14-Aug-2012 -- Introduction - The confluence point 25S 144E is in the south west corner of Queensland, Australia. In particular it is..
On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
And men of religion are scanty,
"Bush Christening", A. B. (Banjo) Patterson
It is approximately 15 km south-west of Yaraka and approximately 2 km north of the Merrigal homestead. It is near a water course that runs into the Barcoo river.
The country is mostly flat and is cut by water courses, though "jump-ups" (flat topped hills or mesa plateaus) are to be seen in the vicinity. The terrain is covered by native grass with patches of light bush. In times of good rain (not common) the pasture is excellent. The area is considered to be cattle country. Summer temperatures are in the low forties.
Preparation - A useful map for the area is the Hema Great Desert Tracks, North East Sheet, 1:1,250,000.
Prior to departure I checked Google Earth. It showed two tracks leading off the Yaraka-Jundah road. One track leads south-south-east to the Merrigal homestead the other runs east-south-east to another station. The former passes about 1 km south of the confluence point, the latter about about 1 km to the north of the confluence point.
From Google Earth I was able to obtain waypoints for relevant en route features such as the turn off from the Yaraka-Jundah road.
Approach - We had camped at Idalia National Park and were travelling west to the Welford National Park. The weather in early August was very pleasant, sunny days and clear chilly nights that provided a good test of the thermal properties of our swag when sleeping directly under the stars. Early spring wildflowers were in evidence.
The turn off to the Merrigal homestead was well signposted and we decided to call at the homestead before attempting to reach the confluence point. There was no one at the homestead, though the place had very much a just-nipped-out-for-a-few-minutes look about it. We drove back up the track and parked the vehicle, placed John Kejr’s excellent
letter of explanation under the windscreen and set off to walk the 1 km to the confluence point. The ground was flat with a low native pasture and clumps of low trees.
It transpired that the confluence point was in a patch of scrub and defining the point precisely was difficult because:
attempted at systematic approaches to the point were frustrated by a trees or scrubs and
the foliage may have been generating the recognized multiple path GPS signal interference
Never-the-less a position with an uncertainty of better than several metres was determined.
Observations - The road between Emmet and the Welford National Park turn was mostly sealed (though shown as unsealed on our map). It could (depending, of course on your departure location!) be possible to get close to this confluence point without leaving the bitumen.
Never-the-less if you plan to approach any confluence points in remote areas of Australia take note of the often advanced advice for travelling relating to (but not limited to) water, fuel, condition of vehicle, condition of spare wheel(s), frequently seeking local condition reports and not travelling at dusk or night. Carcasses of 'roos, emus, pigs, cattle and dingos that had been hit by vehicles were very much in evidence in this region.