the Degree Confluence Project

Australia : Tasmania

5.5 km (3.4 miles) WNW of Roger River, Tasmania, TAS, Australia
Approx. altitude: 92 m (301 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 41°N 35°W

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: West, Dad by the pole tree #3: Looking east #4: South #5: Native bees and their burrow #6: The all important GPS shot. #7: The area surrounding the ridge, a dairy farming regon

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  41°S 145°E  

#1: The view north from the confluence point

(visited by Chris Wood and Bill Wood)

04-Dec-2001 -- My Dad and I made plans to visit some of the Tasmanian confluences while I was down here for a visit. After borrowing a GPS, and obtaining some maps of the area, we felt ready for action. The confluence was located in an area of state forest, on a ridge line near Smithton (pronounced Smifton). We had a 1:25000 scale map of the immediate area, and a 1:100000 scale map of the approach from the north east. The weather was great, sunny and not too hot.

Smithton and Irishtown are on the NW tip of Tasmania and are among the first places that the wind hits after leaving the Antarctic. The main industry is dairy farming (Pic #7); on our approach we were surrounded by Fresian and Jersey cows.

In hindsight, we would have done well to obtain the 1:25000 map of the area to the north of the confluence. After finding a bridge over a creek had been washed out, we parked the car and set off on foot, up a steep and muddy track. As it turned out, the track was one turnoff too early.

The track took us uphill and into dense Eucalyptus and Nothofagus (Southern Beech) bush. The forest was logged around 20-30 years ago, the foresters leaving a few massive trees. These were old stags trees, with leaves only on the top braches. They had rainforest buttress roots and some were approaching 80 plus metres tall and had parts of their tops missing.

Reaching a point where the road diverged to the west, we decided to head on straight through the dense scrubland. We slogged over a series of steep hills followed by equally step descents into the creek bottoms. Often we could scramble up onto a fallen tree and walk 50 or so metres along it, avoiding the thick understory bush. All this scrambling over fallen or sawn-through logs, trudging through stream beds had me thanking dad for remembering to pack his spare wellington boots.

Although we didn't see much wildlife, there was evidence of it everywhere; the constant cries of birds in the air, the diggings of Bandicoots in the soil, and yabbie holes in the creek beds.

After bashing through the bush for a couple of hours for a less than impressive 1.2km, we stumbled across the old disused logging trail which we had intended to travel on from the start. This track became progressively more overgrown, eventually leading to a point where a fallen log cut across, ending it 200m from the confluence.

Setting off through the bush again, we descended into a valley, through a stream, and up another hill again into a small clearing around the confluence. To the west of the clearing was a particularly large tree (Pic #2), which we decided marked the 41°S 145°E pole. We also saw some native bees (Pic #5) with a nest in the ground.

Dad sat on a log while I wandered around with the GPS attempting to locate the line of zeros we were seeking. The surrounding dense forest obscured some of the satellites from the view of the GPS, and caused the confluence point to wander around somewhat. I eventually decided that 0.1 of a second was close enough and shot the all important GPS photo (Pic #6), although as I was wandering all over the area I'm sure I would have walked right over the confluence point.

Our return from the confluence was made considerably easier by returning to and following the overgrown logging track and walking along it via several junctions to the track on which we had left the car. The trip out crashing through the bush took around three hours of slog. The trip back, once we had found the log track with the aid of the GPS, involved a casual saunter along the track and took somewhat less than an hour.

 All pictures
#1: The view north from the confluence point
#2: West, Dad by the pole tree
#3: Looking east
#4: South
#5: Native bees and their burrow
#6: The all important GPS shot.
#7: The area surrounding the ridge, a dairy farming regon
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)