innamincka to the wildlife, all we really know is that we were missing 2 loaves of bread and a cardboard box it was in. The Warburton crossing track heads off across the Warburton floodplain so is flat and (this time) smooth, allowing us to sit around 60 – 70kph at times, comparing the maps to the track out of Ozi its easy to see why many tracks are marked as “position approximate”

Our camp for the night was behind a sand dune about 8km south of the rig road junction, we had pulled up stumps at 15:15 having reached our intended camp site this gave us plenty of time to look around and have a nice easy evening.

We were now on the SE edge of the Simpson desert and ready to head around the rig road before taking the WAA line west to intersect the Colson track and back onto the rig road to the old Mokari airstrip then onto Purnie, Dalhousie and points westward. Neither of us had previously done the WAA line. In 1989 we had taken in the Rig, Erabena and Knolls track before heading along the french line to Poeppels, and I had done the full french line in 2000, so this was 'uncharted territory'

Day 6 - 209km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 7 [10th JUL]

We were on our way by 08:50 and twenty minutes later turned onto the rig road for our first east west crossing of the Simpson. Not thinking to lowertyre pressures I was stuck on the first real dune we came to, which wasvery soft, to make matters worse when I reversed off the dune I went of theedge of the clay capped road and the rear right wheel dropped at analarming angle each attempt only put me on a more precarious angle, so a snatch was in order to get us back onto the track. I probably felt more vulnerable (and a goose) at this point than at any other stage on the trip.

Soon we were heading north and skirting all the claypans and salt lakes that are scattered through out this part of the Simpson. We intended to go through to the Erabena track junction to camp for the night. We had basically set a target of being on the track by 09:00 and to make camp around 15:30 generally we were able to stick to our plans. Although the rig road was originally clay capped to allow the drilling rigs to move across the desert much of the capping has either gone or been covered by sand drifts, this coupled with the fact it seems to have ‘gone out of favour’, with most travellers heading along the French line now, suited us fine meaning we were unlikely to see others, although we were listening on UHF10.

Shortly after lunch we turned onto the WAA line for what was to be a very enjoyable trip west across the desert.

Many of the signs placed by Adam and Lyn Plate in the early 80s are still in place today.

Camp just east of the Erabena junction was made at 15:48.

The sunset had a good bit of colour due to some cloud to the west, and even out here you can’t escape signs of the modern life, we figured we were under the flight path to Darwin.

Dinner was a chilli chicken dish washed down with a few beers, before hitting the swag at about 21:30.

The first half of the trip with little to no moon was a real bonus, spending a few minutes under a brilliant carpet of stars, watching for meteors before nodding off.

Day 7 - 154km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 8 [11th JUL]

Underway again just before 09:00 we were heading west along the WAA line, passing the junction for the lone gum tree, and following dingo tracks in the sand.
I eventually worked out that the reason these tracks and shot line were put in was to make it easier on the dingos and camels to get from one side of the desert to the other as we seemed to be continually in their tracks. This time however we actually got to see the dingo, although for most of the time it was keeping its distance.

At lunch time we reached the junction of the rig road again. The trip across the WAA line had been most enjoyable, we had seen only one group travelling in the opposite direction who had warned us that a couple of the dunes had very steep east faces and would give the landies some problems,

we’re still waiting to get to them, obviously either their perception of steep dunes, vehicle performance, or driver capability varied from ours. The WAA line was fairly smooth with little in the way of corrugations, reflecting the lack of traffic.

It did however really put the suspension through its paces with maximum articulation over some of the crests, and some nasty holes if you didn’t pay attention. We found it wise to follow the latest track and not be tempted top just blast over the dune, as some of the crests had very big washout/erosion holes over the top.

On one of these crests is my 6” shifter that fell out when the back door opened, I mustn’t have shut it properly, luckily it can only open a couple of inches due to the wheel carrier. Of course if the roofrack hadn't loosened off it would still be in the tookbox

From Georges corner the road widened and we were once again making rapid progress although there were some badly corrugated patches. It wasn’t long before we arrived at Purnie bore for a welcome shower and camp away from the masses. Purnie was also the spot to transfer fuel from my main tank into the aux tank, which I was drawing from due to the u/s valve, siphoning diesel from the main tank into a jerry and then siphoning back into the aux tank is a right PIA. The rear door latch was also becoming very sticky and difficult to open at times, we were hoping hard that it didn’t seize altogether. Dinner tonight was curried mince and of course a few beers.

Day 8 - 148km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day9 [12th JUL]

After the welcome showers at Purnie bore and only looking at a short day it was time for a bit of an explore, Purnie had certainly changed since my first visit in 1989 although the bore had already been capped and restricted, it still emptied out at the head, now its piped some 50 or so metres to the south and as a consequence the wetland isn’t as large.

We moved off at 09:25 heading for Dalhousie springs. One of the reasons for camping at Purnie was to avoid the pine cubicles now at Dalhousie – the perils of being too popular. Morning tea was at the springs as well as a bit of a walk/explore around the back of the pools.

There are certainly some different vehicles getting around the outback now, and a few look very fit for purpose (even if they aren't Landies)

From the springs it was off to the ruins for a good look around and some excellent photo opportunities, especially around the old yards.

It was just a short hop to our camp spot around 3 O’clock creek (Christmas creek on the 1:250k maps) for what was to be our worse nights sleep on the whole trip.

Whilst the day hadn’t been hot by any means it wasn’t cold either, the trouble was it didn’t cool down too much and about midnight the mozzies came out in force, heavy bomber force, being quite a warm night tucked right down in the swag wasn’t going to work, and being out just allowed the mozzies at us, the bites I could handle the buzzing around the ears was a different thing. They stayed about in force until the moon set at around 04:30 and then they were gone, but so was the night.

Day 9 - 103km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day10 [13th JUL]

After breaking camp we headed over to the bore and tank to take the opportunity to refill our drinking water tanks (most other water was marked unfit for drinking) From 3 o’clock creek we intended to head over to the old ghan route and follow this through to Alice Springs, as much as possible. We headed from the Dalhousie area via Federal to Bloods Creek ruins stopping to take a few photos of the old windmill,

from the ruins we headed across a track marked as ‘ seldom used’, it turned out to be a really nice route to take, not challenging but only two wheel ruts for the majority of the way. This led us to the old Ghan siding at Abminga and a stop for morning tea and a good look around, it would certainly have been a lonely outpost to work or live at, but was obviously a significant stop on the old ghan route with coal loading facilities as well as what was probably a comprehensive workshop.

From Abminga we headed north along the old Ghan, sometimes alongside the track and at other times, on the old easement. The trackside was littered with bits of rusty steel and old rail spikes etc, however we were lucky and didn’t incur any punctures. We crossed the SA/NT border at 13:19 stopping just a little north for lunch at Wall Creek.

Heading off after lunch we stopped again at the old Duffield ruins although there is very little to be seen there.

We pulled up in Goyder creek just south of Aptula (Finke) at 16:00 to camp for the evening.

Day 10 - 142km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day11 [14th JUL]

On our way at 09:00 heading for Aptula (Finke) to pick up some fuel, to ensure making it to Alice Springs and a couple of loaves of bread @ $4.50 ea. Still following the old Ghan, which proves to be easy if uncomfortable. The road was now running generally on top of the rail easement. In many places the sleepers were still visible under the road surface and it was littered with rail spikes and other extraneous lumps of rail associated steel. On the whole trip this was to prove to be the worse corrugations we would encounter. The road runs alongside the Finke Desert race track, any many times we contemplated driving along it rather than the road.
At Rumbalara we made a detour and headed east to Cym bore, to enable us to get a closer look at Colsons pinnacle.

Coming back onto the old Ghan we now headed up to the Engoordina ruins,

the old sidings north of Aptula now have signage placed for the Ghan Railway Heritage trail, which tells of conditions experienced by those who lived and worked on the Ghan. Unfortunately the value of the old sidings etc was realised too late and much has been vandalised or removed for other uses.
Todays lunch stop was at Bundooma siding, where we took a side trip west to Alice Well on the Hugh River a very picturesque spot.

According to the map there was a track from here to Maryvale station which we would go past on the way into Chambers Pillar, so we headed of along it. Unfortunately we didn’t get far before encountering a ‘No trespassing” stay out sign so it was turn around and head back.

As it was we did find a track along a station fence to Titjikala rather than going up to Rodinga and then joining the Chambers Pillar track.
The track to Chambers Pillar was well maintained and would present little problem to most vehicles other than one steep and relatively rough hill.

At Chambers Pillar we were able to get sunset photos before a dinner of curried sausages.

With little in the way of firewood our camp fire comprised half a ghan sleeper and a 100mm branch about 3 metres long luckily with a few twigs and a bit of grass we were able to get it all burning (don’t think we would be successful like that on the coast) We invited a couple over to join us, that turned out to be a brother and sister from Switzerland making their 6th? Outback trip to Aus, having already done most of the bomb roads on previous trips, this one was a short 6 weeks., they have probably seen more of Aus than most Australians.

Day 11 - 221km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day12/13 [15th/16th JUL]

After getting up early and heading out to take some sunrise pics of Chambers Pillar, we had a longer wait than we had planned with the sun coming up behind a rocky outcrop.

Knowing we had a short day to Alice Springs we got away at around 09:20 and again headed along the ‘Ghan heritage trail’. Just before Alice we stopped at the Ewaninga rock carvings a series of very old petroglyphs.

What amazed me was every ‘carving’ had some meaning and I wondered if the people that made them ever did art, for arts sake.

On arrival in Alice Springs we met up with Jan and Vince who would be partnering us in our trip across the Madigan Line. Other than the mundane washing, showers, shopping and some routine maintenance tasks our time in The Alice was very quiet.
I ordered a new rear door lock from the helpful guys at Suttons Land Rover as it had now seized solid, tried in vain to get ARB to fix the valve problem on the aux fuel tank, then gave Vince a hand to replace the transfer case front seal that was leaking (utilishing our patented tuna can seal saver). A few drinks at the pub, afternoon tea and dinner with some old friends, one of whom lives in the Alice and one who was on a temporary work transfer to Alice airport made for a very enjoyable couple of days. A late restock with more grog and we were ready to head off for day 14

Day 12/13 - 224km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 14 [17th JUL]

A relaxed pack up today, the girls stayed in camp and started packing while the guys went out and refueled, filled jerry cans, more Lpg. We had decided to wait until lunchtime to see if the door lock arrived (which it did) so we were off to Suttons and fitted it in the street out the front, we had brief contact with Shorty on VKS and confirmed we would be meeting them at Kulgera tomorrow.
It was just a short trip down the Stuart highway to rainbow Valley for an overnight stop arriving at about 16:00.
After setting up camp we were off for an explore and to get some photos.

Rainbow valley is a spectacular area and most of us agreed that it was better than Chambers pillar, the colours at sunset were much more varied, and as we were there as a full moon was rising this was included as well.

Once camp was set up we headed up the side of the valley and east along the ridge to the end, quite a steep climb over loose rock but worth it for the view.

Just after we had crawled into the swag the camp was visited by a large black dog with a pup trying to get at our food, whether it was totally wild we weren’t sure but we thought we had heard whining and yelping from small/young dogs earlier in the evening, however once we had scared it away and put all the food away we saw it no more.

Day 14 - 100km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 15 [18th JUL]

We were on our way again at 10:30 heading for Kulgera to meet up with Shorty and Wash who would be travelling across the desert with us. We stopped 100 or so km out of Kulgera for lunch. Shortly after lunch another touring ‘truck’ pulled up with us as well as a group of retired Germans who were cycling from Darwin to Adelaide. The truck was based on a Mitsubishi canter and had a custom built body towning a colour matched customised suzuki X90.

After lunch it was a short trip into Kulgera to top up with fuel, our aim was to do a final top up at Aptula (Finke) but we made sure we were full leaving Kulgera. As it was going to be a while before the next shower we took this chance to get a last wash in, and then retired to the bar to await Shorty and Wash, They arrived at approx 16:00 did a final refuel as well and we headed out of town towards Aptula to find somewhere to camp east of the railway.

Day 15 -253km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 16 [19th JUL]

We were underway at 09:05 and a short distance down the road we came across a couple that had been sitting on the side of the road since mid afternoon the day before, they had 2 flat tyres and a failed compressor. After pumping the tyre up and giving them a hand to change the flat we were again underway heading towards the Lambert Centre (the point of balance of the Aus mainland) the position is only 11 km from the gravitational centre calculated by C T Madigan in the 1930s

( Geoscience Basics - Geoscience Australia )

At the Lambert centre we hoisted the Land Rover flag and took the required photos.

It was now on to Aptula (Finke) to get fuel before they closed the store at 12:00 we made it by 10min (fuel is available after hours for a $10 fee per vehicle) It was here we said goodbye to Wash and Lynda as they at the last minute decided not to make the trip across the desert.. We headed off towards Old Andado and got overtaken by a severe dust storm which made driving conditions difficult.

It was often very difficult to see the vehicle in front and tyre tracks were gone in a matter of seconds.

At the store in Finke they had told us that they had only recorded 3mm of rain in the previous 18 months.
On arrival at Andado we dropped off a bottle of wine in appreciation for allowing us access through their property and then stopped at Old Andado to be welcomed by the caretakers with ‘ you have good taste in vehicles’ it turns out John was a Landy fan with a Disco in the carport. We were invited in for a cuppa and some biscuits which were very welcome as we hadn’t stopped for lunch due to the dust storm.

From here on we were really on the Madigan line heading towards camp 1, with the dust still howling around us we made camp at east bore as the wind dropped. With water in the bore we took advantage of it and had what was probably the most appreciated of all our showers. When the wind finally dropped and changed direction we got the first hint of the dozen or so dead cows just over the dune.
That night the moon didn’t appear until it was well above the horizon.

?Dust Storm?‏ - YouTube

Day 16 - 367km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 17 [20th JUL]

Heading off from east bore towards camp 1 we had a bit of trouble finding the start point along the fence line, the day was still very windy but this time from the SW and hence fairly cool. We didn’t find any marker for camp 1A but investigations of our track records show we were within 50 metres of the location, maybe it isn’t marked or the marker has been removed. Camp 1 was located and we were on our way towards camp 2. The only wildlife sighted were a dingo and kangaroo as we passed Top dam which was just about dry. From here we followed the track towards The Twins

passing the old case tractor on the side of the track as well as camp 2.

It became obvious that being on foot Madigan was not able to choose the best camp site just somewhere that was relatively flat, often they were very exposed and open to the wind. We camped for the night close to the twins, and then headed on foot to the top of the ‘hills’ to sign the visitor book we found under the cairn.

Dinner was curried lamb shanks, fresh tomato and herb pull apart bread, followed by hot date scones.

Day 17 - 52km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 18 [21st JUL]

At the twins we had to make the decision on which way to head, via the aboriginal land or via ‘the pivot and the crossing’ it was obvious by the condition of the tracks that the majority of traffic went via the aboriginal land, however as we didn’t have the necessary permits (which I believe are not possible to obtain) we respected the aboriginal land and decided to go via the pivot and crossing and miss camps 3, 4, and 5. From 4WD perspective I believe this resulted in the more challenging of the tracks, from this point on the track deteriorated to two barely discernable wheel tracks. The first few km weren’t too bad

but then the track turned and headed east over the dunes. On one dune we became stuck and needed to lower our tyre pressures further but not before tearing a mud flap off.

The eastern face of the dunes was generally very steep with the western side consisting of lumpy spinifex humps with rough spinifex filled swales between.

We again became stuck on one of the dunes and had to find an easier crossing place. It was here that the group suffered its first puncture with one tyre receiving a stake in through the sidewall and out at another location – stuffed.

A further puncture was to be suffered by the same vehicle before we reached the Colson track.

Camp was just past the Colson track.

Day 18 - 51km

Edjits Madigan Line Tour 2008 - Day 19 [22nd JUL]

At some point if possible we were going to get a meal of camel, one of the guys in the group was our ‘hunter/gatherer’ and had sighted his rifle in a couple of days prior. On this morning we saw our first fresh camel tracks, but no camel.
The day consisted of some very enjoyable driving over dunes and through rough swales, after all this was one of the reasons we had come out here.

This morning we unfortunately killed a couple of bearded dragons that must have been lying in the sand soaking up the early morning sun. - Maybe they should watch the TV ads warning people not to sleep on the road.

There is obviously a significant amount of oil exploration/extraction going on in the northern Simpson as we came across a few “super highways” heading north/south along the swales, we decided morning tea in the middle of the road seemed appropriate.

Lunch was in the shelter of a wildflower covered dune this area of the desert had received rain some 6 weeks prior from what we were able to determine.

We camped for the night just over 7 km past Madigans camp 7 and cooked up a butter chicken dinner.

These small plaques have been placed at the location of all of madigans camps with the exception (possibly) of camp 1A which we could not locate

Day 19 - 59km