09-Jun-2012 -- Continued from 30S-131E
To do this CP required not only a permit but also a time to be let into the prohibited area of Maralinga. The Maralinga prohibited area,is an area approximately 50kms wide by 60kms deep, situated in the SW corner of the Womera prohibited area north of Ooldea railway siding on the Trans Australian Railway.
This area was used to test Nuclear weapons by Great Britain between 1955 & 1963. They exploded 7 bombs and conducted other minor tests in the area and as a result of the minor tests, some parts of the area are still radioactive hence the restricted access is still enforced.
My interest in the area was south of the main testing sites and on the eastern boundary 132E. Robyn is the caretaker of the village and forward test areas of Maralinga and as he is there with only his wife, he is a busy man and consequently I had to wait for 8 days to be able to get in.
I spent a pleasant four days of the wait, 50kms away at Ooldea railway siding, watching trains go by and observing the Transit of Venus and when Friday afternoon came around, I drove up to the gate and was let in by Robyn, who was very helpful and produced a 1960’s map showing a track from Dobo out to the eastern boundary.
I left the village before dawn the next morning and drove the 40kms out to Dobo were I found the track to the east. It was a good track and an easy walk to the CP. The drive back was comfortable as there is over 100kms of sealed roads in the Maralinga area and they were all put down in the 1950’s when the Eyre highway to the south and the only road to Western Australia was a dirt track. This is a fascinating area of Australia and a real relic of the cold war and Soviet spys.
Continued at 30S-134E.