Submitted: Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 01:49
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Okay all you guys and gals who have done this great trek. I have most of the info I need except one question. I am guessing its harder doing it from East to West, basically what I need to know is am I right in assuming this and if so how much harder is it doing it this way.

Am in the early stages of planning for a 2012 crossing.

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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 06:52

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 06:52
I wouldn't even think of it especially from Camp 16 on if you can get permission to do the QLD section.
A couple of years back a bloke did it west to east and then went to have a look see to the east of 16 and 17 in a 200 series and had great difficulty in returning back to the Hay river track, very capable driver and very capable rig and he doubted at one point whether he was going to make it.
There was also a Jeep group that did it from Birdsville out to camp 16 and then back to Birdsville, the old ex army willy's had no problem but all the new "support" vehicles had problems.
West of the Hay you will initially have no problems but further east the dunes get bigger and steeper again, some with near vertical eastern faces. Saying that this year with all the rain the growth will be huge, the sand should be firm and you will be doing some navigating as the track will probably be pretty indistinct.
AnswerID: 444876

Reply By: Mel59 - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 07:00

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 07:00
I did this 2 years ago with 10 other vehicles all well prepared and experienced. A great challenge travelling west- east. the nature of the dunes is such that there steepness if going from the east would make this not only many times harder bur time consuming it would take weeks to do.

I am sure someone will say how easy it would be, I would love to read the detailed log of anyone who has driven this way. Tyre damage, fuel needed, repaires etc.

Reading others trip logs this is one of the most remote trip in Oz and is not a leisurly driving holiday. Half our group have said never again and a couple regretted going even though warned.

regards Mel
AnswerID: 444878

Follow Up By: S.A. Blaze - Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 23:16

Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 23:16
Thanks for the Comments Mel,

Certainly agree with you about being very remote, and can imagine some people saying never again, have had that with ourselves with some other remote desert area's.. But after numerous Simpson crossings and Great Victoria Desert etc. I had always wanted to do Madigans, and the group we have going have done most of the remote desert tracks..

So Basically cant wait..

FollowupID: 717615

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 08:31

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 08:31
Hi Blaze
The Madigan can in no way be compared to the usual very easy drives that the southern Simpson has. They have never had the luxury of a grader and the track as been set in place from the constant use by hundreds of vehicles over the years. The dunes out there are bigger than you think and it can be very trying at times. Time of travel is also very important, as early in the season and a lot of the track will have gone. The easiest time to travel is August, were there have been a number of groups through and redefined the track as such.

Have a look at my latest Blog about our Geo Simpson trip which is even harder again and will give you some idea of what to expect.


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AnswerID: 444891

Follow Up By: S.A. Blaze - Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 22:49

Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 22:49
Very interesting read stephen, The post was in a way put up so everyone could see that West to East is the way to go... I basically new the outcome before I wrote it.. :-) I would be very interested in having a copy of your track file for a normal West to East crossing of Madigans, if you can email me it that would be great.. Unfortunately I will be away with Al Packer and others in the High Country this Easter so if you are up I will miss catching up..

Cheers and all the best....
FollowupID: 717613

Reply By: Ruffy-Dan - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 13:05

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 13:05
Hey Blaze.
I am in the midst of planning a 2012 crossing as well. I'm looking around june/july.
We'll be travelling West to East as i intend on following the trip as closely as possible to Madigan's original journey.

I'd HIGHLY recommend reading 'Crossing the dead heart' before you plan any further. It's extremely informative. Last i knew 'Pioneer books' in SA still had some good second hand copies (No longer in print i'm lead to believe).

We are looking at a deviation from the line to the geo survey hill just for S&G's.

Preperation seems like the biggest key and as Madigan stated himself in the book that once you embark on the journey there should be no adventure left to have as the preperation will have covered all possible scenarios thus ensuring an adventure free journey.

AnswerID: 444931

Reply By: Stevo - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 13:31

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 13:31
To answer your question very simply - It would be much, much harder if not close to impossible.

HUGE dunes with VERY steep approaches on the eastern faces.
AnswerID: 444934

Reply By: Crackles - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 20:24

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 20:24
On our crossing West to East I made a point of looking back over my shoulder after each dune to see if it would be possible to go the other way. Although often much steeper I certainly felt it would be & intend to return at some time to do it. In saying that I'd only consider it with a select group of very capable vehicles & drivers. I have spoken to a chap who drove a 200 series towing a camper trailer solo East to West so it is achievable in the right conditions.
Cheers Craig...........
AnswerID: 444981

Follow Up By: Mel59 - Saturday, Feb 12, 2011 at 18:30

Saturday, Feb 12, 2011 at 18:30
G Day Craig

Do you have any details or contact for the guy in the 200 series, would love to know fuel consumption and time taken etc.
that realy would be an achievment solo.

regards mel
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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Saturday, Feb 12, 2011 at 18:52

Saturday, Feb 12, 2011 at 18:52
I have spoken to the 200 series driver since he crossed as we exchanged info before the trip and met him on the road. The 200 diesel averaged 25l/100k towing 1500kgs of track trailer/camper. He took the new exploration road between north bore and the Colson and then followed the track east to the Hay river where he turned south. He did it in a bit over a week from memeory and there was only the one vehicle with the driver and his son. He was the bloke who I mentioned went east from the Hay without the trailer and then came back, couldn't get over the dunes without a lot of difficulty and said that it would be very hard if loaded. But it all depends on the conditions, lots of rain and the sand will be firm, plenty of growth to hold the dunes stable, Get a dry spell and the sand will be soft and moving so much harder. It also depends on the vehicles and drivers capability too.
FollowupID: 717445

Follow Up By: S.A. Blaze - Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 23:49

Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 23:49
Have to agree with most have put out on here, having done the Simpson years ago when no one had crossed in 18mths and having some vehicles bogged and needing snatches 2 or 3 times a day, compared to our last crossing, that I could have done in 2 wheel drive as the sand was that firm from rains a few weeks before. Even with a 2.5diesel, I did Red in high range with ease. So yes there is no answer that covers every scenerio but I got the answers I expected, so for the crossing we will be doing West to East :-)

Cheers to all and thanks for the imput

PS. Anyone who can supply the track file for Ozi, I would be very gratefull, Normal email is
FollowupID: 717620

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