07-Jan-2004 -- During my holidays I decided to find some confluences, I figured this would also give me a reason to travel the outback, which I wouldnt normally do.
The confluence at 30°S 147°E seemed reachable using a 2WD followed by some walking. It has been my experience that unless you have a 4WD, the rocks and shrubs that can be found on unpaved, smaller roads have a much higher chance to damage the underside of a low sitting 2WD car including the fuel tank and the mud guards around the tires (if you guessed this happened to my car, you are right).
I first tried to reach this confluence approaching it from the south on the 6th of Jan. According to my map it lies south of the Barwon River. It turned out that the map was wrong and having walked over a kilometre towards the confluence in the 40°+C heat I was standing on the south bank of the river (looking at the pelican floating in the middle of it) with no choice but to go back. I decided to try this one tomorrow from the north.
I headed west back to Bourke to check into a motel. I decided to leave the motel early in the morning as I wanted to avoid the extreme heat that was common throughout the outback during summer time.
After leaving the motel at around 5am I began the 100km drive to the east towards Brewarrina. In this area it is common at night for kangaroos to jump onto the road in front of your car (they are attracted to the headlights).
As the sun wasnt going to come up till about 6:20am there was some risk of this occurring during my drive.
When I was about 30kms from Bourke, a kangaroo did just that and smashed against my car. There is virtually no time to avoid a collision as I was driving at 110km/h and the kangaroo appeared suddenly less than 50 metres ahead of me. The shock/surprise of this didnt help my reaction. This was my first and hopefully only time I hit a kangaroo. The whole thing was over in about a second or two.
Later on a 2nd kangaroo jumped in front of me although this time I was driving around 80km/h (its amazing how much more safely you drive after you hit something, which isn't to say I am not a safe driver to begin with, of course) and so it skipped across the road before I got to it.
I feel bad for the kangaroo of course, but that feeling was somewhat dampened when I had a look at the front of my car after the incident. Unfortunately, I didn't have a bull bar attached, so my car suffered a bit of physical damage, although functionally only the air conditioning was gone. This doesnt sound like a big deal, but when the daytime temperatures are normally around 45°C and you still have a day or two left in the country you seriously consider the question: Why me?.
I drove my car around 10km past Brewarrina in an effort to get as close to the confluence as possible and minimize the walking distance. At around 3.86kms away I parked my car and went for the walk. I started walking about 6:40am.
There has been virtually no rainfall for weeks and the State was experiencing a drought; as a result the ground was very dry and soft and with almost every step my feet would sink a few centimetres into the ground making walking more difficult.
Generally the landscape consisted of shrubs and small trees as well as some dried out tree trunks. Along the way I noticed old disused poles that used to support power lines, 4wd tracks and kangaroo foot prints.
As I made my way towards the confluence I had to cross a dried out creek which had some wild pigs playing in the mud. There was also a massive black bird (around 50cms long), althought I dont know what it is, its likely to be a raven. I saw some kangaroos on a few occasions hopping around in the distance, luckily for me this time they were hopping away from me not towards. Lastly, there were numerous ant hills and swarms of flies pestering me the whole way (the insect repellant I used doesnt mean crap to these "bush hardened" "take no prisoner" fly beasts), one flew straight into my throat and didnt come out, so I had myself a fly breakfast.
At 7:30am I reached the confluence. I used my bottle of Powerade to mark the spot. I tried to keep the visit short as there were thousands of ants in the area as well as some larger bugs crawling on the ground and I didnt want a repeat of hundreds of ants crawling around your legs and feet (they do bite on occasion and this exact thing happened to me a couple of days earlier).
I returned to my car about 8:30am, a little tired, with flies pestering me (we are talking dozens of them). So I made a little run away and back to the car in order to outrun them, this strategy worked with some success as I started to drive away. I was relieved that despite what I expected to see there were no snakes encountered in my journey.
The attached pictures show the spot itself, 4 compass directions from the confluence, GPS readout, car damage and one of the numerous ant hills.