23-Dec-2009 -- Boy time flies, after successfully doing E141 S31 back in July 2004 and keen to add some more to list, its hard to believe five and a half years have past.
My youngest daughter was getting married Dec 19th on the Gold Coast and wishing to visit my 96 year old mother who lives at Yeppoon, I decided to drive rather than fly so checked out what confluences were not yet listed as completed on the route home.
Selected E148 S26 and E145 S27. Using OziExplorer and the Australian Raster Topographic maps I planed the closest vehicle approach, then converted the required maps to OziCE format for my PDA.
Left Yeppoon early evening 22/12/2009 and was entertained be the ever increasing spectacle of a distant thunder storm but turned south before I was engulfed by its full fury, after a few hours sleep, morning found me at Carnarvon Gorge. A dawn stroll (8 kilometer return trip) up to Moss Gardens to shoot a few pics was a good warm up for the afternoon walk to the confluence.
Mid afternoon found me at Havelock Station and within 20 kilometers of my goal, here I met Bim & Susan Struss busy with the chores of the day, Bim kindly took time out to draw an excellent sketch map of tracks that would give me my best possible approach to the confluence. Initially I took a wrong turn and was obviously not heading in the right direction so looked more carefully at Bim’s map. I had a choice of three approaches and my first choice ended with me being within 5.1 kilometers and not knowing if either of the other two would get me closer and the fact it was after 4:00pm I figured that a 10.2 kilometers round trip with time to set up and shoot some photos would take at least 2.5 hours so I had better get to it.
Fortunately the terrain was easy walking with patches of light scrub and slightly undulating landscape and 5:30pm found me on the spot as the photo of the GPS’s confirms. (I took 2 in case 1 let me down) The photo looking East looks toward the foot hills of the Great Dividing Range witch runs north south down the entire east coast of Australia. In the Photo looking West one can see the River Head Range which probably refers to the Maranoa River headlands. The South looking photo’s centerpiece is a Queensland Bottle Tree (Brachychiton rupestris) which thrive in outback Queensland, if you look right in this photo about two thirds towards the edge, you will see a young tree pear(Opuntia stricta spp) , this plant had a devastating impact on rural life in inland New South Wales and Queensland in the early 20th century but was brought under control with the introduction of the Cactoblastis cactorum, a moth whose caterpillars ate their way through millions of hectares of tree pear reclaiming the land.
The walk back to the utility was taken at a slower pace seeing many kangaroos, they are in plague proportions in some parts of Queensland but that is a debate for another forum.
The sunset photo shows how little time I had up my sleeve, this was taken from the track as I was driving out of Havelock Station.
Through further conversations via email with Bim, I have discovered the the confluence lies not on Havelock but on Iwona Station to the North, this property is run by Rowly & Jenny Walker, Bim emailed them and explained some details of the confluence project and who I was. I have made a phone call to Iwona Station and explained more details to Jenny and she said that they were happy for me to lodge the post.
As unvisited confluences become more and more remote a word of warning to any considering going to do one, plan well, let someone know what you are doing, take plenty of drinking water, leave all gates as you find them and personally I carry an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) which is registered for marine and land travel and linked to my boat and vehicle registration.