05-Sep-2015 -- I have been interested in visiting this confluence point for a while as it is one of the closest to where I live. Luckily it is located in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park one of the most spectacular places of this area and World Heritage listed. The nearest town is Walcha located south west of the park.
A small group of intrepid explorers drove up from Port Macquarie and camped at Riverside Campground .We drove up Fri and camped Fri and Sat nights at Riverside and did the confluence walk on Sat. We paid for the site and got the key needed for the locked gate at Apsley Motors before driving in. I can thoroughly recommend this beautiful campground, it has picnic tables and even an undercover BBQ, and luckily we had the place all to ourselves.
With our trusty Kunderang 1:25 000 topo map and GPS in hand, Ben, Nial and I set out from Riverside earlyish Sat morn (8:30) heading south east (upstream) along the Apsley River Trail. This is a locked 4WD trail that follows the Apsely River, meandering away from it occasionally. This made for very pleasant walking. After two river crossings (no more than thigh deep) we came to the mouth of Rusdens Creek. The creek was mostly dry on the surface but we could still see it just flowing as the water surfaced here and there from under the river rocks. We got to 31° south and decided to head straight up the hill to reach the point. This was a very step climb, having to use hands to climb for some of the way. One of the positives was that we were that much closer to the ground which put us at a good proximity to see the amazing abundance of wildflowers growing all over this south east facing slope.
It took us a little while, doing the confluence point dance, to line up all the zeros but we finally got there. We had a little celebratory snack, took the required photos, then consulted the map for possible alternate routes back. We finally came back down to Rusdens on a gentler spur to the south. We made it back to the camp in about 6 hours in total. The walk was around 12 kms of very easy going, except for the last climb to the point.
The three of us who did the walk work as a bush regenerators and it was great to discover new and interesting plant communities, including remnants of dry rain forests. It was also a perfect time of year to see the high quantity of wildflowers. Sadly, as Mark Wells pointed out from his visit in 2002, this area seems to be devastated by cattle. For such a beautiful, fragile, World Heritage landscape this seems to be a real tragedy. Other wildlife encounters of interest included the Euros we saw coming into the park, and the VERY friendly goanna at the campground. There were also huge eels in the creek, best seen at night with a good spot light and bull rout (small poisonous bottom dwelling fish)
I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. Great walking, immense landscapes, good company, first-class weather, excellent camping and outstanding wilderness. My advice if you are thinking of this confluence… DO IT!