03-Sep-2005 -- The visit to the 30S 140E Confluence point was made during a research expedition for Tadhg O’Loingsigh, a PhD student at Monash University, working on dust storms in the Strzelecki Desert in South Australia. Tadhg and I had driven from Melbourne to Broken Hill on the 27th September. Early on the 28th we stocked up on food, water and fuel for a week-long loop of the Strzelecki Desert to check up on previously installed weather stations and to deploy dust traps.
From Broken Hill, we set off West on the Barrier Highway and turned North towards Lake Frome at Yunta. We spent the following two days visiting our instrument sites and checking in with the local land owners on whose land we had our equipment.
After refuelling at Arkaroola, we pushed on further North between the Flinders and Lake Frome. We checked in with the owners of the Moolawatana station, before crossing East over the Callabonna-to-Frome channel to set up dust traps in the dune fields East of Lake Callabonna and further East along tracks to NSW. On Day 4 of our expedition, we crossed back to the West side of Callabonna onto Moolawatana land to check up our second weather station site. On the way, Tadhg mentioned that we would be driving within 1 km from the 30S 140E confluence point. We typed the coordinates into the hand-held GPS and went hunting. When the GOTO arrow on the GPS pointed towards a spot 1 km to our right, we pulled over and started walking. Fifteen minutes and a few adjusting shuffles later, we found the point. We took pictures of each other, the GPS unit and the surrounding area. Appropriately, Tadhg was wearing his Australian Geographic shirt as they had sponsored him for this fieldtrip. As there was not much to be seen or done at the location, we went back to our vehicle and pressed on with our work.
The next few days were spent installing dust traps along the Strzelecki Track and further East on the track to Cameron Corner towards Tibooburra in NSW. We also stopped on the shores of Lake Callabonna and took out our ATV quad bike. With the permission of Tim Flannery, director of the South Australian Museum, Tadhg spent half a day on the lakebed collecting dust samples for his research.
Our loop of the Strzelecki ended with an overnight stop at Fowler’s Gap research station on the Silver City Highway 100 km North of Broken Hill. We hadn’t seen fresh sheets or had a warm shower for over a week. The following day, we drove the remaining 1000 kilometres from Fowler’s Gap to Melbourne, and so ended a great trip.