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the Degree Confluence Project
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New Zealand : North Island

6.3 km (3.9 miles) ENE of Mititai, Northland, N. Island, New Zealand
Approx. altitude: 32 m (104 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 36°N 6°W

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Etrex with the time and date #3: An interested bystander verifies the results #4: Typical NZ pastoral scene, dairy cows, pasture and a pond #5: Etrex at the spot

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  36°S 174°E (visit #1)  

#1: The swamp between the road and the confluence

(visited by Murray Grainger)

03-Feb-2001 -- Quite by chance I stumbled upon the Degree Confluence website the day before we were to set out on a long weekend break. A quick check showed there was only 1 site in the area we were visiting, it was not far from our intended route, and it had not been visited.

I loaded the co-ordinates into the GPS the night before and found that the site was 120km from home (as the crow flies.). Armed with a 1:250,000 series topographical map we set off. We turned off the main road to Dargaville at a place called Mititai and headed east. We should have taken the first road that went to Arapohue but thought the next roads would be more direct. Little did we know that they were "paper roads", roads which have been surveyed but never completed. Often they are accessible - if you know where to look, but often they are simply used as farm tracks. We ended up going the long way round but got to within 525m from the confluence by road.

The task now was to locate the landowner. At the second house we found someone who knew who the owner was and offered the use of their phone to call them. The confluence was at the "back" of their farm and they lived on the other side of the valley. By going the long way round, we had actually driven past their house but did not want to retrace our steps. Phoning was a lot easier.

The owner was intrigued to know they owned the only confluence in Northland and readily gave permission for access, even suggesting we could take the 4WD down a new track they had put in. This we did, but unsure of the status of the track stopped partway and elected to walk the rest.

When we crested the next rise it was clear that we were on the wrong side of a swamp. Fortunately New Zealand is blessed with having no dangerous or venomous creatures (apart from a fairly rare spider) so there was no need to try and get around the swamp and I just went straight across. Being summer it was fairly dry so I was not too wet and muddy exiting the other side. (Subtle change here, narrative changes from we to I, wife elected to avoid the swamp.)

The exact spot was located, the GPS photographed etc. Unfortunately the confluence is in a valley and two very unusual geological features nearby were not visible. These are Maungaraho Rock, a huge rock that juts out of the countryside and a conical volcanic plug at Tokatoka, both of which are worth a visit if you are in the area.


 All pictures
#1: The swamp between the road and the confluence
#2: Etrex with the time and date
#3: An interested bystander verifies the results
#4: Typical NZ pastoral scene, dairy cows, pasture and a pond
#5: Etrex at the spot
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)