23-Mar-2022 -- Most Degree Confluence Points are fun to visit. However, among the most fun points to visit are ‘virgin’ Degree Confluence Points - points that have never had a recorded visit before. In 1999 and 2000 - as the project was getting started - I managed to visit several virgin points. As the project became more popular, however, most of the ‘low hanging fruit’ quickly got picked. Since January 2001, I have visited hundreds of Degree Confluence Point around the world, but all of them had been visited at least once before … until today.
Probably the only practical way to access this point is via Atkinson Road - a long, dead-end gravel road that branches off the Bruce Highway north of Rockhampton. In April 2003, Owen Foley attempted to reach this point, but found a “No Trespassing” sign on Atkinson Road, 11.9 km from the point. However, I recently noticed that Google Earth now labels the area around the point as “Princhester Conservation Park”. I wondered: Might this mean that public access is now allowed on Atkinson Road, in order to access this 'Conservation Park’?
Sure enough, as I drove along Atkinson Road, I didn’t see any “No Trespassing” signs. I eventually reached a farm, and continued through a gate at [-22.98535,150.05582], until the road ended at a (currently fallow) farm field at [-22.99185,150.04431], 4.63 km East of the point. I parked here and started hiking.
After crossing the farm field, I was disappointed to discover a large creek. (I later learned that this is “Princhester Creek”.) At first, I feared that I might have to abandon this attempt, but soon found an easy place to cross the creek, at [-22.99199,150.03265], 3.44 km from the point.
After crossing the creek, I continued hiking westward. For about 1 km, I followed an easy dirt bike path beside a fence, and then left it to continue ‘bushwhacking’ towards the point. At about 1.7 km from the point, I climbed up a hill that (I later discovered) I did not need to climb; I should have bypassed it to the South. Later, at about 650 m from the point, I ended up climbing another (even higher) unnecessary hill; I should have bypassed this one to the North. Eventually, I made it to the point, which lies on an East-facing slope. My total round-trip hike ended up being about 11 km.
Here is a remote-controlled aerial video of this confluence point.