22-Feb-2015 -- My final visit to a Degree Confluence Point during this New Zealand South Island vacation (there will be more of these in the future!) was to this relatively easy point near the South Island’s northern coast, just outside Abel Tasman National Park.
I said “relatively easy” because I knew - from reviewing satellite imagery and reading reports from previous visitors - that the last 70 metres or so (if I wanted to get ‘all zeros’) would involve ‘bushwhacking’ up a steep, densely-vegetated hill. I wasn’t looking forward to this, but I took solace in two things: First, there was no way that this could replicate the steep bushwhacking that I had to do to reach [53,-119] in British Columbia two and half years ago - that was the ‘gold standard’ for steep bushwhacking. Second, I knew that there would be no snakes to worry about. (Like most New Zealanders, I’m proud of the fact that NZ is completely snake free!)
Nonetheless, the climb was quite difficult, in part because the ground was rather slippery from recent rain showers. The vegetation was mostly native ferns and vines, but also (unfortunately) included some non-native pests: blackberry, and gorse - the scourge of the New Zealand countryside. I was accompanied by a friendly native fantail that fluttered around me during much of my hike.
The confluence point itself is a a small clearing in a rather ugly, disorganized patch of mostly dead ferns. It didn’t do justice to the beautiful coastal scenery nearby.
Before visiting this point, I made a detour to visit ‘Split Apple Rock’ - just a few km to the east. This unusual rock is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.