• Thewhiteox

The Madigan Line - Camp 17 - 19

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

Digging Divots and Finding Friends on the way to Annandale

See if you can spot a tiny Ox at Camp 17 (probably our favourite Camp site)

Not only is the Madigan more interesting in terms of driving, more beautiful landscapes, & feels even more isolated than the Canning, it also doesn’t have anywhere near as many flies as Hay River! Woop woop!

I woke around 7, & we walked up a nearby dune as Jade had spotted that it could be a great image at that time of the morning. Sure enough, it provided a great view over our campsite, in a shady tree lined area between two deep orange dunes.


We got underway at around 9.30am. It was nice to have Jade see how challenging the dunes I’d been driving the night before really were, he seemed a little stressed by some of them, & it required a lot of concentration. It didn’t take long before we summated a fairly steep one & came to a sharp halt at the crest. There was a large divot on our left side, the wheel had gone in it, & we were tipping slightly into it. It seemed too risky to continue with the possibility that it could be enough to fully tip over, particularly as our left side is heavier. We decided to play it safe, reversed slightly & shovelled the sand on the high right side into the hole on the left, equalising the track. I think it ended up taking about 15 minutes.

We drove on without incident, perhaps it would have been fine, but why take the risk?

We got to camp 18, where the dunes started to diminish a bit, & shortly afterwards saw another vehicle coming down the track! We weren’t expecting to see anyone, & hurried to put on some clothes. We were lucky to meet in an open spot where the track widened, it would have been all too easy to meet at the crest of a dune with no idea another vehicle was on the other side. They were an older couple, who had come from Birdsville & planned to do the full Madigan Line, something they had done before. They told us it was easy going from there, we told them it was a little tricky back the way we’d come.

Sure enough, it was plain sailing. We weren’t sure if we’d reach camp 19 at a reasonable time, but as the track flattened we went up and up in gears, until I decided it was really time to go back to using high range, and slap out the trivial pursuit again. Check out our next post as we continue our journey, exploring the Annandale station ruins near Camp 20

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