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the Degree Confluence Project
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New Zealand : North Island

1.9 km (1.2 miles) S of Whakatane, Bay of Plenty, N. Island, New Zealand
Approx. altitude: 182 m (597 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 38°N 3°W

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

#2: A rather unpromising sign soon after we left the car #3: From the left, Sam, Honor and James #4: James at the exact confluence point #5: James proving our visit with the GPS

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  38°S 177°E (visit #1)  

#1: The only hint of a view. Looking towards Whakatane and some offshore islands

(visited by Peter McKellar, James McKellar, Honor McKellar and Sam Thorp)

13-Jan-2001 -- I was holidaying with my family at Ohope Beach, which is just near Whakatane. I had noticed that S38 E177 was very close to where we were staying. It took me until the day before we were going home to reveal my plan to the family to visit this confluence.

My son James and his friend Sam were keen to come along as well as my Aunt Honor, who had just celebrated her 80th birthday. I was a little concerned about Honor coming as I suspected there might be a bit of bush bashing. However she is a very fit 80-year-old and had completed a three-hour walk with us a couple of days earlier.

We drove to within 900m of the confluence and left our car with a local farmer. I told him what we were doing and asked if it was OK to go there. He didn't actually own the land but said the owner wouldn't mind. We crossed the fence at a neighboring quarry, with a rather threatening sign about the area being dangerous. However we made for the bush and began climbing steeply through fairly open Manuka bush.

We reached the top of a ridge about 400m from the confluence. Luckily the ridge was going in the right direction so we followed that towards the confluence. The ridge took a broad loop to the left before coming out on the top of a little hill. Around us were the quite distinctive signs that this had once been a "Pa" site, a fortified Maori village from pre European times. There are quite a few of these on the tops of hills in this area and can be identified by walls and trenches dug as village defenses.

The confluence was only 20m to the left, so James and I scrambled down the bank until the GPS zero'd in on the site. This was my second confluence visit and once again the site was disappointing for its complete lack of a view. I took a couple of shots of the Pa site, the GPS, the people I was with and a view that I snatched through the trees, a hundred metres or so away where we could see part of Whakatane.

The return journey was interesting in that we headed straight back down the hill with little regard to the route that we took up. As we got near the bottom, it got steeper. The boys slid down the last steep bit on their backsides, soon followed by 80 year old Honor, a little more cautiously.

We came out of the scrub, hot sweaty and dusty but were soon back at the beach for a swim in the surf.


 All pictures
#1: The only hint of a view. Looking towards Whakatane and some offshore islands
#2: A rather unpromising sign soon after we left the car
#3: From the left, Sam, Honor and James
#4: James at the exact confluence point
#5: James proving our visit with the GPS
#6: These earthworks are unmistakable evidence that a Maori Pa once stood on this site
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)