24-Dec-2009 -- Boy time flies, after successfully doing 31S-141E back in July 2004 I was keen to add some more to the list, its hard to believe five and a half years have passed.
My youngest daughter was getting married Dec 19th 2009 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 26S-148E and 27S-145E. 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 by 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 26S-148E.
Having achieved the above confluence Wednesday 23/12/2009 I headed South to the town of Mitchell and on to Charleville then down the Old Charleville Quilpie Road towards E145 S27. Using the downloaded maps on my PDA I had no trouble getting within 2.5 kilometers of the goal and as the forecast was for a hot day, a 5 kilometer round trip a 8:00am is much better than a 5 kilometer round trip at midday so decided to walk in and seek out the land owners later in air conditioned comfort after.
In Australia we have an expression for when someone has gone bush, we say “He’s up in the mulga”, well that’s where I found myself. Looking at the attached photos, the predominant tree is Mulga (Acacia aneura) (I consulted with Ian Feather from Cowley Station to ascertain this information). Research tells me this is an important tree to the pastoralists as it provides shade and is a important fodder supplement for stock despite containing indigestible tannins. A Mulga tree just 250mm in diameter could be 250 years old and its extremely hard wood was used by indigenous Australians to make digging sticks, womeras (a brilliantly design aid to get a mechanical advantage when spear throwing) and shields. Mulga is a Aboriginal word for shield. The country around here certainly has a beauty of its own.
After walking back to the utility I followed the tracks of a single vehicle on recently graded roads for 10 kilometers without finding anyone or a homestead so turned back and went to Cowley Station homestead where, after speaking to Ian Feather it was decided the confluence was south of their property boundary fence on Chum Plains Station. Ian kindly furnished me with a contact phone number.
Chum Plains is run by Carl & Judy Bain and after a phone call and a few emails I have obtained the necessary permission. I thank all who helped me achieve this goal.
The photo of the brolgas was taken a few kilometers away from the confluence but shows that wild life abounds in this seemingly harsh landscape. I also encountered kori bustards, (another large native bird) emus, literally thousands of kangaroos plus many others.
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.