the Degree Confluence Project

Australia : Western Australia

41.3 km (25.6 miles) NE of Paynes Find, WA, Australia
Approx. altitude: 392 m (1286 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreeMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 29°N 62°W

Accuracy: 7.5 km (4.7 mi)
Quality: good

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  29°S 118°E (visit #2) (incomplete) 

#1: GPS Shot

(visited by Roger Staley and Bassett Smith)

31-Jul-2002 -- We attempted this confluence several months before Chris and Karin but, being the tardy person I am, did not lodge it until now.

We were on our way back to Perth in a Toyota RAV4 after installing a communications system at a nearby gold mine. The topographic map we had showed a track passing within a few hundred metres of the confluence so we thought we had a good chance of success. Yeah right!!

Like Chris and Karin, we turned off to the south at the water tank pictured in their visit. We went through the gate some kilometres south then, as they did, took the track to the SE. Being smaller than their troop carrier, the RAV went through the gaps somewhat easier - at the expense of the paint job. A kilometre or two from where they must have given up the track has a few steep patches and washouts which I'd be reluctant to tackle without a 4WD or at least a light truck with good clearance.

Turning to the south again we found ourselves in an open area - one that would be a bit swampy in the wet. Having got out of the car for a look around we heard the dreaded hiss of a deflating tyre. This was hardly surprising as the ground was littered with the stake-like remnants of burned out scrub. The RAV's tyres were not much better than jelly at repelling a stake into their sides. With only one spare on board we decided that this was the end of the attempt for safety's sake. We changed the tyre, took a pic of the GPS and then headed back the way we came.

I'd say it was about 300m before I staked another tyre and made our hearts beat a little faster.

Although we had no spare we did have plenty of water, a GPS, compass, satellite phone and CB radio so we were more worried about the inconvenience than the danger. Following the rule that you never leave the vehicle, we pressed on, determined to sacrifice the tyre and run the vehicle on its rims if we had to. On the basis that speed meant greater distance travelled before the tyre fully deflated we raced back through the bush, sacrificing more paint to the scrub overgrowing the track.

By some miracle we got back to Paynes Find roadhouse with a few pounds of pressure in the tyre. The guy there put a bung in and we left for Dalwallinu. The tyre spat the bung 120km from Dally so I hitched a ride there with the dead tyre. The proprietor of the gas station put a tube in and then hired his vehicle to me so I could head back to the dead RAV4 and Bas.

We eventually got back to Perth very late that night and glad that we hadn't been stranded deep in the bush. This proved to be an expensive trip as well - $250 to Mr Thrifty for the paint damage and dead tyre on the RAV, $50 to the Dally garage proprietor for the hire of his vehicle and $45 for him to fix the tyre and supply a tube.

This confluence IS possible but only by motor bike, mountain bike or foot - AND as long as the adventurer has several spare tyres and/or a full puncture repair kit. The stakes are the worst I've seen in 20 years of bush driving. Good luck!

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#1: GPS Shot
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