UserTrek Review: Simpson French-Madigan Lines Loop

Submitted: Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 15:18
ThreadID: 132228 Views:2570 Replies:2 FollowUps:1
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Trip section on Madigan Line from Colson Track to Camp 6 (approx 30kms) was cross country. Should have gone straight across at the Colson Track, but bought a strip map that said there was a track at the GPS coordinates where we left the Colson Track - track did not exist. Could have steered NE to intercept the track down from Camp 5, but a bit of cross country driving was fun. Other vehicle staked a tyre on this section. Did not go to Camps 3, 4, or 5 per Central Lands Council permit, but other people seem to ignore that and do them anyway. Who is going to stop you out there? We were first through for the year from the west and the track from Camp 2 to the Colson Track was very faint and easy to lose. Met first group through from the east at Camp 8. Some of them seemed to be having trouble getting over some dunes and were looking for chicken runs which are rare. Travelled between 8am and 4 to 4.30pm each day. Would have been much harder travelling from the east on the steep side of the dunes. Travelling from the west there were jump-ups of blown sand between 1m and 2m high on top of each dune. Landcruiser and Ranger had no problem though in first or second high. Desert quite green most of the way and there were varying numbers of wild flowers of various types. No camels, lots of lizards, sand goannas and one 1.2m taipan. Camp at Camp 17 is great - no trees from 16 to 17 until you get over the last dune. Nice green grass (not spinifex) on this trip. Plenty of flies all of the way of course.
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 11:24

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 11:24
Sounds like a good trip Peter, and good work.

Which way did you go from camp 2 to the Colson - via that CLC reccomended map ?

I have gone 2 ways , neither of which was straightforward due to lack of info etc.

First time I went more or less straight line from camp 2 to camp 3 to camp5 to camp6.

Second time I went from camp 2 (missed the old Pivot), and went to the "Crossing" (then the point where 2 aboriginal lands intersected and from there a
straight line to camp 6.

I'd love to do what is now the recomended way if I can find a plot as the map info for camp2 to camp6 is a bit vague !
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 599179

Reply By: Peter S (VIC) - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 20:44

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 20:44
Hi Robin

From The Twins we went about 1km SE along the east side of The Twins. We picked up a faint track heading east and followed that. It was easy going. We didn't go anywhere near The Pivot or The Crossing. The track headed slightly NE to the Colson Track. I had a copy of The Outback Travellers Track Guide (a strip map) that said there was a track from the Colson a few k's south of where we hit that track. The only thing at those coordinates was an old white 20 litre drum on the left side of the track that may have marked where the track east used to be. The fella that wrote up that strip map died in 2007, so it was a bit dated. Anyway we just headed east cross country from there to Camp 6. We could have just headed east or NE from where we hit the Colson and we probably would have picked up the track from Camp 5. Again, it was fairly easy going. No spinifex humps. We should have just crossed the Colson and created a new track from there for others to follow.
AnswerID: 599194

Follow Up By: Peter S (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 22:44

Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 22:44
From what I had read on various websites, I expected the Madigan Line to take much longer. We spent one night on the French Line, a night at Dalhousie and 4 nights on the Madigan. So, Birdsville to Birdsville was 6 nights/7 days. Fuel use for from Mt Dare to Birdsville along the Madigan for a heavily laden 100 series, non-turbo 1 hz motor was about 165 litres (carries 270 in the tanks). Ranger used about 95 litres (140 in the tank). We didn't go to Geosurveys Hill or camps 3,4,5. Not going to 3,4,5 saved about 25 kms.
FollowupID: 868516

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