"The woomera or spear thrower made from Mulga, Corkwood, Snappy Gum or Supple Jack woods. Attached to the tip of the woomera with Spinifex resin is a barb to which the spear hooks onto. The base of the woomera is a grip moulded from Spinifex resin. The woomera is used as leverage in launching the spear."

The town, or village, of Woomera is located in the south east corner of the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA); colloquially known as the Woomera Rocket Range.

Established as a restricted access township in 1947, Woomera Defence Village is an Australian Defence Force (ADF) facility supporting the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Woomera Test Range (WTR) which today is used to evaluate military and civilian missile, ordnance, and aerospace systems.

Woomera is in the 'outback' desert area of South Australia, approximately 488km north of Adelaide. An easement through the WPA allows public transit on the Trans-Australian Railway, The Ghan, and the Stuart Highway. Travellers are prohibited from leaving these routes. 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 WTR.

Woomera has a Heritage and history museum, missile park, supermarket, theatre, swimming pool, observatory (selected nights) among other facilities.

Tours of Roxby Downs (BHP Billiton Olympic Dam surface mine site tours available. Bookings essential) and Andamooka (heritage listed miners huts, opal show rooms) are highly recommended when staying at Woomera, with all the information available from reception. The park manager can offer all the advice guests may require, and is available for assistance around the park.

Woomera Prohibited Area

In 1946 the area we now call Woomera was an uninhabited, treeless plateau except for the Pimba rail siding on the Transcontinental railway and Arcoona Station which was established in the late 1870’s, there was no reason to have anything else in such an inhospitable area.

Port Augusta was many hours away via a very rough dirt road or by train.  By Easter 1946 however, a survey team had been assembled to look for a site for a guided weapons test range for the British Government.  The site chosen was later appropriately named “WOOMERA” an aboriginal name for spear launcher.

Further Reading

Flinders Ranges Research undertakes research, evaluates information, presents reports and writes material for publication of South Australian History.

Woomera On the Web was prompted by a desire to increase awareness of Australia's activities in rocket and missile testing at the Woomera Range during the 1950's, 60's and, to a lesser extent, beyond that - an important part of Australia's history and international relations. The web site captures people's recollections of bygone days at Woomera, this section is meant to be a visual complement.