23-Nov-2010 -- Coming off our success earlier this day at 21°S 143°E, we agreed to scope out the next point, even though we weren't really expecting to get close. As we got to the closest approach from the highway south of Hughendon, we saw a very welcoming sign saying "Afton Downs" complete with an open gate and a dirt track heading in the direction of the confluence point.
As we drove down it, we passed a few horses and cattle and an old beat up truck. After a few kilometers, we were surprised to see that the dirt track we were on was still going straight to the confluence point. Once we were about 300 m away from it, we arrived at the homestead of the property, where there was a house, a corral, a shed, a few vehicles, but not much activity at 4:45 pm. Ross, the ranch hand, was home and said he was winding down for the day. I explained why were there and asked for permission to go find the exact point. He said that was fine, but declined to go with us. We walked through an open gate between the corral and the shed and then through a closed gate beyond that one. It wasn't that hard to locate the exact point, which is on the edge of a creek/drainage. The point is covered with knee-high grasses and trees line the creek. Power lines are about 20-30 m to the west. Julie and I took our pictures and walked back to the house.
Ross invited us in for a beer and a yarn. He's been working there for 4-5 years and a told us a little about what he does on the property, which is mainly tending the horses and maintaining the property. He said that Afton Downs is the historic name of the land, but no one who owns or lives there is named Afton. Like most of Australia, they've gotten a lot of rain recently and we were lucky to arrive on a dry day. We explained that I'm from America, she's from Germany, and that we were backpacking around Australia after meeting in Adelaide, and he really enjoyed hearing about our travels and mishaps.
We patted the dog and said our goodbyes. That night we camped near the town of Prairie and made it to Townsville the next day. Many thanks to Ross for his hospitality and proof that Queenslanders are some of the friendliest in the country!