Woomera – the old Rocket Range

8.23am, Tuesday 24th July, Coober Pedy, Far North of South Australia

Evening, folks, and we’re camped at Coober Pedy – the opal mining capital of South Australia – overnight, roughly halfway between the Barossa and Alice Springs. But I just wanted to give you a look at one of our side trips – into Woomera. A ‘Woomera’ is an aboriginal ‘tool’ that was used to notch into the base of a hunting spear, and then by a deft wrist flick and lever action, was used to ‘launch’ the spear at serious speed with serious accuracy.

Quite an apt name then for this area – which was set up by the Australian and British governments in 1946 and used to be a hive of military activity throughout the 1950s and 60s as one of the world’s busiest test areas for rockets and missiles. Restrictions on the ‘Woomera Prohibited Area’ were lifted in 1982, and now you can actually go in and visit the historical museum, and the ‘missile park’.

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Here’s George the Bear on his own ‘rapid transit’. I promised Zach – Mr Food and Beverage at The George Hotel in Christchurch – that I’d make sure that their bear did some interesting things on this trip. Job done!

Oh … I should explain. When you stay with The George Hotel, they present you with your own bear, and encourage you to send in photos of where George gets to travel with you … and I did promise.

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PS if you want to see what this is all about, go to The George Hotel’s home page, and check out the George Bear Blog in the top left hand corner. There, Zach … as promised.

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