04-Jan-2002 -- Our journey began early in Timaru, a town approximately one hour north of the confluence, which as far as we could discern from maps lay on the plains of the lower Waitaki Valley, an area well covered with roads. Setting off down state highway one we decided that before we visited the confluence we should do an accuracy check at the plaque marking the intersection of the 45th parallel and the state highway, as measured by the Department of Lands and Surveys. At the plaque (which is just south of Hilderthorpe) our GPS read 45:00:02 south, with it reaching 45°S about 15m back up the road. We decided that this was accurate enough for us and so we went back up to Hilderthorpe and turned down a road heading west, trying to find 171°E (the plaque is 3’ eastward of 171°).
As we passed fields of dairy cows and crops under intense spray irrigation along this road our concern grew that the confluence would lie in a field of similar use. We were pleasantly surprised then, when we turned south down Grey Road after the previous one ended, and found the likely field had easy access (its entrance is on the SE corner of the southern most intersection of Grey Road before state highway 83) and had been freshly ploughed (see picture 1).
After a couple of enquiries we tracked down the landowners, a Mr and Mrs B.M. Paton who gave permission to go into the field. We also found out that we were lucky with our timing, because only a week earlier the field was covered in barley that had only just been harvested green to make silage for the booming dairy industry in North Otago.