the Degree Confluence Project

Australia : Western Australia

109.7 km (68.1 miles) WNW of Plumridge Lakes, WA, Australia
Approx. altitude: 300 m (984 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreeMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 29°N 55°W

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: View North #3: View South #4: View West #5: The GPS #6: John, Jen and Ben #7: John, Gareth and Ben #8: KTM by the confluence point

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  29°S 125°E (visit #2)  

#1: View East

(visited by John Howell, Jen Oosterwaal, Ben Kirby and Gareth Henderson)

07-Aug-2008 -- We were on a two week tour of the outback, north and west of Kalgoorlie. The trip involved 5 people in/on 2 land cruisers and 3 KTM motorbikes. The decision to visit confluence points was made after a camp fire discussion in which we found out that we had a mutual interest in visiting arbitrary points on the Earth’s surface. Because we had no internet access we were not sure if the points we opted for had been previously visited, which added to the suspense.

29S 125E lies 20 km south of a dirt road east of Lake Rason in some spectacular country. We parked up by the track and Justin opted to stay at the cars which left 4 people on 3 bikes. Ben offered to take Jen on the back of his bike, which was no mean feat as these bikes are not designed for carrying passengers. We crashed off through the bush, bouncing over spinifex and dodging the trees and bushes. After about 2 km we came across some very old vehicle tracks which initially lead us to think that the point had been visited, but they headed off in the wrong direction so our hopes of getting a first were once again raised.

Bouncing cross country on a dirt bike is not especially fun and we quickly learned why they are not the preferred mode of transport for the aborigines; however we made pretty good time. It is hard to stay on a bearing when checking the GPS involves stopping, getting it out of a coat pocket, starting it up, then heading towards a clump of trees while dodging and weaving through bushes, but it was still way quicker than walking.

After about 45 minutes we reached a vegetated sand dune about 20 m high which lay across our way. The bikes climbed it easily and the view from the top was stunning. You need to get just a little bit higher to really appreciate the vastness of this country. From that dune we dropped down and then 10 minutes later crossed another, from the top of that one we were just a few hundred meters away and could see the point in the low lying scrub of the next inter-dune corridor.

The point was easy to find due to the presence of a large orange bollard, left by the original party. This conclusively proved that we were not the first people to make this trek, although probably the first on motor bike! Was not too impressed by the previous visitors leaving their mark in such an aggressive way. It defiantly detracted from the experience for us. I had always thought that one should leave the point as you found it and not place any permanent markers.

Headed back around the dunes, rather than over them. The vegetation was a combination of open plains of spinifex which initially looked good to ride on but where incredibly bumpy and, more closed in areas of trees which involved lots of manoeuvring. It was harder for Ben and Jen doubled up on the one bike and they ended up doing some spectacular acrobatics over fallen logs.

Got back to the track and the cars in about an hour and Justin had a cup of tea waiting in the camp fire. A great trip and a novel form of transport in a wild and empty region.

Coordinator's Note: Leaving *anything* behind at a CP is very strongly discouraged. It may even be sufficient to have a visit disregarded.

 All pictures
#1: View East
#2: View North
#3: View South
#4: View West
#5: The GPS
#6: John, Jen and Ben
#7: John, Gareth and Ben
#8: KTM by the confluence point
ALL: All pictures on one page