12-May-2001 -- I admit that my new GPS is a toy and I've yet to find a serious use for it, but that hasn't stopped me taking it bike riding, bushwalking and on a voyage to Antarctica over the last few months. When I discovered the Degree Confluence web site it sounded like a great excuse for wandering around some of the more obscure parts of Tasmania where I live. With no Tasmanian confluence visits registered yet it sounded like my chance for ten seconds of fame.
According to my GPS the closest confluence was only 15 or so kilometres from home and on a large scale map looked to be in bush land and have a road or track passing less than 100 metres away. So on the next Saturday afternoon my seven year old son Rowan and I headed off. After 15 minutes we reached the small town of Huonville, center of a scenic area traditionally famous for growing apples. From there we followed the road along the banks of the Huon River for several kilometres and then branched off on a dirt road between the orchards.
After a kilometre winding up into the hills the orchards gave way to native vegetation, with Eucalypt trees predominating and an understory of Native Cherry, Wattle and many other species. My son was in charge of calling out the GPS reading of the distance to the confluence. The reading dropped to under 40 metres so we parked and walked back along the road. The GPS was pointing down the hill through scrubby bush and once we negotiated a steep drop down from the road the spot was found very quickly. It had all been quicker and easier than I expected. I took a few photos of the limited views then we drove back down the road and spent the rest of the afternoon bicycle riding.
The remaining unvisited confluences in Tasmania may turn out to be more difficult, one in the south west corner of the state is about 25 kilometres from the nearest road and might require several days walking through thickly vegetated wilderness to reach.