28-Dec-2001 -- Buddigower, NSW
Continued from 33ºS 147ºE.
This the fourteenth and final confluence of my Christmas trip which started at 34ºS 145ºE five days ago.
From Condobolin we took a nice sealed road into West Wyalong. On the way we saw a big whirly-whirly (a mini tornado) with a spiral of dust going right up into the clouds. By the time I stopped to get a photo of it, it had diminished somewhat, but it is still clearly visible in picture #6.
From West Wyalong we took the Newell Highway westward out of town, but kept going straight on a minor sealed road at the point where the highway turns left heading for Melbourne.
This road took us to a point about 1.5 kilometres from the confluence which was going to be too far to walk given the heat and time pressure. However, we drove around a little bit and found a track which lead to a farmhouse and some machinery sheds less than one kilometre from the confluence. There was nobody at the farmhouse to speak to, but we drove on along some well established farm tracks and found ourselves about 200 metres from the confluence which was an easy walk for all of us.
This stroke of good fortune ensured that our perfect record on this trip would remain intact with a final tally of 14 successfully visits (12 of which had not been previously visited) out of 14 attempts.
That was the good news, but the bad news was we still had some 550 kilometres of driving ahead of us to get back home to Melbourne. We eventually got home at 9:38 pm having travelled 1149 kilometres for the day over 14:23 hours.
Over the four days of actually confluence hunting, we covered 4270 kilometres plus 260 kilometres of sightseeing in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast on Christmas and Boxing Day.
This trip has created a few milestones, including taking NSW to having more than half of its confluences visited and moving Australia ahead of Canada in terms of total confluences visited (primary and secondary) as at the end of 2001 - barring any late flurry of confluence activity in Canada over Christmas.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t even begin to consider driving from Melbourne to Brisbane; but by building a confluence trip around it, the frequent stops and walking broke the trip up well and enabled us to see some really interesting countryside that we would never have seen otherwise.
New South Wales still has plenty of gettable confluences and certainly the eastern half of the state and the irrigation areas south of the Broken Hill are all actively farmed and well serviced by roads and small towns. NSW is also quite an easy place to plan for as you can get maps and aerial photos online from the NSW Department of Land and Property Information.