The Madigan Line across the northern Simpson Desert follows the route taken by Cecil Madigan’s exploration expedition in 1939
Cecil Madigan led a successful expedition across the Simpson Desert using camels in 1939. They left from Old Andado Station in the west and headed to Birdsville in the east. This route across the desert became known as the Madigan Line.
The Madigan Line, a convoy group, under the leadership of Vic Widman from Great Divide Tours, retraced the route of Madigan’s expedition and visited most of the 25 campsites used by Madigan’s group along the way. Like the other tracks of the Simpson Desert there is plenty of sand and spinifex. But unlike those other tracks, the Madigan Line has never been properly formed. So it is an adventure for 4-wheel drivers and tests their navigation skills.
Cecil Madigan was a geologist and explorer, who joined Sir Douglas Mawson’s Antarctic expedition as a meteorologist in 1911. He planned his desert expedition after numerous aerial surveys of Central Australia. The first major expedition across the Simpson Desert used camels to carry all the equipment.
The Madigan Line compares the adventures of a group of modern day travellers with the difficulties and triumphs of the Madigan expedition. The group visited most of the campsites, although some are not available to travellers, and some are only available by special permission.
The convoy crossed Eyre Creek on Madigan’s route, before turning south and joining the QAA Line. Yes we crossed Big Red, before heading to Birdsville for our own celebration for the successful completion of our expedition.