14-Sep-2015 -- Several years ago whilst working as a GIS officer in Local Government in Australia, a colleague from another Council made me aware of the Confluence project which piqued my interest.
One day I will find one.
Retirement came, and with it the time to pursue both a confluence point and an opportunity for a long motorcycle trip. As with many places with undocumented confluence points, the easily accessible ones are long gone, and those that are left are in far away places that require a lot of effort and time to reach.
Living near Adelaide in South Australia, the Birdsville Track in the far north of our state had always been in the back of my mind as a "must do" ride, and so I hunted for a confluence point near that route that was both available and accessible by a motorcycle.
So 25 South / 140 East became my destination, located in the largest mostly dry clay-pan in Australia, on a cattle station north of Birdsville. I tracked down the station manager and obtained his permission and advice on how best to get there, and a few weeks after retirement in August 2014 I set off. I got as far as 650km north to Marree in South Australia to find that recent rains had turned the area and roads into a quagmire. I turned back for home disappointed.
A year went by, and on Wednesday, 9 September 2015 I set off again, this time accompanied by Colin Dunster on another motorcycle bought for the purpose. The Birdsville Track is a hard slog at any time, but we arrived in Birdsville four days later, and on a hot fifth day, set off for our clay-pan, known as Lake Bilpa. 100 km north of Birdsville we turned off onto a station track for a 20km slow ride to the edge of the clay-pan, after which all landmarks disappear, our sole guide being a Garmin GPS60 that steered me like a ship across water.
24 km later across utterly featureless clay, we arrived to a vista where it was possible to see the curvature of the earth, demonstrated by the fact that Colin could ride off to the horizon and then disappear over the edge, a situation possible in few places in the world.
I can't report on vegetation or trees or rocks or creeks or anything else, for there just isn't any, and it is billiard table flat to the horizon in all directions with nothing on it apart from a few clay lumps. As the photos show, all pictures look pretty much the same.