12-Sep-2007 -- It was early September 2007 and the APEC conference/circus had come to our home town of Sydney. Twenty-five heads of Government and their thousands of security agents invited by our desperate PM, John Howard. But no one asked the people of Sydney if we wanted them there. Nothing left to do but escape to the great Aussie outback. My life partner, (or as Dame Edna would call him, my "Flatmate!") Collin and I also wanted to celebrate 25 wonderful years together, many of which were on the road (our secret: he's an excellent and tireless driver and I can read maps).
We chose to go to Melbourne, The Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, Broken Hill, and one of our favourite spots, Cameron Corner, where New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland all meet at the same spot. We were there last in December 2002 to witness the total solar eclipse nearby in the Strzelecki Desert (braving 46º C temperatures). The actual white marker, last resurveyed and unveiled in July 1969, was erected without the aid of GPS. That was to come some thirty years later. It's funny, as the three states' Land Ministers were busy unveiling this boundary plaque, on this remote red dusty corner of earth, hundreds of thousands of kilometres away up in the sky, on that very same day, man first walked on the grey dust of the moon. And also started the GPS revolution.
As it is, the true confluence, the 29º South latitude and the 141º East longitude, is now 125 m south east of the actual tri-state border, putting it well and truly within Australia's "Premier State" of New South Wales. It is easy enough to get to, compared to most confluences, as it is a major destination for many 4WD vehicles. Not only do you see the dingo proof fence and the magnificent Sturt National Park on the NSW side, but there is also the famous "Corner Store" on the Queensland side (but with a New South Wales postcode and a South Australian telephone number). In summer it's even more interesting as this place also has three different time zones. To get to the actual confluence from Cameron corner, however, you must back track back into NSW, opening up and making absolutely sure that you close and lock the huge dingo proof gate behind you, or there will be dire consequences, as the signs warn. Also too, vehicles and even the general public aren't allowed on any of the maintenance tracks on either side of the fence, due to accidents arising from the hilly terrain. A short 100-m stroll on the red sand, diagonally from the gate on the NSW/SA border, do your little confluence waltz with your GPS and you're done.
That night my "flatmate" and I snuggled up under the stars right for our twentyfifth anniversary, smack on the NSW/SA border (I’m a unashamed “grenzologist”, my word for a boundary-line nut). We’ve never slept in two time zones before), whilst my Nikon SLR was recording the night sky twirling above us and the arrogant APEC leaders were having their gabfest, far, far away.