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The Simpson Desert Expedition 1939Print Page Print this page

13-October-2018
13-October-2018

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

A cairn commemorates the 1939 crossing of the Simpson Desert by Cecil Madigan and his party. 

The Simpson is a sand-ridge desert extending 322 kilometres west to east, the ridges running parallel from north to south at roughly 0.4 kilometre intervals, some reaching as high as 30 metres.

Madigan planned a ground crossing in the winter of 1939. A party of nine, including a biologist, a botanist, a photographer and a radio operator, with nineteen camels, made the exhausting crossing from Andado station in the Northern Territory to Birdsville in twenty-five days. It verified Madigan`s previous conclusions that the area was a wasteland.

This last classic Australian exploration adventure pioneered the use of mobile radio communication; national broadcasts were made through the Australian Broadcasting Commission from desert camps.

Location

Address:Adelaide & Burt Streets, Opposite Birdsville Hotel , Birdsville, 4482
State:QLD
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -25.899221
Long: 139.351296
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map

Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Sub-Theme:Exploration
Approx. Event Start Date:1939
Approx. Event End Date:1939
Link:http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonli…

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:June-1962
Front Inscription

Plaque 1:
              THE
     SIMPSON DESERT 
        EXPEDITION
              1939 

Dr C.T. Madigan With 8 Men And 17 Camels 
Arrived Here On The 6th July 1939
Having Left Andado No 1 Bore 31 Days Earlier
Erected By The Royal Geographical Society 
Of Australasia South Australian Branch 
                 1962

Plaque 2:
On July 6th 1939
THE SIMPSON DESERT EXPEDITION 1939
Led By Cecil T. Madigan M.A., D.Sc., B.E., F.G.S. 
Arrived At Birdsville After Successfully Crossing The Simpson Desert By Camel From Charlotte Waters Via Andado H.S. . The Hale. The Hay And The Mulligan.
The Party Comprised Of :- 
Cecil T Madigan Geologist University Of Adelaide 
Robert L. Crocker  Botanist.    Albert Hubbard  Cook
Harold O.Fletcher  Palaeontologist.   Jack Beejah  Camel Driver.  Robert Simpson  Wireless Operator.  Noorie Moosha  Camel Driver.  David Marshall  Photographer.  Andy   Black Tracker. 
This Later Cairn Was Erected By R.C. Sprigg And Fellow Members Of A Party Completing A Routine Geological And Geophysical Survey And Crossing Of The Central Simpson Desert From Andado H.S. 
June 1962
Geosurveys Of Australia Limited 
And
Beach Petroleum N.L. 

 

 

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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