On a recent trip across Australia from Perth to Canberra and return, we decided to visit a confluence or two along the way. This was our second confluence for the trip, and on day 29. Our other was an assault on 32°S 121°E.
We pulled off the main highway at Iron Knob for refuelling before we ventured inland. The dirt roads began here, and was very dusty. You could see the dust of the other car some kilometres away. Going past Mt Ive station, we stopped off at some old ruins from the pioneers many years ago.
We then reached Moonaree Station after some 200kms of dirt road. Crossing the grid into the station, we turned off the main access road to look at a “track” that was shown on our topographic maps. Well, the track was not great. It was decided that we did not have enough spare tyres to venture down that track, and it was a little overgrown – well totally overgrown. This was a good thing, as in turning around we got one of our cars totally bogged in the sand. Little Holden Astra 2-wheel drives don’t cut it in the sand.
We headed the 15 or so kms further up the track to the main homestead. It’s an oasis in the middle of pretty much nowhere. We were greeted by the family who live there, and given some directions for some tracks that would be “better” to use. It turns out that we were the second visitors that they have had "just drop by" in the 12 months they had been living there. The station is pretty big – 100kms from the northern boundary to southern, and 60kms from the eastern boundary to the western.
From the homestead we drove across their two aircraft runways – well, the term runway can be used loosely. It's just two graded strips where the Flying Doctor can touch down. And yes, they do get used. The family who lives there had one of their kids flown off to hospital in Port Augusta the week before.
We drove along the farm tracks for another 15kms or so, before coming to a big sandy creek crossing. We tried to cross it in the Astra, but got bogged. Some quick decisions, and it was decided not to try and bring the Subaru station wagon and trailer across for fear of getting bogged. A short back track, and we found a spot to camp for the night in between the salt bushes.
Half of the travelling party camped overnight with the trailer, while the fit ones hopped in the Subaru and headed off for the confluence.
The track brought us to within 3kms. After camping under the stars for the night it was up at first light to walk out to the confluence.
A small cairn was erected at the confluence site, before the party walked back through the red sand dunes.
We arrived back at the other car at about 9 am in time for a quick cuppa. We packed up, then it was a short drive back to the homestead. Our next stage was another 150 kilometres of dirt on our way to Ceduna, and eventually Perth.