the Degree Confluence Project

Australia : Tasmania

4.5 km (2.8 miles) NE of South Mount Cameron, Tasmania, TAS, Australia
Approx. altitude: 88 m (288 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 41°N 32°W

Accuracy: 11 m (36 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: South #3: East #4: West #5: Ringarooma River #6: The GPS shot. #7: The Blue Lake #8: Large Skink

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  41°S 148°E (visit #1)  

#1: The view north from the confluence point

(visited by Chris Wood and Bill Wood)

06-Dec-2001 -- After the success of 41°S 145°E, Dad and I decided we would reveal the hidden secrets of another Tasmanian confluence. Traveling out east from Launceston, we passed through the towns of Lillydale, Lebrina and Scottsdale, before joining the Gladstone road. The map showed the confluence point to be near the middle of the Ringarooma River, about 400 metres south of the Gladstone road.

Heeding the errors we had made at 41°S 145°E, we spent some time heading up and down the Gladstone road around the confluence point, ensuring that we found the track which headed closest to the confluence point. After selecting a track and parking the car, we headed downhill towards the Ringarooma River.

The forest was dramatically different than the forests of 41°S 145°E. The soil was decomposed granite, which offers little in the way of nutrients or water holding capacity for the plant life. As a result the plant life was far less dense, the spaces between the trees were greater and the undergrowth was composed entirely of patchy bracken.

On the way down the hill we discovered a large lizard, which Dad had almost stepped on. It was quite sleepy and didn't move much, so we were able to get a great close up photo (Pic #7). Taking note of the sluggish movement of the lizard, we vowed to keep a watch out for tiger snakes.

Reaching the river, the GPS showed that there was still 300 metres to the confluence point. We spent some time walking along the river bank, eventually finding a fallen log which we used to scramble over the side stream running alongside the main river flow. Observing the main body of the Ringarooma, we decided that this was as good a place as any to attempt a crossing. In preparation we took off our trousers and I donned Dad's wellington boots.

The river was around 30 metres wide, and at most knee deep. The sandy bottom allowed easy foot purchase. The river's flow was quite strong, using the log formation we edged our way across, a step at a time, eventually arriving on a small island. After washing the sand out of our boots and walking across the island, we discovered the next part of our journey went straight across some swamp land. Looking across the swamp, we observed some tall trees growing and realized that there must be a narrow isthmus of dry land cutting across most of the swamp. We headed directly for the trees, squelching through the mud for only a few steps before arriving on dry land.

The GPS showed only 250 metres to go to the confluence point, and the vegetation appeared to be the same low density scrubland on the north side of the Ringarooma. We decided against changing back into our trousers, figuring we'd only have to take them off again once we returned.

We continued to travel south, veering east over the junction of two small streams, and up a hill. The confluence point lay near the crest of the hill, in a location not particularly outstanding from its surroundings. A light rain started to fall, so I hurriedly wandered around with the GPS attempting to narrow down the confluence's exact location. I found a spot where the GPS gave all zeros, however the values had wandered by the time I'd taken the photo (Pic #6). The four area photos look across the confluence point, in some photos my blue back pack can be seen marking the exact spot.

Fearing that increasing rain would cause the river to swell, we rapidly headed back downhill. We wandered down the river for a short while, attempting to find a location where there wasn't any swampy land, but eventually we decided that we'd found the best fording place the first time around. Closer to the river, the bracken ground cover was much thicker, we thrashed through it for about 50 metres before recrossing the stream intersection, and retracing our steps back through the swamp.

Heading back across the river (Pic #5), it seemed to me that the flow had increased a little, but not enough to make the fording particularly difficult. We soon reached the opposite bank, and scrambled over the side stream on the fallen log. Once clear on dry land, we put on our trousers, socks and walking shoes again, and returned back up the hill to the car.

On the way out from the confluence point, we visited the Blue Lake (Pic #8). This lake lies about 1km to the north of the confluence point and was created by miners when prospecting for tin in the area. The colour of the lake is quite striking. I suspect its blue colour comes from a high concentration of copper salts. Dad shared a story with me, about a motor rally in the area which ended when a car plummeted into the blue lake, and disappeared never to be seen again.

As we drove back towards home, the weather rapidly got worse. We were pleased not to have been caught with our trousers down, in the middle of the bush, in the rain.

 All pictures
#1: The view north from the confluence point
#2: South
#3: East
#4: West
#5: Ringarooma River
#6: The GPS shot.
#7: The Blue Lake
#8: Large Skink
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)