We continue our journey north with a stop in Port Augusta for the last normal priced fuel and supplies and then turn right onto the Stuart Highway. Our sons house in Katherine is now only 2407k up the road 2nd turn and on the right.
Soon into the desert landscape passing salt lakes before reaching Woomera.
Woomera is an Aboriginal word which means “spear-launcher.” Woomera is 181k North of Port Augusta and 488k North of Adelaide and is a place that we have often passed and have never stopped longer than a few minutes. It situated in the south east part of the Woomera Prohibited Area, also known as The Woomera Rocket Range.
We arrived in the early afternoon and chose to stay at the Woomera Caravan Park $26 as it was close enough to walk into town to see the rocket park and museum. Unfortunately the museum had just closed for the day (3pm) however we thoroughly enjoyed the outdoor displays.
We wandered around the town for a while, The town is very quiet and many of the government provided houses appear empty. There was a swimming pool with no water, hospital, picture theatre (closed), school, the two museums and the famous missile park. There is also a large IGA Supermarket, a radio station, post office, bank, bowling alley and an active football sports club, Returned Services League and lawn bowls club. Significant infrastructure for what is currently a very small population of 250. We also found the locals hotel (‘ELDO’ Hotel Woomera) where we sat for a while with a drink on the outdoor terrace overlooking the desert landscape.
An easement through the WPA allows public transit on the Stuart Highway. Travellers are prohibited from leaving the route. In 1982 restrictions on public access to Woomera township were lifted, allowing the town to develop as a tourist destination, while maintaining its support role for the Rocket Range.