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the Degree Confluence Project
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New Zealand : North Island

14.2 km (8.8 miles) NE of Ngatira (Waikato), Bay of Plenty, N. Island, New Zealand
Approx. altitude: 556 m (1824 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 38°N 4°W

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

#2: Some nice blue fungi growing nearby #3: The GPS reading, within 20m #4: Alan Mountfort and James at the confluence

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  38°S 176°E (visit #1)  

#1: James McKellar at the Confluence Point

(visited by Peter McKellar, Alan Mountfort and James McKellar)

05-Jun-2000 -- The first Monday in June in New Zealand is a public holiday to commemorate the Queen’s Birthday. What better way to celebrate a birthday than to do something crazy like go to Degree Confluence points.

I had checked out this site on the map first and saw that this point was going to be in dense featureless bush on the Mamaku Plateau. I planned to get there by crossing a plantation forest for which I needed a permit. The permit was granted, but I had some difficulty in explaining the purpose of the trip.

Anyway Alan Mountfort, my son James and my self set out in my Red Subaru. We turned off the main highway 5.8 kms away from the point and started on the rough forestry roads. We had no idea how far we would get before having to walk. Initially the way was good, with only one or two rutted spots where we had to go with care. At one point the Subaru’s four wheel drive was all that kept us going. Eventually we were on a road that wasn’t even marked on the map and heading straight towards the confluence, what a bonus.

But all good things must come to an end, as did the road, 1.6kms short. But we did find a track and followed that, it seemed to be heading slightly to the right, but good enough.

To our surprise this track led to a little lake. This also was not marked on the map so made a welcome surprise.

300m to go to the confluence and this was the end of the track! We clambered up a steep bank, once at the top we attempted to find a spot where we could get a reading on the GPS under the heavy canopy. It was a long and delicate process and eventually ended up with me standing high on an old log with GPS held at full arm’s length to find the right spot. Direction of travel established we moved on. A small opening in the canopy, caused by a windfall gave us the opportunity for the next reading, which told us we were within 100m. Good enough but we wanted to get closer. Another small gap in the canopy and we managed to get a reading and we were within 20m. A thick tangle of supplejack (vines) in the right direction told us that this was good enough.

We stopped and I photographed the GPS and my two companions. I also photographed some interesting blue fungi that were near by. No views from here unfortunately.

We grabbed a bite to eat and then took a compass bearing back to the lake, the Subaru and home.


 All pictures
#1: James McKellar at the Confluence Point
#2: Some nice blue fungi growing nearby
#3: The GPS reading, within 20m
#4: Alan Mountfort and James at the confluence
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)