2019 Madigan Line (E>W); Finke River Gorge; The Rock; Southern Simpson (W>E) Trip

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RobMac

Rank 0

Contributor I

60
Brisbane, Queensland Australia
First Name
Rob
Last Name
McDowall
Hey Guys.... been a while between trips, but just got back from a month out in the Australian Desert... much hotter this year than what we have experienced in the past plus the flies were pretty bad as well.... Anyhow, here's the trip report from our recent adventure:




Vehicles:
'09 Defender Puma 110 Wgn (ours)
'10 Defender Puma 110 Wgn (Richard)
'97 80'Series Cruiser Wgn (Pete)
'85 LR County Wgn (Kev)

Link to our TRIPLOGS:
2019 Madigan Line East to West Trip - Part.1
2019 Alice Springs - Finke River Gorge
- Uluru - Lamberts Geo Ctr - Dalhousie Springs-Simpson Desert Trip - Part.2


Link to ALL Photos:
2019 Madigan Line-Finke River Gorge-Uluru-Southern Simpson Desert Trip Part-1 and 2019 Madigan
Line-Finke River Gorge-Uluru-Southern Simpson Desert Trip Part-2




Short Video of our Trip 2019 Madigan Line + Simpson Desert LOOP Trip



Day.1 - Sat,29-Jun-19
Distance Travelled: 799kms
Driving Time: 16hrs 39min
Daily Trip Notes:
Even before we had left our 3 vehicle departure group had been reduced down to just us... the other 2 vehicles just weren't quite ready to depart at the arranged time of 3am, so we left early by ourselves and headed off on our long journey towards our planned nights' destination - Quilpie... We mainly only stopped for the usual personal pitstops and to refuel, while the other 2 vehicles would play catchup later in the day.... hopefully. With no time pressure for us at this point, we just plodded along, stopping for coffee and taking in the scenery and as it turned out, with all the roadworks going on, it made for a stress-free journey with us ending up stopping at Charleville to camp at Barney Bar caravan park. Richard in the other '10 Defender Puma made good time and caught up to us to camp with us that night. Pete ended up leaving fairly late in the day and ended up stopping at Roma for the night with the point of leaving really early in the morning to catch up with up us before we actually leave our camp.



Day.2 - Sun,30-Jun-19
Distance Travelled: 465kms
Driving Time: 5hrs 00min
Daily Trip Notes:
We woke up a bit later knowing that we had to wait for Pete to arrive so we slowly packed up and waited. Upon their arrival, we refuelled, then had a quick look around town before heading off towards our next destination - Betoota (hopefully). With our late departure from Charleville that morning our chances of reaching Betoota were looking less likely so with us stopping at Coopers Creek to have a little look around, we decided to push on to Windorah, stopping along the way to check out the Solar Farm Dishes. We pulled into Windorah to refuel and decided to set up camp behind the local Pub for the night and have an easy meal at the Pub ready for an early morning departure in a bid to get back on track and reach Birdsville at a reasonable time the following day.









Day.3 - Mon,01-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 432kms
Driving Time: 5hrs 38min
Daily Trip Notes:
Early rise and headed off to Birdsville reaching there around 2pm. Caught up with the 4th vehicle of our group - Kevin. Had lunch, checked out around Birdsville, including the Info Centre, then had coffee at the Pub plus refuelled for the last time for a while. As time was getting late, we headed off into the desert to camp. Reached Big Red and had a play on Big Red. With my vehicle being only new to me, now was the time to experiment a bit on Big Red and see what the Defender can do... To my surprise it just slowly chugged its way to the top. Stopping to have a bit of a look around, it was actually quite easy to see how much Big Red has changed over the years and with all the traffic it now gets. I wouldn't now exactly call it "BIG" anymore, especially coming from the eastern side... When we finished having a bit of a play then we headed off over a few dunes and camped about 5kms west of Big Red in a Claypan









Day.4 - Tue,02-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 120kms
Driving Time: 4hrs 57min
Daily Trip Notes:
First full day in the desert so headed off again towards Eyre Creek to check out how flooded the creek was. Arrived early to see the how full Eyre Ck was. Was quite surprised to see where the water is now and how far it had come up. Stopped for a for a good look around before heading off up along the Eyre creek bypass. The Bypass Track became shockingly corrugated as we went. Upon reaching the turnoff point where u could either turn west to travel along the normal bypass track or continue north as we did. At this point, we decided to air down before continuing northwards to Annandale Ruins. Stopped at Camp 21 for lunch, taking in the Annadale Ruins; Camp.22 and Sturt's Camp along the way. While having lunch we noticed that the flies were starting to become really bad so we took the time to explore Eyre Creek for a spot to cross over the creek which we ended up finding. Just south of Annadale Waterhole we found a suitable rocky section that hopefully would get all of us across without any issues. Once we finished lunch, it was time to see if our proposed crossing point to the western side of Eyre Creek would be successful, so we headed off and let Kevin in his well set up '85 Landrover County go first. He easily drove across, then it was my turn and then the others, with all of us successfully getting across without issues. From this point onwards it was my job to navigate our way north on the western side northwards to hopefully get to the Madigan Line. From the research that I had done previously & from looking at Google Maps/Earth, I had created an approximate Tracklog from where I could faintly see wheel tracks on Google Maps/Earth. As it turned out, this tracklog that I had created wasn't far off the
mark and gave us a good reference as we pushed northwards. Travel was good and with daylight running out we found a nice claypan to camp for the night - 3>4kms south of the Madigan Line.



















Day.5 - Wed,03-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 92kms
Driving Time: 3hrs 55min
Daily Trip Notes:
Up early to again to start making our tracks northwards and trying to find the easiest way we could to meet up with the Madigan Line. From my research I knew that as we got closer that there was the possibility of getting to a low lying swamp area and it wasn't long before the Sand Dune that we had been following came to an end, leaving us about 300-500mtrs short of our destination. There were huge waterholes on both sides the dune, so I went for a walk and eventually & eventually found a dry way through which took us up to the Madigan line. Upon reaching the Madigan Line we headed east back to see Camp 20 for smoko. Camp-20 was... well totally underwater and we were only able to get within 400mtrs of where the Marker was supposed to be. The amount of water in Kuddaree Waterhole was simply amazing to see. The Birdlife was brilliant. If we had time on our side it would have made a perfect spot to camp for a week or so... but then there was the continual fly situation too... We headed off west after smoko for a few kms into the Madigan we got the call that Pete’s 80's Cruiser just suddenly stopped and wouldn’t start... not something u really want to hear just as u are about to start your journey westwards along the Madigan... We did a few checks and worked out that fuel was the issue and from what we could determine, it seemed that the Injector Pump was where the problem seemed to be. Prior to the trip, Pete had a new IP and Injectors installed so it was time to break out the Satphone and ring the mechanic who had worked on his vehicle. He seemed to think that it was more to do with dirty fuel or something but as we did a few more checks and we worked out that the Fuel Shutoff Solenoid was not working.
This was confirmed when we removed the solenoid and tested it with a Multimeter. For some reason, it became open-circuited. Fortunately, being an old mechanical Diesel, we were able to remove in the internal plunger from inside the Solenoid and then re-installed it and all was good... it just meant that Pete would have to stall the engine to turn it off - which wasn't a big issue. Pete again rang his mechanic via a satphone to arrange a replacement in Alice Springs. We pushed onwards & it wasn't long before we came across our first group of oncoming cars - a group of 5 4WD's. We stopped for the usual chat and to our surprise - they didn’t even realise or know that the Kuddaree waterhole was flooded and access via the normal way was underwater. We advised them the way we came but that we had approval, so we left it at that and continued onwards, reaching MC17 for the 1st nights camp on the Madigan.

























Day.6 - Thu,04-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 112kms
Driving Time: 5hrs 55min
Daily Trip Notes:
Left our beautiful campsite and continued westwards to our next junction point with the Hay River Track - MC16. To this point, the going was quite good but that was soon to change. We headed north along the Hay River Track to MC15 where we again turned westwards back onto the Madigan Line. The Track conditions started to slow down with our average speed dropping down to about 15kms/hr. The track wasn't hard - just rough and slow. At this point, the Madigan Line was a well-defined track, similar to what the French Line was some 29yrs ago when I 1st travelled along with it. As we were later to find out on our return trip along the French Line - the Madigan would be like a highway when compared to the condition of the French Line... We reached our next camp for the night - Madigan's Claypan and this turned out to be a cracker of a camp amongst the Gidgee Trees, etc. Managed to make contact with Stephen (Pushbikers coming in the opposite direction) to arrange a meeting spot for the following day.














Day.7 - Fri,05-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 50kms
Driving Time: 2hrs 55min
Daily Trip Notes:
Headed off west again with the track again being very slow going due to all the monguls keeping speeds down to about 10-15km/hrs. We passed a few more groups of vehicles (all still had no idea that the Kuddaree Waterhole was flooded and that there was access south along the normal route) before stopping for Lunch at MC9. Continued onwards towards MC8 and continued to find the dunes getting more prominent and steep. We arrived at another group of Gidgee Trees which was a great spot for camp but decided to push onwards. It was at this point that I remembered what channel Steve’s Pushbikers group were using, so I took a chance & changed UHF channel to ch.39 & was pleasantly surprised to hear Steve’s group chatting away on the UHF. I made contact with them and after a bit of a chat, it was decided that we would backtrack and all camp at the Gidgee Tree campsite where we could meet and greet and have a common fire and chat, etc...







Day.8 - Sat,06-Jul-19 ### DELETE THIS DAY.8 FROM PUBLIC POSTINGS ###
Distance Travelled: 104kms
Driving Time: 5hrs 31min
Daily Trip Notes:
Today we rose early to have Bill Collyer take us on a bit of a tour around the campsite explaining and showing us some old aboriginal cutting tools etc before we had to head back to camp for breakfast and pack up move on once again. The plan today was to go head west 6.5kms then turn south and make tracks towards Geosurveys Hill some 48kms to the south. The hope was that we could make it down and back up in the one day. We headed off at about 9am and reached the T/O at 10am and started the long slow journey south. The track is definitely slow and tiring but we made good progress stopping to chat with 2 other ex-army Perenties (6x6 & 110) coming up from the south. After we chatted for a while we continued on finally reaching Geosurveys Hill at around 1.35pm (48kms-Avg:17.5kms/hr / DT:2h44m). Had a snack and took the normal photos and signed the book before making the decision to slowly head back north and hopefully reach the Madigan line junction or near to it for camp. We continued on, taking a slightly different track that we came in on from the north. This small section of the track turned out to be a bit quicker and we finally got within a 350mtrs of the junction and camped for the night.(47.7kms-Avg:19.7kms/hr / DT: 2h25m)







Day.9 - Sun,07-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 138kms
Driving Time: 6hrs 17min
Daily Trip Notes:
Up early again due to other travellers coming through and the report of some bigger more difficult dunes to cross. On the move just after 8am and quickly came to camp-8 and the first of the sand dune challenges. This dune was a beauty and everyone except for us had to have quite a few goes at getting over. This created a bit of enjoyment and fun as we went along... tyres pressures were the key here to getting over. Came across more dunes but none as good as the one at camp-8. Stopped for lunch then pushed on and came across a group of eastbound travellers that clearly looked underprepared. Some of their cars looked fairly standard and a couple of them managed to get themselves stuck on what was clearly an easy dune to cross. As we passed them, it again seemed as they had not let their tyre pressures down and this was a good example as to why the tracks are getting chewed up so much these days... people are not lowering their tyres down far enough + add to these in-experienced people towing Camper trailers and u have a recipe for trouble... unfortunately in time, the Madigan Line will end up just like the French Line... Stuffed!!!. We managed to work our way around them and pushed onto Camp 5 on the Colson Track. It was at this point that one could see that most people headed north to visit all the other MC sites, so we made the decision also to head north and then west to Camps 4&3 which involved some really rocky sections and then some really bad bulldust holes that just completely covered the cars. We reached Camp 3 and with daylight running out we decided to push onwards to camp at the Twins for the night and get back on schedule as well.













Day.10 - Mon,08-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 116kms
Driving Time: 2hrs 50min
Daily Trip Notes:
Woke up at the normal 6.30am time and started the usual pack up and breakfast but with it being my daughter's 17th birthday we decided to have pancakes. Once we packed up we headed off towards the Twins before the fly invasion started. Stopping at the Twins, we climbed to the top for photos etc. From there we checked out the old Case Tractor before pushing onto Camp 2 and then through Mac Clarke Reserve and then onwards to our camp for the night at Old Andado Homestead. The Old Andado HS is a step back in time and is a place that everyone should put on their bucket list to check out. This place is a great example of how they use to survive and live in the Desert all those years ago...







Day.11 - Tue,09-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 339kms
Driving Time: 5hrs 42min
Daily Trip Notes:
Woke up to a beautiful sunrise and started the usual pack up and had breakfast before having one more final look around Old Andado and Molly’s Grave and heading off on the long drive to Alice Springs. The road north started out pretty good but it wasn't long before the road became bad and corrugated once again. Stopped for smoko and swapped drivers as Pete wanted a drive of my Defender and I got drive his 80's Cruiser. Pete’s Cruiser which bought back some good memories from when I use to own one many years ago. Comfy and quiet and much fewer dust issues. Stopped for lunch and changed back cars and pushed on to Alice. My fuel was running really low by this time so I slowed down for a better economy. Fuel light came on about 10kms or so out from Alice but managed to get to the Servo with about 12-15ltrs to spare. After refuelling it was off to find a place to camp with us ending up at the Showgrounds for the next 3nights. Ordered Pizza for an easy Dinner meal.













Day.12 - Wed,10-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 49kms
Driving Time: 1hrs 03min
Daily Trip Notes:
Lazy day R&R just relaxing, having a look around Alice Springs and then topping up on Food for the next part of the journey. Pete has to arrange for some vehicle and phone repairs + picked up and installed his new Fuel Shutoff Solenoid.







Day.13 - Thu,11-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 34kms
Driving Time: 1hrs 10min
Daily Trip Notes:
Another lazy day until I found out that my rear top shock rubbers were stuffed so had to go and find replacements at Pedders and replaced them. Went out to the Pub that night for a farewell dinner

for my daughter as she had to fly back home the following day…

Day.14 - Fri,12-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 151kms
Driving Time: 2hrs 46min
Daily Trip Notes:
Dropped my daughter off at the Airport then topped up with fuel and had a bite to eat before heading back to camp to pack up. At Camp, we found out that Richard wasn't well & needed to go to the hospital so our plans to head off that day had to change until we knew what was happening with Richard... Pete ended up dropping Richard off at the hospital while we packed, refuelled and bought drinks at Maccies before heading back to the hospital to say our farewells to Richard as it looked like he would need surgery to rectify the problem he was having.
Fully loaded once again we headed off towards Finke River Gorge but about 30kms out of Alice my vehicle started stuttering & losing power and stopped which seemed like the engine was starving for fuel. Checked the Air Filter, etc and all looked good. There was no Fault Codes or anything so the decision was made to turn around and head back to Alice Springs. On the way back in I managed to make a few calls and I was fairly certain that it was a fuel issue so I called into the Landrover Dealership in Alice to buy another spare Fuel Filter and then returned again to camp at the Showgrounds again. Drained the filter to find it dirty as. Went for a drive and the car seemed to run ok but did stutter a little bit at high speed but would leave it to the morning to see how things go..."







Day.15 - Sat,13-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 171kms
Driving Time: 3hrs 26min
Daily Trip Notes:
Woke up back at the Showgrounds with Richard driving in to give us an update of what is happening. His doctor advised him that he shouldn't drive long distances so the Doctor made arrangements for him to fly home and have his vehicle trucked back to Brisbane. We headed off late back into Alice for Coffee while the others did some shopping, etc. After all getting coffee/food we jumped back the cars, said our farewells to Richard again and headed off towards Finke River Gorge for the night. The previous days' issues with my car disappeared thank God. We pushed on and turned onto Boggy Hole Rd, airing down along the way due to poor corrugations. Had lunch just outside the park and managed to find some firewood as well and then headed into the NP. This was the 3rd time I've been through this NP but it was the 1st time from the north, so it was great as we got to see it from a different perspective. We slowly headed in, taking in all the scenery as we went. Getting late in the day we came to a fellow bogged in the sand in his Prado. He said he had been there for a while but no one had stopped. He said he had left all his recovery gear and air compressor back at camp in Curtin Springs, so we hooked up the snatch strap to the back of the Landy and gently pulled him out backwards. From there we pushed on to Boggy Waterhole for a look then further down the track until we found a sandy little place to camp for the night







Day.16 - Sun,14-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 232kms
Driving Time: 4hrs 47min
Daily Trip Notes:
Did the usual pack up and pushed onwards out of the park. As we went the track took a different path out to what I had remembered with this time following more along the creek bed. Stopped for a late breakfast/early lunch at the spot that we camped at back in 2013. From there we pushed on to camp for the Night at Curtin Springs and had dinner at the restaurant. Place was very crowded and dusted and very cold and wondered what it would be like at Yulara...







Day.17 - Mon,15-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 240kms
Driving Time: 3hrs 40min
Daily Trip Notes:
Up and out by 7:30 and made our way to the Rock, stopping to check out a few sidetracks for potential camping sites. Reached The rock and paid our $65 to enter and then to the cultural ctr to look around and buy some food/drinks/souvenirs before moving on to check the Rock out. From there we headed out to do the walks around The Olga’s Valley of the Winds. With daylight running out we headed off back into Yulara Campgrounds to try our luck at booking into the campgrounds for the night. Upon arrival, we had no issues at finding a camp spot in the campgrounds.













Day.18 - Tue,16-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 399kms
Driving Time: 6hrs 35min
Daily Trip Notes:
Rose early on the news that the walk to the top of the rock was opened - so with this our one and only chance so we took it. Ethan and I walked to the top while the missus and my other son stayed down below. Once the walk was completed it was back to the campgrounds for a shower, top-up on water and fuel, grabbed a bite to eat then head off towards Kulgera via Mulga Park Rd. We stopped in at Curtin Springs to buy 2 bottles of Port before turning off the highway. Stopped for some photos of Mt CONNOR before pushing on and reaching our next campsite at Kulgera campgrounds













Day.19 - Wed,17-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 282kms
Driving Time: 4hrs 25min
Daily Trip Notes:
Last nights camp wasn’t the best due to the closeness of the highway but that was our only option. We packed up and had pancakes for breakfast and the checked out around the Kulgera Pub and the Aboriginal Art gallery. We then headed off towards Mt Dare, calling into Lambert’s Geographical centre of Australia along the way. The condition of the roads was becoming worse as we went along. Called into Finke for a quick look before pushing on to Mt Dare. Arrived late in the day and reconnected with Kevin in his County. Came across a Towtruck with a late model BT50 Dual cab ute on the back of it. It didn't take much to know what the problem was - snapped chassis. Looking closer u could see their attempts to make repairs but it didn't look good...Checked into the camp and went to the Pub for dinner before returning to our camp for a fire and chat, then bed..



















Day.20 - Thu,18-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 142kms
Driving Time: 3hrs 02min
Daily Trip Notes:
A late start today with bacon and egg muffins for breakfast, done a few checks and bought the Desert Parks Entry Pass and then headed off towards Dalhousie Springs. About 10kms or so from Mt Dare along a very corrugated section of track the Landys TC suddenly operated and kept operating so a quick stop off to the side of the road only to discover that the disc brake backing plate mounts had broke, causing the backing plate to hit the rims a possibly damage the Wheel Speed Sensor. Removed the wheel to remove the broken backing plate and put all back together and headed off only to find that there was still an issue with TC. Removed the fuses to disable the TC & ABS to get us underway again but this left us with the TC + ABS and Handbrake lights remaining up on the dash. Pushed on to Dalhousie Springs along the crappie road and reached there for lunch and a swim. From there we pushed into the desert towards Purni Bore. As we continued, the track became even worse with the cars being shaking from head to toe. We finally reached Purni Bore for the nights camp and a well-earned rest from the crappie road conditions...













Day.21 - Fri,19-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 132kms
Driving Time: 5hrs 30min
Daily Trip Notes:
Started the French Line which had become so chopped up it wasn’t funny... how the heck does a track become like this? Is it a result of people towing trailers the cause or is the issue people with the wrong tyre pressures..? We continued along at a very slow pace we finally reached the junction of the French and Rig Rds. Stopped for a short break before deciding to continue along the French Line... a decision that we started to regret the further along we went... We pushed on and reached our T/O point which was the Colson Track & we gladly turned southwards. This track was like a highway compared to the French Line & a quick 20kms down we came to T-junction with the WAA Line. We turned eastbound but again with the track deteriorating and becoming similar to the French Line we made a quick decision to turned around and backtrack to the Rig Rd and continued along the Rig Rd. We came across another group of vehicles heading in the opposite direction with the lead 100's Cruiser towing a GU Patrol out. Apparently, the Nissan had a burnt-out Clutch. We continued along the Rig until it started heading east and found a camp for the night. That night we did the sums and worked out that Kev may not have enough fuel to go the long way around and if it did turn out that the track was blocked because of water, ect, that all of us may not have enough fuel for the return trip so that night we decided that we would play it safe and take the shortest way to Birdsville via the Rig Rd and the Knolls Track







Day.22 - Sat,20-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 129kms
Driving Time: 4hrs 58min
Daily Trip Notes:
Left camp again before the flies came out and pushed on along the Rig Rd reaching the Lone Gum Tree for smoko. Continued along the Erabena Track then back onto the Rig Rd. Reached the Rig Rd turnoff to the south that we wanted to go but due to fuel constraints, we turned northwards along the Knolls Track. Turned off to check out some salt lakes on the eastern end of the WAA track before pushing on along the Knolls Track. Stopped about 16kms south of the turnoff to the French Line and set up camp in a claypan with the flies again annoying us until dusk.













Day.23 - Sun,21-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 83kms
Driving Time: 3hrs 41min
Daily Trip Notes:
Woke up to another beautiful morning and had Bacon/Egg Muffins for breakfast before packing up and heading off. Not far up the track my Landy once again started playing up so I switched on the Aux Tank to pump fuel across to the main tank as the main tank was down a bit. It seemed to come good but as we drew closer to the French Line it played up again and stopped. We replaced the fuel filter again thinking that I had gotten a bad dose of fuel somewhere but it wasn’t that dirty. We tried driving again and only got to the French Line T/O before it again stopped. We tried a few things and it would drive a km or so before stopping. We tried pressurising the tank via the compressor but again this failed. It got to the point that we started to think that it was a blocked fuel pickup. We removed the filter and blew air back up into the tank. We then bled the fuel system and tried again. This seemed to solve it and we pushed on along the French Line. This day we were passing a lot more people which we could only assume were coming from the Big Red Bash.
We finally reached Poeppel’s Cnr and did the normal photo shots and then continued along the K1 up beside the Lake and then onto the QAA Line and headed east. Few kms down the track we found a nice little spot to camp for the night just on the QLD side of the Border."













Day.24 - Mon,22-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 118kms
Driving Time: 4hrs 31min
Daily Trip Notes:
Left our camp a little bit late and headed off east along the QAA line. The track condition was better than the western side of the French Line. We were making good time but there was a lot of traffic on the track and UHF radio. We played tag with a few groups heading in the same direction as us but the radio traffic became annoying. The motorbike group played tag with us as well but then we saw a helicopter fly over and got to the point where it landed, picking up one of the riders who had fallen and broken his collarbone. We pushed on and came across a broken down Nissan Navara Np300 parked off to the side of the track with another broken chassis. We finally reached the bypass track north and pushed on along the track, finding it quite good except for the bulldust patches. The track slowly turned eastwards and as we were about to climb a sand dune the Defender again stopped with fuel issues. We followed the same process as before but 1st it didn’t work. We put the last of the 25ltr jerrycan in the tank to fill the tank up to full again to see if the would help. With things not really working, I reconnected the fuel hose in the engine bay and got Pete to pressurise the tank via the compressor while I turned the engine over. This seemed to work and we were on our way again. We reached the Eyre Ck bypass and made camp along the north side of the crossing on a beautiful grassy section. The girls went off exploring and checking out all the birdlife around the waterholes.

























Day.25 - Tue,23-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 92kms
Driving Time: 2hrs 28min
Daily Trip Notes:
Lazy morning again as we slowly packed up and made our way along the bypass track, again coming to another broken down vehicle - BT50 with its fuel tank sitting on the ground. (Apparently, it had a failed fuel Pump). We pushed south along the bypass track again passing multiple groups of people. Listening to the radio chatter, u can understand how the QAA/French Line track conditions have become so bad... We reached the junction of the QAA and the bypass and stopped for a bite to eat. While there we could hear chatter on the radio and could also see a fella standing on the western bank of Eyre Creek. Apparently, this Foreign traveller had ignored the western detour sign and kept driving eastwards towards Eyre Creek and didn't stop and had gotten himself severely bogged. Unfortunately, we didn't have the fuel to backtrack or the time to help, so we headed eastwards towards Birdsville with the plan to notify someone in town. We reached Big Red and we all lowered a bit more air out of the tyres and spent a bit of time playing and trying different tracks up Big Red. Once we finished having fun, we stopped on the eastern side for lunch before airing up and making the run into Birdsville for our final nights camp together.









Day.26 - Wed,24-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 490kms
Driving Time: 6hrs 06min
Daily Trip Notes:
We did the usual packed and said our farewells to Kev who was heading towards Innamincka and Pete & myself were heading towards Welford NP. We topped up with fuel and said our goodbyes before making the mad dash eastwards along with many others. We turned off to check out the state of the old Betoota Hotel. We managed to have a look through and a chat to the locals who were trying to get the placed re-opened again, but it seemed the local council was hindering their progress... After having a good look around and a long chat we made our way down the road to have lunch before again heading off towards Windorah. Passed a rolled truck along the way and rolled into Windorah to refuel. With daylight again running out we decided to try and reach Welford NP for the nights camp. Arrived about 6.30pm and had a good chat with some other campers who gave us some good info on things to see around the place.












Day.27 - Thu,25-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 532kms
Driving Time: 6hrs 30min
Daily Trip Notes:
Rose early and headed off to check the scenery and what was on offer. As it turned out, the local surrounding area had a lot to offer, but with our time running out we had a quick look around before heading off towards Blackall for lunch. Again I topped up with fuel as I was trying to keep the fuel tank as full as I could, so after refuelling, we headed off again, reaching a free campsite opposite the local pub in Augethella. As it was my B'day, we headed to the Pub for a Beer and a Meal










Day.28 - Fri,26-Jul-19
Distance Travelled: 773kms
Driving Time: 9hrs 03min
Daily Trip Notes:
Woke to another freezing morning, packed up and started our long journey homewards, stopping in at Fishermans Hole near Mitchell to see what it is like before pushing onwards, only stopping to

refuel; toilet stops, etc. After some 773kms we finally reached home at 6.30pm



 
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Specter

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That looks like one amazing trip. Thank you sharing your daily notes and pictures. It made for a great morning read! Cheers!
 
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JCWages

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I just finished up Ronny Dahl's Simpson Desert trip which included the Madigan Line. You're not kidding about the flies! I'm sure I would go absolutely crazy. Can't wait to follow your trip this evening after work. :)
 
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RobMac

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Contributor I

60
Brisbane, Queensland Australia
First Name
Rob
Last Name
McDowall
Thanks mate... this was my 5th trip across the desert over the past 30yrs and it’s the first time I’ve experienced the problem with flies... It was also a lot warmer during the day and not at cold during the nights so I assume that added to the problem as well
 
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