06-Apr-2010 -- This confluence point is located only 350 m from the main road that leads from Marahau to the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park and the start of the Abel Tasman Coast Track. We knew from the reports of previous visits, however, that despite the proximity to the road, the confluence point is located in an area of dense bush and is not particularly easy to reach. Despite this, we thought it was definitely worth attempting a visit, especially since it was only a short drive from our base at Kaiteriteri.
The weather was slightly overcast, and the ground was damp underfoot due to some overnight rain showers. We set off from Kaiteriteri around 10 am, taking the road north to Marahau. Just past the village, we turned left off the road towards the Ocean View Chalets. The reception office was located next to the chalets, up a slight slope, less than 200 m from the confluence point. We met the owner, who confirmed that the confluence point is located on his land, behind the chalets. He kindly gave us permission to visit, and provided directions on how best to reach it. Following his directions, we went back down the slope and parked by a paddock. We then walked in a short distance, through the paddock with the dense bush extending up a slope on our right hand side. After negotiating a few (supposed) electric fences on the way, we reached the entrance to a small overgrown track, leading into the bush on the right. We walked up the track through wooded vegetation for about 70 m, following the line of a plastic water pipe, until we were about 30 m from the confluence point. Turning right, we bush bashed our way up a steep slope until the terrain leveled out slightly at a smallish clearing and the location of the confluence point. Previous visitors may have helped to create the clearing. We took the all-essential photographs at the confluence point, although three of the four views along the cardinal directions of the compass show nothing much other than a lot of thick vegetation. Fantails had followed us as we made our way through the bush and were continually flying around in close proximity, searching for insects in the disturbed ground.
Returning back along the track through the bush, we stopped by the reception office as we were leaving to let the owner know that we had successfully reached our destination, and to thank him again for allowing access to his property. He was interested in seeing the track we had followed, as displayed on the GPS unit, but admitted that he had never knowingly visited the actual spot himself.
By 11:30 am, we were celebrating our confluence point visit with flat whites all round in the nearby Park Café. Before returning to Kaiteriteri, we took a wander along the beach at Sandy Bay and drew a line in the sand to mark latitude 41°S.