25-Apr-2003 -- Six days since my last confluence (at 27°S 119°E), we visited this, our fourth confluence.
In the intervening time we had seen and done a lot of things. Firstly, we had joined a gathering at Lake Mason station, 50km north east of Sandstone. CALM (the Department of Conservation and Land Management) had bought this property a couple of years ago. It was in pretty poor shape and a few 4WD and radio clubs had banded together with CALM for a 'working bee' day to clean up the place. 140-odd people can do a lot in one day!
Since Lake Mason is owned by CALM, it's open to the public. There's plenty of camping space, showers with hot water (wood chip heaters) and flushing toilets.
From there we joined a convoy of 16 vehicles going to Mount Beadell, 140km north-west of the Warburton aboriginal community, on the Gunbarrel Highway. There the group replaced a memorial to Len Beadell, considered the last Australian explorer.
We took the Great Central Road from Laverton almost all the way to Warburton. The road is excellent, being wide and gravelled. It's the best way to get to Ayres Rock and the Northern Territory from Perth. A regular car would be fine, remembering that ULP is not available at Warburton.
From the Great Central Road we took the Heather Highway to the Gunbarrel Highway. Don't let the word 'highway' fool you. The Heather, Gunbarrel and Gary Highways are all 4WD only!
On leaving Mount Beadell, we drove north-west along the Gunbarrel Highway until we reached the junction with the Gary Highway. 20km north is as close as we could get to the confluence without driving off into the scrub. The track is very rough - rocky and washed out. It's a little over 3km from the Gary Highway to the confluence.
The country is quite open. Large bushes are here and there, but mostly it's grassy plants and spinifex. While we were out there we saw two 'bush turkeys'. They don't fly very well and the ones we saw were just walking through the bush. They are reputed to be very good eating.
Sorry about the fly in one of the photos, I didn't check until after we'd walked all the way back to the vehicle. The flies were very bad, hundreds flying around us all the time. What do they do when people aren't around?
From the confluence, we drove back down the Gary Highway and turned west and continued down the Gunbarrel Highway. The trip continues at 27°S 125°E.