Kim Killick is one hell of a woman…

She’s ridden the Cape York tracks in Far North Queensland, rode the Simpson Desert crossing with her hubby Mark and Stuart Ball, of The Great Australian Ride GAR in 2019, just six weeks prior to doing it again with the original All Women’s Simpson Desert Crossing team and because of an unexpected elbow injury, determined not to miss out… went support crew last year, for the 2020 crossing… and from all accounts drove like she was still riding…

Just for a change of pace this year, she’s joined in with Stuart Ball’s GAR again, this time riding the Madigan Line, with hubby and some mates.

The Madigan Line, is basically a series of camp sites linked by a track no more than two wheel ruts through the heart of the desert, is a real toughie, even for the best.  It is named after Cecil Madigan, an explorer, geologist, surveyor and soldier.  He led the first scientific expedition across the Simpson Desert in 1939, by this route, which was why it’s named after him. He used to do aerial surveys of the area in the 1930’s and actually named the Simpson Desert, after one of his benefactors, Alfred Allen Simpson.

Kim and Mark at a Camp marker

So, starting just north of Old Andado Station in the Northern Territory, running east into Queensland, it joins the QAA Line at Eyre Creek. It is super remote, so there’s a need to be self reliant and extremely experienced in remote desert travel. A support crew accompanied them with their supplies.

This is Kim’s account, of the adventures from her private blog, she is keen to share… give’s us road rider’s an idea of what it’s like off-road in the middle of a desert and some of you off roaders what it’s like in a different part of Australasia… no snow capped mountains and pretty country streams out here…

Tuesday 1st June, Kim Killick is feeling pumped 

Madigan Line here we come… been waiting a while for this ride with Great Australian Rides.

Organising bike and gear for trip

…and we are off; nope we are back home! My gear lever was too high. which I’d shifted to accommodate my new off road boots but it wouldn’t shift from neutral, Mark has fixed the lever, I’ve changed to my old boots and off we go…

From my home in Roxby Downs, its 260 km to William Creek, but got there, missing lunch by 5 mins…

Met Stuart and Hank on the Borefiled Rd; slept at Algebuckina Bridge 150 km on from William Creek and found out our good mate, Lazy Yatta Frau Fanette is coming along too.

William Creek and missed lunch by 5 mins

Algebuckina Bridge. Arabana Country. Beautiful

Wednesday 2nd June leaving Algebuckina Bridge we intended to head for a swim at Dalhousie and look at the ruins on the way, we didn’t make either of these due to a road closure, having breakfast at Oodnadatta, which included a new amazing pink jumper for me and posting some pink Oodnadatta gifts to the twins.

Love pink

Oodnadatta roadhouse is pink and I just like pink. Lazy Yatta Frau will ride with us to Mt Dare even though she was there only 2 weeks ago. Stuart Ball thought he’d knock out some km on the Ténéré through some schmicko riding area however, the key barrel was stuck so we had to pack her back away. Hank Parker was so patient after unpacking the bike, repacking the trailer and then we had to redo it all, to repack the bike.

Fanette, Stuart, Mark and me Oodnadatta for breakfast

Arrived in Mt Dare, 240 km from Oodnadatta… all safe and spent two nights there waiting for the rest of the team to arrive.

Oodnadatta to Mt Dare road there was plenty of water with wildlife

Friday 4th June Day 1 of the The Madigan Line trip

Gathered for Breakfast and signing of the Madigan Line team poster, Stuart has a poster each rider signs prior to a ride. Fanette has made the decision to ride the trip instead of being in the vehicle.

Always time for fun… Fanette and me

Leaving Mt Dare

Some of the track on Day 1

Headed out to Old Andado which is Molly’s house and a well-kept time capsule of her life living in the harsh outback, what an amazing woman. I noted there was a beautiful quilt on her bed and feel Molly made that herself. I am a quilter, so I was so pleased to see a beautiful quilt on the main bed.

1st day on the track

Old Andado pioneer indeed

Molly’s quilt

Molly Clark, headstone reads: When times get tough, the tough get going

Arrived safely to Camp 5 this evening after a 300 km day and camped on the corner of the Madigan Line and Coulson Track.

Waiting for the team, as the corner person, so people don’t get lost or left behind

Saturday 5th June  Day 2 Madigan line from Camp 5 to Camp 9

100 km today and a real tough day.

Day 2 Camp marker 7

The track is very windy and soft and the bigger bikes up the front smack up the corners so it is definitely harder to ride through when you’re chilling at the back.

Husband, Mark Killick was sweep again today with Mark Ellis. The Marks have it covered.

Sunday 6th June Day 3 Madigan line we rode Camp 9 to Camp 15 which was another 100 km

Today started out great after a really challenging day 2, I was pleased and had found more of a flow in my riding.

Claypan on day 3

I had a massive off though where I literally launched my bike about 10 metres and came crashing down where no one saw me until I stood up like a meerkat. No injuries to myself or my bike… phew.

Day 3, Camp 11

Later in the day, I was ascending a dune and had a soft fall but my bike landed on top of me and I was trapped, there were 3 riders behind me but I didn’t know how far away they were.

Day 3 contemplating bike going in trailer, elevating sore foot. As long as the support crew doesn’t overtake you, you keep riding

I tried to squish my right foot into the soft sand but there was no room for movement and my foot was throbbing; it was twisted but secure in my boot. I was laying face down and could not turn to use my left foot to try and move the bike, Lazy was behind me and when she arrived I yelled to lift the rear tyre up and I got my foot out. My ankle was throbbing with some pins and needles and later it was burning. I rode on, nevertheless and was able to relax at camp with it sitting up on a log.

Day 3 Camp 15 set up. Freezing overnight with thermals and layers on layers

Great team effort today and I felt super supported. This aligns with us raising money and awareness for Dolly’s Dream, that no one should feel alone and people are around to support you

Dolly donations… any funds for Dolly’s Dream can be donated here…

Monday 7th June Day 4 Madigan line 130 km

We camped at Camp 20, Kuddaree Waterhole, which is full of water and wildlife; we saw ducks, brolgas and other beautiful little birds. Lots of cattle came to the waterhole to drink.

Day 4, Camp 20 the Kuddaree waterhole

Happy Birthday to Mark Ellis today who scored 2 X double Choc Chip biscuits which I made for the trip . What a way to spend your Birthday ♥

We stopped at the Blaze Tree today, marked as Camp 16 which was a little underwhelming. I had seen photos of the tree which looked quite like a massive old gum tree, that you’d see being hundreds of years old; it was actually the same appearance of a tree in my front yard and there were many trees around this famous Blaze Tree. I had expected it would be more baron.

The Blaze tree

We all had a great day riding and the dunes opened right up and so some was easy riding.

Day 4 …yes Alex the Lion on my bike riding across the plains. Riding parallel to the dunes and crossing them on an angle. The scenery is stunning, varies quite quickly as you pass through

Tuesday 8th June Day 5 Madigan line

Coming to the QAA/Madigan Line/Eyre Creek junction was like hitting a busy highway.

Day 5 waiting at the end of the Madigan to ride up the QAA

Personally, I felt so elated and had my super happy pants on here, though tried to not celebrate too early as we had not quite finished the day.

Many 4WD and motorbikes were headed west for Tatts Finke Desert Race.

Day 5 QAA line

Pulling into this corner we’d thought we’d be in the Birdsville Bakery by 1:00pm but it was 2:30pm for the curry camel pie and custard tart. We all came into Birdsville on fumes, using the fullest bike to syphon into all our empty tanks, 30 km to the bakery from Big Red never seemed so far.

Day 5 Madi GAR team; Big Red… we made all made it through. So proud!

Being Tuesday it’s Tits Out Day so in my usual flair I rode up Big Red ‘tits out’ and Mark’s words were ‘Don’t Graze them’

So lucky to be a part of this fantastic team and ride.

Mark and I. Hard days are made easier when your best friend sits by your side… photo credit Stuart Ball

All across successfully and in great spirits!
Was a technical ride and mentally challenging; so remote. We saw three vehicles after the Blaze Tree, Camp 16 and only one other vehicle between Camp 1 and Camp 16… across the entire 800kms of the Madigan Line!

End of trip days

Cheers, the Birdsville pub

Wednesday 9th June Day 6 Fanette wanted Le Mullet and I’ve got plenty of haircut experience, so we tackled that in Birdsville, then off she went to Finke, via the Plenty Highway with some of the guys from the trip. Mark and I decided to head home but spent the day in Birdsville fluffing about first, packing up and to head out Thursday to stay in Marree.Fanette and I

Thursday 10th June Day 7 Ummmm, no, we didn’t quite make that. After pulling into Mungerannie for lunch, Marks’s bike wouldn’t start. Phil let us use his garage, so we stripped out and cleaned the carby, which was full of crap; a seal had failed around the air intake and we think the bike had been dusted. There was also no compression when you put your hand over the muffler so sad days.

Lots of wildlife out there

We stayed the night at Mungerannie and I pulled work for the next day cleaning, whilst Mark rode my bike home to collect the ute to return that evening.

Friday 11th June Day 8 Mark left Mungerannie at 7:30 am for Roxby Downs, a 400 km, 5 hr 45 minute trip each way, arriving back at 5:30pm; what a legend! He also brought some supplies for Phil, that had been added to the list.

Mark’s bike loaded for the home journey

Saturday 12th June Day 9 We headed home visiting the Farina Bakery along the way, a quick 100km detour to have some sneaky snacks in an old ruin town on the Oodnadatta Track. The Rescue of Farina | Farina Restoration Project Group

Kim Killick  @outbackgrandma09


Any funds for Dolly’s Dream can be donated here…

Thank you…







Footnote from  Stuart Ball of The GAR.

The Great Australian Ride is with Lazy Yatta Frau.

MADIGAR has been a great success! 8 riders, 6 x male and 2 x female plus 2 support vehicles crossed the Madigan Line from Mt Dare to Birdsville.

We’ve just rolled into town after 800 km 4½ day adventure.

The Madigan is by far the toughest track within the Simpson and tested all of us. Awesome teamwork throughout.

All exhausted but thrilled to have smashed the Mad line. No injuries and no bikes in the trailer. Job well done.

Who Dares Wins….has paid off again.




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