10-Dec-2000 -- Detailed mapping showed we could get within a
kilometre of the confluence point on the Cooyar - Blackbutt Road so it shouldn’t
be too hard to find it, or so we thought. From the closest point on the road the
country appeared rough with a lot of scrubby vegetation so we looked for alternative
approaches. A lot of the country in the vicinity has been cleared in the past and
abandoned to be taken over with a thick regrowth of lantana (a scrambling,
invading weed from South America).
A bit of searching found three places we could get to that were only 500
metres from our target. We chose to make our assault from a high voltage
powerline access track east of the point as this appeared to have the least
lantana to traverse. It was a hot and sweaty day and after making slow
progress through a scratchy mess of lantana 2-3 metres deep, we reached the
base of a steep rocky slope. The rain forest that covered the hillside provided
a shade canopy that excluded the grouth of lantana so we appreciated it doubly.
Climbing to the top we found that the other side of the ridge had been cleared
long ago and our further progress blocked by a dense thicket of lantana with
270 metres to go. So near yet so far. This time it was thicker than before and
without machetes and a day or so to spare, was impenetrable.
For anyone thinking of conquering this confluence point, I’d still recommend
approaching from the powerline easement. I rechecked the other two alternatives
and they seemed even worse. I’d also recommend doing it in cool weather and
taking a compass because you can’t move quickly enough in lantana to get a
good direction indication with the GPS alone.