Hay River Track and Madigan Line info sought

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 08:46
ThreadID: 110486 Views:2709 Replies:2 FollowUps:14
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Will be doing the Hay River track next year. Group of 4 or 5 in various LandCruisers.

Looking at the map we note that the Madigan Line intersects the HRT. So whilst we are out there, if it's possible we'd like to do a bit of the ML.

My questions are:
1. Is Batton Hill still doing the tours now that Lindsay Bookie is no longer?
2. Are there any restrictions with respect to camping along the HRT?
3. With respect to the ML is it possible to follow it in either direction from the HRT?
4. Assuming we just wanted to travel along the ML for a day or two, which direction from the HRT would provide the better experience in terms of scenery?
5. Which are the really windy months out there?
6. Are permits required for the ML (I am aware of the HRT permits obtainable from Jol Fleming).

Thanks in advance for any responses.

Merry Christmas to all and stay safe.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 14:14

Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 14:14
We've done that before - head west from Camp 15 along the Madigan Line to camp 13, then headed back and continued along Hay River. Permissions have all changed since I did this, but expect a call to Jol Fleming would see it all sorted.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 14:40

Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 14:40
On a similar line and without trying to hijack the thread, what about heading south easterly from camp 16 through camps 17, 18, 19 to Camp 20 at Muncoonie and then southwards to meet the QAA line?

I would love to do the whole Madigan Line but I am not 100%. Even had to leave the CSR due to a "turn" half way. No not a corner !! HaHa
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 15:00

Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 15:00
Yeah, done that twice because it's a nice run. Most of that area was severely burnt by a very hot fire in 2002 and the spinifex was burnt to the ground and slow to regenerate. Last did it in 2006 and just followed the GPS. Once over the border, it becomes more "civilised" with formed track and signs of attempted grazing in years gone by. Its a good run following Eyre Creek past Annandale Station ruins down to the QAA (provided the creek is not flooded :-))
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 15:22

Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 15:22
Excellent. Sounds like a good compromise for the whole line.

What about a solo drive for that bit I mentioned.

While I am not 100% health wise (not physically handicapped apart from not being capable of a bush walk), we both have the skills gained over many years of outback and remote bush (2wd and 4wd) driving, plus bush craft and a well maintained and reliable vehicle and we have 24/7 comms so if needed we can call out for help.

So with that in mind, what would you say to us doing a solo vehicle trip on that sectio east of the Hay River Track?

Anyone . . . .
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 18:27

Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 18:27
I might not be the right person to answer it because I never travel solo.
But it is remote, but it is accessible - I would guess if the worst were to happen the Birdsville people would retrieve your vehicle for a considerable price. The actual driving is not too hard - not as hard as camps 6-12 on the Madigan line as the dunes are not as big. The Hay River track is relatively simple. But you will be travelling cross country so you need good GPS skills - if your GPS fails, just head south between the dunes until you reach the QAA Line!
If travelling solo, I'd travel during the popular time of the year - July/August
You need to seek permissions - in particular from David Brooks from Adria Downs Station for the Eyre creek section, and have a chat to the Birdsville NPWS about travelling through Munga-Thirri National Park.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 18:44

Sunday, Dec 21, 2014 at 18:44
Just what I wanted Phil

We wouldl be coming up the K1 from the Birdsville Track or alternately do another WAA run from Dalhousie. Not sure as yet. As needed we will get a Deserts Pass from SA and check with the NPWS re the Simpson Desert. And give David Brooks a call. Even if not needed for a pass it's always a good idea to give the locals a call.

We went through a 1.2 million acre property that is generally closed to the public a few years back. $1000 per day each for manual help from the station staff and $2000 per hour for a chopper. We wanted to go there - so we agreed to "pay the ferry man" as the song goes.

Didn't need any as expected. It was good country and lots of property tracks where we wanted to go. They are thinking of opening it up again but as the owners are very hard Saudi business men I would hold my breath. I am sworn to secrecy about the place. But it just shows that with the correct understanding approach to the right staff, anything is possible.

Thanks Maybe next year we will check out those camps. I can only be away for four weeks at a time as I regular monthly immunoglobulin infusions in the local chemo ward. But we do our best.

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours. And of course any readers.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Dec 22, 2014 at 17:15

Monday, Dec 22, 2014 at 17:15
Just be aware that David Brooke lives in Birdsville, not at Adria, if you were chasing him for permission. Don Rayment is the manager at Adria.

Appreciate the comments about the Madigan, Phil. Flew across to the Alice for a Lake Eyre meeting some years back, may have been about 2002, and the area was real "scorched earth" country alright. And as far as one could see, either side of the aircraft, it was just bare sandhills.

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Dec 22, 2014 at 22:45

Monday, Dec 22, 2014 at 22:45
Gday Bob,
Would have been a great sight from the air!
My visits we 2 years and 4 years after the fire and the spinifex had not come back. It would be good to see it again - 13 years after the fire.

All the best for Xmas and hope you've had a good year!
Cheers
Phil
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Dec 23, 2014 at 11:30

Tuesday, Dec 23, 2014 at 11:30
While I found the view spectacular, Phil, it was somewhat depressing to think of all the "critters" that would have met their fate at the time. :-((

2 new knees has given my wife a better quality of life, but curtailed any bush travels in '14. Maybe 2015 will be the one where we can get away from strictly bitumen travel.

Best wishes for the festive season Phil, and hope you are able to get out into the deserts, once again next year.

Regards,
Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Mooseman - Monday, Dec 22, 2014 at 06:00

Monday, Dec 22, 2014 at 06:00
So Phil, was that detour onto the Madigan Line worthwhile or was it too short to get any real appreciation of Madigan's efforts and is the scenery OK?
AnswerID: 543243

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Dec 22, 2014 at 07:30

Monday, Dec 22, 2014 at 07:30
Detouring west to camp 13 was worthwhile because it gives a taste of what it's like - you cross the dunes rather than drive parallel like you'll be doing for the most part on the Hay. Like any trip, it's what you make of it. Madigan's Line can be boring if you don't read Cecil's book.
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Follow Up By: Mooseman - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 13:09

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 13:09
We'll be reading the book - knowing the history is an important part of the experience.
If Troy & Amy are over for Christmas say hello and Merry Christmas from Fran & Enzo. And whilst we've never met a safe and merry Christmas to you Phil and best wishes for the new year.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 16:00

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 16:00
I missed something. "Cecil's book" Please explain.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 16:07

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 16:07
Cecil = Cecil Madigan
Book = "Crossing the Dead Heart" which was his book about the crossing the North Simpson Desert
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 17:14

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 17:14
Hi Fran and Enzo - yeah Amy and Troy arrived yesterday and say Hi too! We're not sure whether you know, but they are expecting a baby boy in March, so the 4wding will go a bit quiet for a few years.
Well prepared travellers like yourselves will have a great time out on teh Hay river! Contact me via Amy if you want a chat about it.
Cheers, Phil
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Follow Up By: Mooseman - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 18:50

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 18:50
Congratulations Amy & Troy - future TLCC member on the way! Don't let a baby get in the way of 4WDing - we took ours when they were still in those basket things. That way they grow up loving the outdoors.
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