Madigan Line Tour Map

Madigan Line

Northern Simpson Desert via Madigan Line Tour

We offer a Northern Simpson tour which begins at Wilpena Pound in the beautiful Flinders Ranges. On our first night we’ll be staying at Willow Springs, home of the highest self drive 4×4 track in the Flinders Ranges which we will guide you safely along on our first day, allowing you to absorb all the history and spectacular views it offers.

After a great night at Willow Springs we will visit Aroona Valley, the place of inspiration for Hans Heysens paintings, before making our way north to a gorge filled with Aboriginal Petroglyths…a great spot to camp for the night. The following day we’ll wind our way out of the Flinders via a stunning scenic road towards our destination for the night at the historic Marree hotel on the Oodnadatta track. Book early if you would like to stay in the old hotel or rent a cabin for the night or there’s camping out the back.

From Marree we head up the Oodnadatta track, stopping at various places along the way and heading to our final fuel stop at Mount Dare before heading across the desert. On the way to the kick off point the next day, we’ll visit Molly Clarkes home at Old Andado Station, a true window into the past, and then it’s onto the Madigan Line proper, traversing west to east across the Simpson Desert for the next few days.

This ancient red desert is large enough to cover three Australian states and territories: South Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory and occupies approximately 176,500 square kms in the heartland of central Australia.

This timeless land is bound to the west by the Finke River and Mabel Range, to the north by the Adam Range, to the east by the Georgina and Diamantina Rivers, and to the south by the beautiful Lake Eyre. The Simpson Desert lies on top of the Great Artesian Basin, with water from the basin sometimes rising to the surface to create areas of natural beauty.

We allow plenty of time to head across at a leisurely pace, before hitting the Hay River track and our run into Birdsville, either via Adria Downs Station or Poeppel corner, and into Birdsville for the night. Here we can enjoy a shower and the hospitality of the Birdsville hotel, a night I am sure you will remember.  Again, if you would prefer not to camp that night, the caravan park has cabins available if you book early.

From Birdsville we will turn South, via the Cordillo Downs old shearing shed to our camp on the common at Innamincka where you will be able to get a meal from the pub. On our final day we will pass through Camerons Corner, where depending upon time, you may like a round of tristate golf, before finishing the tour further along the track at our final destination in the town of Tibooburra.

Join Adam on the final night of the tour at the Tibooburra Family Hotel for a hearty pub meal surrounded by the famous artists murals and to talk about all the adventures we have just had, and why not book a room for a well earned night of comfort!

Well what a tour this one will be! the Central Land Council for the 2021 touring season banned transiting the Madigan East West, this got us thinking as historically that is the way that we have travelled. What would we like to do and what do we normally do when we are out this way by ourselves? We usually visit the Flinders Ranges, now this is by no means a Flinders Ranges tour, it really is just a taste, but you will bite down on some of the best the Flinders has to offer, we will start our tour in the morning at Wilpena Pound plan your arrival here the day before to give yourself time to do a walk and take in this area. Your first day sees you on the highest self drive track in the Flinders it takes the best part of a full day and what a great way to start your tour, tonight we are under the stars, a big fire to complement the big stories of the drive you have just had! Day 2 its all about art!  We visit the Valley where Hans Heysen spent time painting, before heading for a camp near where Aboriginal Petroglyths are, the walk in to see these is glorious.

Marree and the Marree hotel is calling the next day, we will drive through stunning scenery before joining the Outback Highway. On the way north we will pull up at Farina and see the amazing work that the volunteers are doing in restoring this town.

After our night at Marree we will again travel north this time on the famous Oodnadatta track here we will see remnants of the Old Ghan line, look out over Lake Eyre see the longest bridge in South Australia, eventually we come across a little tin shed but you have struck gold this is Mount Dare have a meal in the Restaurant, a hot shower, a yarn around the bar with new friends, everyone loves Mount Dare, enjoy. From here we will see Molly Clarkes home Old Andado station visit her grave and reflect on how tough these people were to open up these areas to European settlement. Now it is getting serious, you are now following Cecil Madigan’s foot steps, great scenery awaits as we cross the Northern section of the Simpson, after a few days travelling this track we come to a T junction this is the equally famous Hay river track we will only be doing the bottom section where depending upon conditions we will either travel to Birdsville vial Adria Downs station or via Poeppel Corner, but guess what, the tour is still not done we will have the night in Birdsville again hot showers can be had, and a meal in Australia’s most iconic outback pub, The Birdsville Hotel a must for any traveller.

From here we travel South see Australia’s largest stone shearing shed before camping at Innamincka. This morning is the last morning of this tour but we are not done yet! Camerons Corner is next on our list where if there is time, play a hole of golf in each state! Its called tri state golf and can become a very serious affair! From here we head into Tibooburra where the tour ends, stay the night though, see some amazing art in the pub have a meal book a room or camp nearby, the choice is yours, this really is an iconic trip visiting some wonderful places along the way.

If you have any questions on this tour or any other tour Tracks 4×4 Tagalong offer please give Adam a call on 0408780072



13 days
$3200 for 2 People Extra passenger $150
  • 2022
  • 9 - 21 April


  • Experienced trip leader with first aid skills and all communication equipment
  • All camping and permit fees


  • This is a self-catered tour so no meals are provided
  • Any upgrade from camping is not included in the cost