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the Degree Confluence Project
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New Zealand : North Island

4.6 km (2.9 miles) ESE of Paekakariki, Wellington, N. Island, New Zealand
Approx. altitude: 377 m (1236 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 41°N 5°W

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

#2: Ollie McGlone standing at the confluence point. #3: The GPS displaying all the zeros. #4: A view north, towards Kapiti Island, taken from the forest edge at few hundred metres directly north.

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  41°S 175°E (visit #1)  

#1: Looking east towards Mt Wainui with the confluence point lying in the forest near the bottom left edge.

(visited by Andrew McGlone, Leo Barber and Ollie McGlone)

16-Sep-2000 -- Primary purpose of our little trip was to climb the nearby Mt Wainui (S41.00.763 E174.58.713). A nephew, Leo Barber, had desired the top of this bush clad peak for a number of years. I was with him some twenty years ago when, as a 5 year old, he first climbed the big hill outside his backdoor (Mt Welcome, 440m, S41.02.315 E174.55.195). Mt Wainui stands invitingly tall behind. I guess there is always a bigger hill, another challenge. Anyway, at 722 m Mt Wainui is the highest hill up the coast, as locals from Wellington city would say, and the scrubby top affords a nearly complete view of the notoriously wild Cook Strait. It is a wonderful vista that extends from the Kaikoura coast on the north east of the South Island right around to the south Taranaki coast on the west of the North Island.

We climbed the peak via the leading north spur. Access was a little bit of a problem as the State owned farm/reserve land adjoining the mountain was closed due to lambing. A very friendly landowner of another adjoining piece of land allowed us access (farmhouse on State Highway One at S40.59.010 E174.58.291). The farm had been recently converted into a pine forest/plantation, so there were no concerns about disturbing stock. A bulldozed dirt road was followed from behind the farmhouse up through the forest to the bush edge of the north spur at (S40.59.979 E174.59.047). The ridge of the spur was then followed to the summit, taking a good hour or more, on a formed but largely overgrown track.

The confluence point lies north east of the summit, about 2 kms. It seemed an absurb goal from the splendid height of Mt Wainui. How bizarre to want to disappear down into the depths of a dark forest gully to find some virtual point that exists only in our collective human consciousness. No spectacular view, no difficult physical challenges, no unique floral, fauna or fossil. I'm not a peace with the concept - I don't think I'm sane. In place of sanity I have the always convincing and enthusiastic voice of my friend Bob Jordan ringing in my head.

So I dragged Leo and my young son Ollie off on the hunt. Maybe that is it, the joy of a hunt. It wasn't completely straightforward and we had our moments with a bit of back tracking etc. It certainly was a relief to finally square up on the place. Coming from the west you are in a pine forest with the direct route broken by steep gullies. It would be far easier coming to it from the north. If, heaven forbid, confluence hunting ever becomes popular then I predict this point will get a right royal hammering. It lies close to a moderately sized city area (30 minutes drive north of Wellington - NZ's capital), by the easiest northerly route it involves a moderate 1 hour or so walk across open farmland and has some great views along the way. Difficulties of access will only be encountered during lambing season: then, like us, you will probably need to get permission to cross up the private pine forest/plantation to the bush edge on the north spur of Mt Wainui. From there you cross a low saddle to the east and, well, use your brain and GPS to get to the point.


 All pictures
#1: Looking east towards Mt Wainui with the confluence point lying in the forest near the bottom left edge.
#2: Ollie McGlone standing at the confluence point.
#3: The GPS displaying all the zeros.
#4: A view north, towards Kapiti Island, taken from the forest edge at few hundred metres directly north.
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)