Crossing the Madigan Line

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Birdsville to Birdsville

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11 Days/Nights

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From $3000 per vehicle

Tour Description

We will follow the journey of Dr. Cecil Madigan who led his party of nine men and 19 camels on an amazing trackless and waterless trek EAST across the northern section of the Simpson Desert in 1939. For weeks they battled large sand dunes on their way from Andado Station to Birdsville

This journey begins in the iconic outback town of Birdsville, which lies on the eastern side of the majestic Simpson Desert. With over 1100 sandhills of varying sizes on the QAA Line & the French Line, we will pass well known landmarks such as Big Red, Eyre Creek and Poeppel Corner as we take three days to cross the Simpson Desert from East to West. Each night we will gather around the campfire and take in the spectacular night sky. Purni Bore, with its prolific birdlife, the warm artesian water of Dalhousie Springs and Dalhousie Ruins are highlights on route to Mt Dare Hotel. Travelling north from Mt Dare to Old Andado Station, we will view the living museum that is Molly Clarke’s Homestead. As we head east towards Birdsville, we will call in to the Madigan Camps, identified by special commemorative plaques. This track is not as easily defined as the southern crossing however navigating our way from one camp to the next is all part of the adventure. The final section of the Madigan Line traverses through Adria Station and is home to numerous waterholes and the Annadale Station Ruins. Adria Station has strict bio security rules, and can only be accessed with special permission, so we will make our final camp back on the QAA Line. Our final driving day gives us a better opportunity to explore Big Red and we will finish our Desert Adventure with a celebratory drink at the Birdsville Hotel and the comforts of the caravan park.


  1. Cross the world’s largest parallel sand dune desert
  2. Tackle the infamous Big Red
  3. Drive across Lake Poeppel Saltpan
  4. Immerse yourself in history at Old Andado Homestead
  5. View plaques depicting Cecil Madigan’s historic crossing
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  • $3000 per vehicle per couple
  • $1,200 per extra person
  • Guide’s passenger (catered) $2,600 (limited availability)
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Tour Dates

  • 11 August to 21 August 2022
  • 29 August to 9 September 2023


11 Days/Nights

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A Fantastic Trip

In 2018, I joined Ken & Ross in a convoy of 7 vehicles to explore the Simpson Desert. It was a fantastic trip, and the landscape was spectacular. We travelled from Birdsville across the Simpson Desert and returned via the lesser-known Madigan Line. I felt totally included in the group and the atmosphere of fun and banter around the campfire each night was memorable. This was a trip I’d been wanting to do for years however I just didn’t have the confidence or the CAN DO attitude to tackle it on my own. Travelling tagalong style, I knew that my safety was never in doubt and that certainly changed my attitude and increased my confidence. The trip was well-organised and informative, and the communication was excellent. When we arrived back in Birdsville to find our original route flooded, the team were quick to plan an alternative so that our adventure could continue. Good onya Ross & Kenny!

Cheers, Paul

Would I do another tag-along, yes in a heartbeat

We joined the tag-along tour for a Simpson Desert crossing. At first I thought it was just another added expense, as we usually did our own thing. After a very short time we were bogged in a very difficult situation, which with the combined experience, sharing of equipment, and the company and help of the others in the group, disaster was averted. Puncture repairs and tyre changes are certainly made easier with assistance from your fellow travellers, as they normally happen in the most difficult circumstances. Entry to normally closed areas was accessed with preplanned permits and permission to enjoy sites not normally seen. Advice on carrying petrol and alcohol were advised to avoid hefty fines of up to $30,000, and or jail in some areas. Permits are long drawn out affairs, that are expensive, especially for single tourers, and can be explicit on times of arrival and transitioning some lands that have many hidden treasures not accessible to most. The comfort of having experienced guides and support in times of 4WD'ing difficult terrain is fantastic, along with the fellowship in the evening, and discussing the day gone, and the challenges ahead. Providing your own food and meal requirements was important to me, as I have some special medical and dietary requirements. Safety and backup is important when exploring out of the way places, which was well covered by the tour leaders. Would I do another tag-along, yes in a heartbeat, and we have booked two more trip for this year.


Very organised and a great leader

To whom it may concern I have known Ross for several years and have accompanied him on a couple of his trips. He was very organised and a great leader, taking me to very interesting places. He has a huge interest in our country and I think him sharing that with everyone would be a fantastic thing for him to do. He is a great person, has a wonderful sense of humour and is heaps of fun to be around. I wish him all the best in his business venture.

Debbie Gridley


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