© Grey Gypsies of Australia
Alice Springs 2018


And Roxby Downs

Woomera - pop 150 , was a short drive of 200km today. We had morning tea at Emily’s bistro before leaving Quorn around 10.30am. According to a local, Airforce 20 Squadron is here in a town that is primarily a military base. It is strangely attractive to me. This is the 3rd or 4th time we have stayed here. A totally planned town like Leigh Creek (a mining town), Woomera has a central square with a shop, cinema and other buildings. It’s landscaped throughout the streets with native arid country trees and shrubs. All houses are neat and well maintained as I think most if not all are owned by the Defence Department. The caravan park seems to be privately leased and run. It’s an old friend. Bare with desert gravel and no trees, the layout is strictly military with neat rows for vans. It fits perfectly with this vast empty landscape that only offers you the sky as some sort of relief from the monotony. Quorn CP tried to ameliorate this landscape by disguising the park with well planted native trees and shrubs. You would almost think you were elsewhere, but no such deception is tried here.   The landscaping round the houses and streets softens it a little but not much. The only lawn is at the fenced animal reserve that serves as an area to walk dogs or for visitors to picnic. Otherwise gravel or mulch serves a better purpose for householders with plants softening the bareness. Despite all this I find it oddly attractive and different from most small outback towns. The van park has a separate bar in the grounds that opens at 4pm. A small local and travelling clientele patronise it. Obliging barman and cheap drinks recommend it. Try it out. We toured round Woomera this afternoon spending a lot of time at the rocket park. The ‘Masters of War’ would love this place as an amazing variety of rockets, planes and launchers are well preserved and on display outdoors. Some great photo opportunities here. Another day at Woomera. Slow start to the day as we planned a trip to Roxby Downs, 80 km distant. This is a Mining town with a healthy population of around 3000 people. I love these mining towns that have been designed in the C20th for this purpose. All small modern houses on well planned streets with landscaping. Great community facilities and a lovely town centre with garden plantation in the middle allowing for tables and loos as well as lifting the built environment. The Community Center has a café, cinema, library and art gallery with an information center for tourists. We had lunch outside, used the library where an obliging librarian photocopied some material for me. Shopped at Woolworths  and had a leisurly drive back to Woomera where the bar supplied a welcome bottle of Jacobs Creek bubbles and all was well with the world.
The Breakaways > The Breakaways >