06-Jun-2004 -- This confluence point is situated in the Great Victoria Desert, 350km-north east as the crow flies from Kalgoorlie.
We left Kal at 6.00am on Saturday 5th June in three vehicles for a round trip of approximately 1500km to snare both this confluence and 29°S 125°E.
Our party left the bitumen behind at Boulder and proceeded east along the Trans Access Road that runs along side the Trans Australian Railway. This line was built between Kalgoorlie and Port Augusta in 1917 to connect the east and west coast of Australia by rail. The road is well maintained and you can quite comfortably sit on 100km/h whilst on it. We travelled east for 280km until we reached our turn-off which would take us north, the Cable Haul Road.
The next 850km to Laverton would not be quite so fast – the Cable Haul Road and the later Lake Rason Road are single lane, unmaintained rough dirt tracks that allow for a top speed of around 30-40 km/h in the good parts, which makes the going a bit slow. We followed this road north and reached our planned overnight campsite area at Plumridge Lakes Nature Reserve at around about 1:30pm in the afternoon. The gear was unloaded from one of the vehicles and we all piled into it and proceeded south along a disused exploration track to the weekend's first CP. This track was very overgrown and deteriorated which made our progress slow, according to our plans the track should have taken us to within 9.3km of the CP but we lost it completely some 16km away. We decided to risk it and drive through the scrub to the CP. At 3.20pm we were still 8km away from the point, we checked our GPS for the time of sunset and it told us it was going to be at 4.48pm. This was pretty early but it was mid-winter and we were 5 degrees east of the state's time longitude. Having learnt a lesson previously about driving through relatively thick scrub in the dark (30°S 119°E), we decided to head back to camp and give it another crack early the following morning. This put us behind our planned schedule and for the rest of the trip we were pushed for time in order to arrive back in Kalgoorlie for work on Tuesday.
Sunday morning was an early start - for our second attempt we took two vehicles down to the CP as a bit of insurance. This time we made it to within 5.8km of the CP before deciding not to risk our tyres any more and walked the rest of the way. We eventually made it to the confluence point at 11:00am, took all the required photos and headed back to camp. We made it back at around 2:00pm and dismantled camp before proceeding onto the next CP due north.
Gps - Trimble Pathfinder DGPS - Submetre accuracy
2 x Garmin 12XL
Map - Australia's Great Desert Tracks (south east edition)1:1250000