2 Landcruisers, 8000kms & the Great Australian Outback

Two sailors (let's call them "rustic") and their wives set off in June for an adventure, nay an expedition! Two Landcruiser 79 Series with 200 litres of fuel, 140 litres of water and enough food for a month. Packed on board were the essential kit of retrieval gear including electronic hand winches, max tracks, tow and snatch straps, two spare wheels and tyre repair kit plus a satellite phone - essential when you are expecting news of the birth of your latest grandson.

First stop outback along the Flinders ranges was bush camping near Hawker SA, followed by more bush camping at Grindells Hut and a pit stop at the pink roadhouse at Oodnadatta. On to the Simpson but first a much needed refuel at Mount Dare, paying $2.70 per litre for diesel (yep ouch!). A dip in the stunning hot springs at Dalhousie Springs where little fish eat your crusty skin. Next day saw a short stop at the old Andato homestead and then the start of the Madigan Line on the northern Simpson Desert, that was first explored in 1939 by Professor Madigan of SA University.

Along the Madigan Line we traveled for five days before seeing or passing another vehicle and even more eerie there were no signs of humans out there at all...nothing. It took nine days to complete the Madigan Line - that's nine days without phone contact, a shower, no food or fuel stops and no Facebook. The campsites along the way were good and the fires were excellent especially as the temperature dropped to bloody cold each night. We had very little trouble on the journey, apart from two tyre punctures that we repaired, getting bogged in sand & winching out and getting bogged on four sand dunes. Crossing hundreds of sand dunes at an average speed of 15km an hour was rough going. Muddy and flooded roads greeted us as we arrived at Birdsville and a much needed shower and phone contact. With the Madigan Line done and dusted, it was time to head to Melbourne, via South Australia, to see our latest grandson (2 weeks old).

And now we are glad to be back at the Marine Outlet headquarters...and our very lively Kelpie Rosie.

Fran Hahlos
Fran Hahlos