20-Jul-2007 -- Since recording our last confluence visit four days earlier, we headed north from Ceduna and travelled Googs Track, which is a four wheel drive track that meets with the Transcontinental Railway line in the north. On Friday morning, we said our farewells to the rest of our group, who had an extra week off before having to return home. From our last bush camp west of Tarcoola, we headed east on the main road to Kingoonya Road. East of Wilgena Station, we found the correct station track to the south east that I had planned to take. This track is typical of outback tracks, mainly sand with a couple of minor rocky sections. The vegetation in the area was mostly mulga and bluebush with many mobs of kangaroos to be seen.
We could not travel this track without stopping and inspecting the old outstation hut at Kenella Well. It would have been a very isolated place to live and work before our modern communications and living standards that we all take for granted these days. This single room outstation still had its original iron frame single bed, table and wood stove in place as well as a few jars on its mantle piece. This would have been a very lonely place to live, and makes one think of the hardships that were suffered out here, as well as the many happy times as well.
Back on track again, the mulga slowly disappeared and the area was mainly now covered in bluebush. We were now 2 and a half kilometres from the confluence and the only land feature on our map was the highest land mark in the area, New Year Hill at 181 metres elevation. Leaving the Station track, we slowly started to make the cross country crossing towards the confluence when we encountered the first of many potentially damaging wombat warrens. Drop a wheel into one of these holes, would require a very long vehicle recovery when travelling solo like we were.
Wombats are an Australian native marsupial, nocturnal in their habits, herbivores and live off and plants. They construct a number of warrens, all leading underground for up to 2 metres deep to a main living chamber. These particular wombats, the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat are found in arid and semi arid woodlands and shrublands in South Australia and the southern coast of Western Australia. They are up to 940mm in length, up to 35 centimetres high and can weigh up to 32 kilograms. Between 5 and 10 wombats occupy each warren. The Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat is also the fauna symbol of South Australia.
As with every confluence visit, it is great to enter the 100 metre range from the confluence. Again there were still numerous wombat holes within the 100 metre range, with one hole having some Sturts Desert Pea flowers. I could not let this photo opportunity pass by without taking a number of photos. Also of note to other people in Australia and overseas, is that the Sturt Desert Pea Flower is South Australia’s Floral Emblem.
Arriving at the exact location, and yes, a wombat had made its home in this exact location. With photos in hand, we slowly made our way back to the station track, driving over New Year Hill and towards Kingoonya. Along the way, we stopped and spoke with a female station hand that was going out to Yerda outstation, near where the confluence is located, to check up on a solar water pump. She said that she thought that she was seeing things, as she had never seen any non station vehicles in this well off the beaten track area before. Explaining what we were doing in this isolated area and showing that I had permission from the Manager of North Well Station to log this confluence, we chatted for a quarter of an hour before heading further east to log our seventh and final confluence for our west coast trip.