Camp 20 Does Exist !

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 at 12:12
ThreadID: 104272 Views:2177 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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Have you ever been frustrated trying to get somewhere for years and then finally made it, and I don't mean with your girlfriend.

Well Madigan line Camp 20 has been unfinished business for us but no longer.

Its been under water for years but now lies well exposed - although the evidence could be subject of a "Sunday Mystery Photo" competition!

A bit over 2 years ago we had a real chance to do it at the end of a full Madigan line crossing trip.
We had just passed camp 19 of 25 camps after 6 days of slogging across the North Simpson and were approaching the easier camps that are mostly Adria Downs station tracks.

Camp 20 should have been the start of the home run but in seeking permission to cross we (and no-one it seems) was aware that the entire eastern Simpson was basically cut in half by the flooded Eyre creek and surrounding areas.
We fought hard to aquire Camp 20 but in the end the swamps were to much.

In what became a controversial drive (post 88482) we along with Howard (ACT) then took a gamble by heading south and driving out the entire western side swamp, waterway by waterway until we got to an Eyre creek crossing.


From there it was an easy run to Madigan camp 25 (Birdsville hotel) but we had bypassed the in-between camps and over a couple of drinks vowed to go back one day.

Its now late 2013 and we had just completed an exploration run to the Simpson Geo-Centre (post 103723) to prove the viability of this as a Simpson side trip.
This trip had gone so well we were 3 or 4 days ahead of schedule and decided to drop into Birdsville to replenish supplies and head back out again with camp 20 the target.
Despite talking to station owners we still were not clear on whether it was accessible.
Things are a lot drier now but there is still quite a swamp just east of Big Red.

Compared to the Moguls of the Geo-Centre drive the station tracks were like velvet and we soon had passed the sad ruins of the old homestead near camp 21 and were approaching camp 20's GPS location - it should have been easy but as we weaved in and out of scrub visibility was short and we came out on a small dune only 200 m from the GPS point, but sure enough, as we crested the dune a beautiful lagoon appeared like magic in front of us.

Now I was sure I had plotted the point correctly, but that does not mean there is a confirmation marker at the point, so we pushed on looking for a way across.
We followed Howard across he top end of the lagoon where it was bone dry and began working our way south , and after a while we found what appeared to by a stake in the ground half hidden by a tree and dead animal bones , it was camp 20.

Its hard to recognize, but the photo shows the now corroded marker and finally we achieved our objective.


Corroded Camp 20 marker




Post hidden under tree opposite water hole




The countryside now 2013.


Near same spot in 2011.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Krooznalong - Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 at 12:36

Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 at 12:36
Well done Robin.
Yep it's great to finish off unfinished business.
What a difference in vegetation!
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 15:56

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 at 15:56
The vegetation was so different that we got 1/2 lost on way back and again ended up on west side of Eyre creek Kroozalong.

Where apon we followed the track I recorded 2 years ago back out - was real "Deja Vu" experience
Robin Miller

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Reply By: TTTSA - Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 at 14:16

Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 at 14:16
Well done, was well under water last year too. Is that view with the marker, tree and vehicle looking roughly toward West or South westish?
AnswerID: 517960

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 at 15:55

Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 at 15:55
I was overwhelmed by the view (of the Patrol) TTTSA but now that you ask it was south westish.

Thanks for confirming the underwater status .

Looking at my plot there is a sandridge 300m due south just off track, perhaps you may have been only able to get that far last year ?

Robin Miller

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Reply By: Member - reggy 2 (VIC) - Saturday, Sep 14, 2013 at 21:57

Saturday, Sep 14, 2013 at 21:57
Hi Robin
Was out there just before you and Howard
We did the whole trip again we followed the station track out past camp 21-22
Two years ago we camped at Annendale HomesteadEyre creek was full as with birds everywhere.
It's a great water hole there was cattle drinking while we were there
Cheers Cliff
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 11:35

Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 11:35
Hi Cliff
Thats great , what a change.

We also went to the point that stopped us all last time completing the loop.

When we were there, although this was the only water we saw between Big Red and Camp 20 , the waterhole looked fairly beaten up with more than one dead animal near there, as per picture.

Not sure why they die - maybe Howard will know.




Robin Miller

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Reply By: Member - reggy 2 (VIC) - Friday, Sep 27, 2013 at 20:11

Friday, Sep 27, 2013 at 20:11
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Follow Up By: Member - reggy 2 (VIC) - Friday, Sep 27, 2013 at 20:16

Friday, Sep 27, 2013 at 20:16
The above picture is a a high water level at Annendale Homestead.
August 2011
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