29-Oct-2003 -- During a visit to Australia, I spent a week in my birthplace of Adelaide, where I had the pleasure of staying in the magnificent 120-year-old heritage-listed house 'Ben Nevis', owned by my mother's cousin Peter Rust and his wife Erica. Peter expressed an interest in the Degree Confluence Project, so we decided to visit the closest confluence together, even though it had been visited twice before.
Ben Nevis is in Stirling in the Adelaide hills, 26 kilometres due west of the confluence. We left shortly before 9 a.m. Peter drove us east along the South Eastern Freeway, took the Nairne exit at Littlehampton, followed the Princes Highway east for about 10 kilometres through Nairne and Dawesley, then turned left towards Harrogate. After travelling north along the Harrogate road for about five minutes, we came upon the intersection with Military Road, and turned right into the gravel road. A couple of minutes down Military Road we reached a turn-off on our left to Acusa Park. The confluence was now just 700 metres east. We took the Acusa Park turn-off, and parked the car where the road came to within 145 metres of the confluence.
On the right side of the road we saw a large expanse of purple flowers called Salvation Jane (a.k.a. Patterson's Curse). Although very pretty, Salvation Jane is actually a deadly weed, and there was a report in that morning's newspaper blaming it for the deaths of 26 horses in Canberra. Neither cattle nor horses will eat Salvation Jane by preference, however farmers have to be careful to keep them away from it when there is no other feed available, especially during the period between budding and flowering when it is most poisonous.
The confluence is located to the left of the road, which required us to first scale an electric fence. We then used the GPS to pinpoint the confluence in a field of shoulder-high oats. Photos were taken looking north, south (where a line of trees marks the road), east and west.
Afterwards, we drove down to the farmhouse roughly half a kilometre north of the confluence, where we met Michael Byrnes and his father Donald, who gave us a warm welcome. Michael and Shelly Byrnes have owned the 540-acre property on which the confluence is situated since 1989. They have 20 acres of oats, such as those growing at the confluence point, which they use as feed for their 100 head of breeding cattle.