Woomera, South Australia is located 115 miles northwest of Port Augusta
(population 12,000) and 300 miles northwest of Adelaide (population
800,000). It is situated in a semi-arid region having a climate similar to Arizona or New
Mexico. Woomera is not a military base, however it is
a Government of Australia controlled village. It supports the Australian Missile Range
which is operated by the Weapons Research Establishment
(WRE). Since Woomera is located in a prohibited area and is a government controlled
village, there are certain restrictions and eccentricities
which will be covered later in this brochure.
Woomera lies on a stony plateau which is geologically very old, composed of Precambrian
rock and red salty clay. There are numerous dry salt
lakes in the surrounding area. Rainfall averages about seven inches a year, however,
rainfall in 1973 and 1974 was 15" and 19" respectively.
Most of the time the ground remains hard and dusty. After a rain, the clay becomes a
sticky mass that adheres to everything. Because of the
salt content of the soil and the lack of water, only the hardiest of desert plants grow:
in the surrounding area (called "donga") , mainly "saltbush", similar
to sagebrush. Kangaroos and Emus are a common sight. Relatively speaking Woomera is a
green oasis of trees, lawns, flowers, and shrubs.
The summer months of December, January and February have maximum temperatures that
range between 85° and 105°F, but may reach as high as 120°F (49°C). Humidity is
generally low. Winter temperatures normally range between 35° and 70°F. Freezing
temperatures almost never occur, but windy winter days can be quite chilly.
Installations and their approximate locations in relation to Woomera include:
Pimba railway station - five miles south
Nurrungar (5th Def Sp Cornrn Sq tech site) -12
Woomera West (squadron admin area and APO) -
two miles northwest
Air terminal (civil and MAC) - four miles
Woomera is a self contained village which includes houses, shops, churches, schools, and
other facilities necessary to support the
community of about 4,000. It is roughly rectangular with an area of about one square mile.
All streets are paved, curbed and lighted with
many concrete sidewalks. Taxi service is available, however all facilities are within
NOTE: Australia has now officially converted to the Metric System (Centigrade and