20-Apr-2003 -- On Easter Sunday, 20th April 2003, my husband (Cameron), brother-in-law Alex (from Melbourne) and I (Carmel) decided to take advantage of some free time, a beautiful autumn day and head off to find the nearest confluence to our home (at Dirranbandi, SW Queensland), using Cameron's GPS (Garmin 11 plus). The site we chose was in NSW - 29°S 148°E - on a property called Calooma which straddles the New South Wales, Queensland border. Cameron is currently working on Calooma so there was no trouble seeking permission to drive through their country.
We left Dirranbandi in Alex's 4WD Diesel Nissan wagon about 9am travelling south along the Castlereagh Highway, turning off a few kilometres before the tiny border-township of Hebel. We travelled through a property called "Booligar " before reaching Calooma and then followed station tracks in the general direction of the site, passing the only real landmark of any significance - the dry Bokhara Lake. This is just west of the Narran River (also currently dry due to a very severe drought in the area). The Narran and the Balonne Minor at Dirranbandi form part of the Murray Darling catchment. Lake Bokhara only fills every few years from natural floodout.
We left the station tracks and wound our way through lightly wooded scrub country until we reached a fenceline only a few metres short of the confluence. Cameron and Alex, being reared in the NT outback, were quite at home traversing off-road country so the lack of major roads was not a problem.
We parked beside the fence (and having noticed electric conductors at an earlier gateway, carefully checked that it was not electrified!) and climbed through to walk the last 800 metres on foot. Light timber (cypress pines, mulga etc) and a few anthills surrounded the site. Certainly not the most picturesque spot! (See Photo #1)
The whole trip took us less than three hours. Now that we have found a site within reasonably easy access, we are looking forward to more confluencing in the future and already have some new plans in mind! Great fun.
Photo #2 shows Alex and me photographing the GPS dial for proof of our visit...and in Photo #3, you will see the two Chalmers brothers - Alex (the big one) and Cameron (who normally looks big!) standing beside the GPS. Photo #4 shows the dry Lake Bokhara en route to the site - only a few miles away. Photo #5 is an aerial shot of the Balonne Minor River winding through the Dirranbandi district where we live - less than an hour's drive north of the confluence site. The area consists of wool, beef, wheat and cotton producers. Photo #6 shows a closeup of the GPS dial - proof that we did indeed visit the site.