the Degree Confluence Project

Australia : Western Australia

5.8 km (3.6 miles) W of Nanarup, WA, Australia
Approx. altitude: 16 m (52 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreeMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 35°N 62°W

Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Looking west #3: Looking east - the road is somewhere out there #4: Looking north #5: The GPS shot

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  35°S 118°E (visit #1)  

#1: Looking south, back towards the 4WD track

(visited by Donna Weston)

26-Jan-2001 -- After leaving s34 e117, I went back to Kojonup and continued down Albany Highway to the south coast. Albany, dating back to 1826, is the oldest town in Western Australia and was the site of Australia's last whaling station, which only closed in 1978. My destination was just to the east of Albany, past where the Kalgan River flows into Oyster Harbour and about 500 metres towards Ledge Beach off Gull Rock Road.

At one stage, knowing I would reach the confluence around late afternoon, I had ideas about picking up fish and chips in Albany, and setting up camp right on s35 e118 (which I imagined to be, from the maps, in coastal dunes) and watching the sun set. However, on reaching the closest point by car, I had the feeling it was going to be a bit trickier than that. The scrub looked almost impenetrable - although none of the larger trees were particularly high (no more than 15 metres or so), the understory was very thick and head to waist high. The scrub also tends to be prickly and spikey, and difficult to make your way through - particularly if you don't want to destroy swathes of vegetation!

This was definitely going to be a Blundies (boots) walk, and although it was warm, I also put on my japara (oilskin jacket) as protection from scratches. Feeling slightly paranoid, I also wrote the time, date, my name and where I was headed on a piece of paper and left it inside the car windscreen - after all, I was on my own in a relatively isolated place and going out of sight of the road (and my car!).

This sort of bush is a good example of where a compass as well as a GPS is essential. Because of the difficulty getting through the scrub, I wasn't going fast enough for the GPS to indicate direction, so I kept checking the bearing. After about 200 metres, I broke through onto a disused 4WD track and madly shook my head to get rid of twigs, spider webs and any hitch-hiking spiders in my hair! It was a relief to be able to follow the track at more than crawling pace, and watch the distance to the confluence decrease to about 150 metres. From then on, it was back into the bush.

I really didn't think I'd be able to get much closer than the 100 metres required to count as a successful visit, but there were a number of very small clearings which gave me a bit of breathing space. Finally, the GPS showed that line of zeros, and it was time to turn around. This bit was trickier - like an idiot, I hadn't thought about entering the position of my car as a waypoint, so had to rely largely on the compass. Getting back to the 4WD track wasn't too bad, but there was a fork in it about a hundred metres along. I took the downhill fork - rationalising that it had to come out onto the road at sometime, and downhill lead to the beach. I made much better time on the track, and ended up on the road only 350 metres downhill from my car.

It took just under an hour to travel about 1.2kms to the confluence and back. Sadly, even in what seemed a difficult place to get to, the small clearing at the confluence was littered with about half a dozen wine bottles.

I drove back to towards a camping spot on the Kalgan River to set up the tent, have a couple of ciders, and get some sleep before heading off west in the morning to see if I could make it three out of three.

 All pictures
#1: Looking south, back towards the 4WD track
#2: Looking west
#3: Looking east - the road is somewhere out there
#4: Looking north
#5: The GPS shot
#6: Back on the 4WD track, heading northeast
ALL: All pictures on one page