06-Jul-2002 -- Near Maitland, NZ.
My family and I were undertaking a self-drive touring holiday through the spectacular South Island of New Zealand. We arrived in Christchurch close to midnight on Saturday 29 June 2002 and spent time in Greymouth, Franz Joseph Glacier, Queenstown, Te Anau, Milford Sound and Dunedin.
When I booked the flights several months ago (as you need to when redeeming frequent flyer points) I was hoping to do 46S 170E also, but James Boulton and Carolyn Phillips got to that one about a month before we arrived.
I may stand corrected, but I think this confluence may be last confluence on the South Island that can be visited without having to undertake a seriously well-planned expedition deep into the wilderness.
We were driving from Te Anau to Dunedin on the penultimate day of our holiday and made a slight detour off the main highway just before Riversdale heading towards Otama. Passing through Chatton, we continued east along East Chatton Road and pulled over shortly after the intersection with Chittock Road where there was a gate to the paddock containing the confluence about 350 metres from 46S 169E.
Aside from a large shed containing hay bales, there were no buildings or homesteads in sight so I wasn't readily able to seek permission to enter the property containing the confluence. There was however, no stock in the relevant paddock, so I proceeded carefully on foot.
I'm no expert on agriculture, but I did note whilst driving around the South Island a farming technique that I haven't seen before in Australia whereby root vegetables, such as swedes, are grown with a view to having cattle or sheep graze on the vegetable tops prior to harvesting the vegetables as a virtual by-product of the meat/milk/wool production activity.
Unfortunately, one such vegetable crop (swedes I think) was growing at the bottom of the paddock at a point where I still had 150 metres to go. The vegetable tops were about waist high and were all covered in frost and condensation so I got absolutely saturated as I waded through towards the confluence. Once I got within the DCP limit of 100 metres I stopped there and took my photos. According to my GPS track log, the closest point I got to was 45.999134ºS 169.000068ºE which was 96 metres from the confluence - but close enough to claim a successful visit.
If you look closely at picture #7 (the view east) you can see some cows in the adjacent paddock. In picture #2 (the view north) you can see where the car was parked to the left of the powerline pylon.
This confluence would be an easy day trip from Dunedin or Invercargil if anyone would care to redo it at a later time when getting to the actual point may not be so difficult.
Incidentally, the maps pictured here were created using an outstanding product called TopoMap NZ. I bought the "Lite" version from MapWorld in Christchurch (http://www.mapworld.co.nz/) for NZ$85 (plus NZ$10 postage to Australia) which goes down to a 1:250,000 level of detail for the entire country on a single CD. It has a nice GPS interface which made it really easy to create waypoints, routes and tracks before I left for the trip. It also allows you to download your actual track from your GPS and then display it on a map which you can print or save. If you are planning any confluencing, geocaching, geodashing or just touring around New Zealand with a GPS, I strongly recommend it.