Author Topic: Madigan, Colson, Geosurveyors Hill, Geocentre...Knolls Track...Rig Road..etc etc  (Read 2603 times)

Offline Young Nomads

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Well..we did it too!
Vehicles:
Us:       ’06 100 series TDA Toyota Landcruiser
      Our follower was our 2012 Track Trailer Tvan
My brother:    2015 200 series TDA Landcruiser
Our route:
Coober Pedy..
Kulgera…
Old Andado Station…
Mac Clarke Reserve
Madigan Camps 1, 1a and 2
Colson Track
..cross country to:
Geosurveyor’s Hill
Cross country again to:
The Geographical Centre of the Simpson Desert
Then:
Cross country again (a defined track now!)
French Line
Knolls Track
Rig Road
Warburton Track
Birdsville Track
For all the detail geeks out there, I’ve put down some facts and figures for you.
Day 1
After John rested from a serious bout of “man flue”, we left Coober Pedy and headed to Kulgera
Distance: 410kms.. Fuel: 134 Litres… Price: $1.50/l   17 L/100
Tyres: F. 30lb   B. 35  Tvan. 24
Our first camp was just out of Kulgera by a dry creek bed.
Bogan fleas (nasty prickles) everywhere, but good, plentiful wood.
Day 2
From Kulgera to west of Mac Clarke reserve, Via Old Andado Station.
Distance: 280km from Kulgera
Camped off the road between Old Andado and Mac Clarke Reserve
Day 3
To Mac Clarke Reserve, Madigan Camps 1, 1a &2, to The Colson Track.
40kms from the Madigan/ Colson track intersection, to our turn off to Geosurveyor’s Hill.
We photographed and passed all the obligatory abandoned fuel / oil drums shot line pegs and “points of interest”
Distance: 400km From Kulgera
There were some serious dunes which required a wide range of tyre pressures throughout the day.
We rocked, rolled, landscaped dunes, inflated and deflated our tyres all day
Tyre pressures were ranging from:  F 25lb …  B 32 lb …Tvan: 18
TO F 12 lb … B 17 lb … Tvan 12 lb
We only managed 60 kms that day…
Day 4  460 kms from Kulgera
We put 40 litres of fuel in the car..from our total of 60 l we were carrying in the Tvan. (keeping 20 portable litres as a reserve supply) We were following some very vague tyre impressions once we left the Colson, which disappeared on a few occasions. Overall, the 1 month old route we followed was visible enough.With some crazy dune approaches, sharp twists and turns of the faded track, we sometimes decided there was a better route up the dunes.There wasn’t any flat ground on this section of the track, so when we climbed a difficult dune, we decided it was the best spot to stay for the night!!!!We only did 32kms that day. Once again, looking at and photographing all the obligatory fuel dumps and drums…and the odd action shot of our “duning”
Not once did we get bogged, or lose traction. We picked up shovels..filled in some holes and tyre abuse on the track we were to climb, dropped our tyre pressures and got up without any trouble.
Day 5   492 kms from Kulgera
Started our tyre pressures that day at:  F. 16  …B. 22…Tvan 12
Some really big dunes and a fair bit of landscaping today.We only managed 40kms that day, averaging 4km/hour.Some of the tracks we were following began to really wobble around and over the dunes, so a few better selections were taken that day again.
We sighted the pimple in the distance from atop of a large dune and headed for the prize.Enjoying a beverage on top of Geosurveyor’s Hill and taking the obligatory photoshoot, we sighed and headed south!
Our camp was south of Geo SH
Day 6
 531kms From Kulgera

Tyres:  F 13 lb…R 19 lb…Tvan 12 lb

Heading south To the Geocentre today..lots of dune crossings , some W-E..a few switching back E-W. We only managed 68kms today.We thought it would be easier now that we were heading south..not really. The faint tracks were off in a different direction once we had left GSH, so we followed a bit more used track.
Once again, a few routes previous travellers had taken, were a little “unusual” and not the easiest route they could have taken..so we made a couple of small side tracks. We reached the Geocentre, signed the book, looked at the tower and it’s ornaments and took the obligatory pictures……And sighed again!....
We followed a now well-defined track, which ran along and top of the edge of the dunes. We made camp, where there was a flat spot AND some wood!

Day 7   599kms from Kulgera

We put in a big day today.One particularly obscure dune approach needed a serious reconsideration.With no room to position ourselves to cross this dune and no inclinations to re position the whole dune, we cleared and smoothed out another approach, which we climbed easily.This dune was more obnoxious though. It had yet another level to scale.So John did a loop on the lower level of the dune and once again, took a straighter route up the final distance.

Tyres down to:  F 12…B 18…Tvan 12

Over this dune was a grove of gidgee trees, where John re- inflated the tyres a little.
By now, we were on the home run to the French Line.
My brother had headed south east (just left of the track we were following), to see if he could find a better way.At one point, we got a little “lost”, but discovered a fuel drum lying along a shot line on top of another dune.
 Of course..photographed it!
Eventually we both met up aga
in, had some lunch and continued on….We managed quite good travelling that day, once we picked up a more travelled track…Suddenly, an open camping area around another grove of gidgee trees and resident dingo’s greeted us at the intersection of the French Line!...My brother had to be home in 2 days, so we parted ways here….
673kms from Kulgera now.
Camp 8 was between intersection of the French Line and Knolls track….

A more healthy looking dingo visited our camp after tea, licking the plate rinse water off the leaves of the nearby grass. This one was actually a “real dingo”, with white points on each of it’s toes and tip of it’s tail. Well that’s what the dingo “handler” at Alice Springs Wildlife Park told us anyway.That night, with the rear tank low and indicator light on, we switched to the middle tank. Under normal travelling conditions, the rear tank would have enough in it for a further 50km.
We had travelled 807km from Kulgera at this stage

Day 9 ..(2162km from home)

Tyres: F 20  B 27 Tvan 20. Which remain unchanged until we met the Birdsville Track.
We passed through a lot of country side that day.
We turned south down Knolls Track which had a mix of sand and rock. The track was in quite good condition, but tight corners in some places reduced visibility of any oncoming traffic.
The Rig road was rutted in places, but generally like a sealed road! (hence it is called a road..not a track)…the dunes were no where near as high or challenging as what we had been through in the last week.
There were a lot of camel prints again, but still no sign of them! There were quite a few salt lakes and salt pans all along the Rig road. Some gypsum was a common site along the edges of the roads. You could never take yours off the road, however, as there were washouts across the road, at the base of the hills on mostly the eastern side. From the top of each hill/ dune, we could see  a lot of large lakes, which were of course, were dry.
If the lakes had been full, it would be an amazing site!
The largest lake we came to was Lake Perra Pererra Peranna. An amazing sight, with huge sand dunes coming right to the edge of the western side of the lake. The track skirted the edge of the lake, where we found some wood and camped up, just the other side of a small dune.Magnificent sunsets and weather was amazing for the whole period of our trip, that night being no exception, with the moon getting brighter and bigger every night.

Day 10 …1080 km from Kulgera.

Once again the rest of the tracks were in very good condition and once again, we photographed all the appropriate points of interest on our way to the Warburton Crossing….which was bone dry of course. Travelling between the crossing at Clifton Hills and the Birdsville track, we could see why this track would be closed for a long time after rain…we drove along dark clay sand, which was surrounded by thick “dead” lignum bushes. We reached the Birdsville track in the early afternoon and aired up again: F 28   B 38 and Tvan 28.
Still with no-one in sight,we headed south down the track and stopped off at Mungaranie Mc Donalds for a beverage. Deciding there were too many people about, we decided to head further down the track for our overnight camp.

Day 11. 1518 km from Kulgera

From our camp south of Mungaranie, we stopped for a look at Old Mulka Homestead.It really makes you wonder how hard life would have been all those years ago. With a grave on the hill behind the homestead, it was quite a poignant place. After a cuppa at Clayton Bore, we continued to Maree for lunchBetween Maree and Lyndhurst,, we stopped in to visit Farina. It had been many years since we visited here, with a lot of restoration and new construction of an info centre being done! Unfortunately, we had missed the bakery being open, but there’s always another day! We made it to the Birdsville track and headed south for our final fuel up at Leigh Creek.

From Kulgera to Leigh Creek our average L/100km was 19.6L..we had used 271 litres of fuel

Day 11…. Our last camp. 20kms north of Hawker

From Kulgera, to Leigh Creek, our average L/100 was a very respectable 19litres/ 100kms

We’d used 271 litres of diesel from Kulgera to Leigh Creek.

Finally….The Geo’s were a great trip…With them ticked off our bucket list, we don’t feel the need to do again!




John & Robyn.
Doing life in our healthy years.
Not waiting for the wealthy years. :D
Your coffin is the only place you can't take your TVan and the hearse doesn't have a towbar!
06 LC 100 TD Auto. & 2012 Canning Tvan with all the fruit.

Offline Graham Norfolk

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Great write up Robyn, interested in why you would not do it again. We always feel the second time around is better in that you know you do not have the worry of whether you have enough fuel, tucker and to a lesser extent time and you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery and the ambience.
It's amazing the amount of camel foot prints to the amount of camels you see, they make a real art form of blending into the bush for such a large animal.
Cheers
Graham & Maxine

Offline Young Nomads

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Hi guys.

I guess the main reason...physically demanding on the body..

John's better now after 2 visits to the chiro...well I just take Panadol!..lol

The scenery was beautiful and the weather sensational...It was peaceful as we didn't see anyone for days.
The vehicles and TVan (of course) were fine...

The approach to Geo Hill...from the Colson..was without a track..Unlike the Madigan which has a well worn track to follow.

Fuel and food wasn't a worry..more so, looking after our vehicles.

It wasn't entirely relaxing, as the driver is constantly on the look out for sticks, branches or rocks, which could wreck a tyre...as well as finding the best route/ approach over each dune...

There was only one day on the Madigan, which was a little rough on the body.

We did have a good time though!!!!!!  don't get me wrong  ;D

We enjoy travelling to places via different routes too!
It was a trip we really wanted to do and planned well for it...as well as how we wanted to do it! Especially to take the TVan :D

We also enjoy the solitude and being away from crowds!..it won't be long before there will be a well worn track, as well as lots of people..LOL. Hopefully a track won't get chopped up too soon.










John & Robyn.
Doing life in our healthy years.
Not waiting for the wealthy years. :D
Your coffin is the only place you can't take your TVan and the hearse doesn't have a towbar!
06 LC 100 TD Auto. & 2012 Canning Tvan with all the fruit.

Offline Mick78

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Hello,

That's a great write up! You have done well with trip prep and planning. So you gus had 60lt left?

The 100 is good on fuel. We just completed a east west of the Simpson in our 200 towing the tvan. We were 29lt per 100 Birdsville to Mt dare. In low range for the whole trip and tyres down to 10 psi. We idled up the dunes at 1200-1400 rpm with no troubles and no wheel spin.

Interesting to not a friend on the trip in a manual dual cab was 21 lt per 100. You guys have managed to be lower and towing. I would need 380lt to do the same trip in the 200 Hahaha

We had seen plenty of people not towing havering a few goes at dunes and struglingwith tyres at 35psi and some prompt on CH 10 they made it in 2WD.

Good work!
2002 Tvan

Offline joga

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"they made it in 2wd"!
Should be shot. They no doubt chopped it up to buggery for everyone else.
Joe & Gay
2016 Prado shoved along by a 2014 Murranji

Offline Mick78

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All true!

It’s was amazing the track damage in 6 years since we last did it.

We would go up in 2nd low and down in 1st just above idle for it was so chopped up.

I believe they need to erect large sings at interestctions to educate people.

We can across a prado petrol going up the dunes on the limiter. Later in the day we had catches up to him with a broken rear diff. Crown wheel and pinion damaged. Just going to hard and not letting air out.

The dune they did the damage on we just idled up in 2nd low and taken it easyz

Some guys we came across never had the center diff lock in. They thought no need when it’s all wheel drive apparently....
2002 Tvan

Offline Young Nomads

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Yes...it is amazing that some people think that constant 4wd means you don't need to "press the button or change the high low gear" to use it as a true 4wd...duuuhhhhh.
It is amazing what you can achieve with low tyre pressures!.....gee...even the tow truck with a jeep and a disco on the back, can do it!...ooops ..am I bad  :-X ;)


John & Robyn.
Doing life in our healthy years.
Not waiting for the wealthy years. :D
Your coffin is the only place you can't take your TVan and the hearse doesn't have a towbar!
06 LC 100 TD Auto. & 2012 Canning Tvan with all the fruit.

Offline Mick78

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I see the all 4 adventure guys cross the Simpson with dual axle caravan next week!

They tried big red with a caravan this week!
2002 Tvan

Offline robstevens

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Wow - 12psi is pretty low - must have had to be careful the tyre bead didn't let air / sand in...
2017 Firetail (July)
2019 Landcruiser 200 GXL (dual vvt-i petrol)

Offline markeaust

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I see the all 4 adventure guys cross the Simpson with dual axle caravan next week!

They tried big red with a caravan this week!

....and this is why trailers will eventually be banned from the Simpson.... idiots..!    >:( >:(

I fail to see the point.

Cheers,

Mark
2003 HDJ100 Landcruiser
2005 Mk II Tvan
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Offline Gumb

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I agree, absolute morons.
2017 Firetail with extra fruit
2015 Pajero NX GLS

Offline Mick78

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I agree guys!

A tvan is fine to tow through when done right. But a dual axle caravan up big red is crazy!
2002 Tvan

Offline Young Nomads

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Wow - 12psi is pretty low - must have had to be careful the tyre bead didn't let air / sand in...

Not a problem...remember...we were only going about 4km/h at that pressure....just wabbling over the spinifex and dunes...LOL...been down as low as 8 once....just don't turn quickly!
As for the caravan...well...speechless! :o
John & Robyn.
Doing life in our healthy years.
Not waiting for the wealthy years. :D
Your coffin is the only place you can't take your TVan and the hearse doesn't have a towbar!
06 LC 100 TD Auto. & 2012 Canning Tvan with all the fruit.

Offline Cruiser 105Tvan

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Going up the west face head on would be Lunacy.
There is a side approach that would make it really easy though.
And the East side isn't any better with the twists in the track.
If they destroy the Caravan, I hope they are made to clean up the mess, and not just leave it there.
Robert.
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HDJ 105r with a 1HDFT, being run in.

Offline Young Nomads

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You tube has some footage (the boys on top of Big Red)..the "short clip" didn't show the drive up the dune.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYDnu6LkpVE
John & Robyn.
Doing life in our healthy years.
Not waiting for the wealthy years. :D
Your coffin is the only place you can't take your TVan and the hearse doesn't have a towbar!
06 LC 100 TD Auto. & 2012 Canning Tvan with all the fruit.