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Landing at Maralinga (YMRA)?

Old 30th Apr 2007, 05:21
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Landing at Maralinga (YMRA)?

Continuing with the theme of remote SA strips, does anyone know if it's possible to land at the (very large and sealed) strip at Maralinga (YMRA) these days?

(Copy these co-ords into Google Earth to see what I mean.. S30.165 E131.625 )

The entire Maralinga range has supposedly been decontaminated, rehabilitated and 'given back' to the indigenous community (interesting Aus Geo article on it a few months back), however I'm not quite sure what the arrangement is for visiting the old Maralinga village, or landing on its strip.
Has anyone been there, landed there or flown over it recently?
Any info appreciated! IORRA

Ps. Continuing with the atomic test site theme, has anyone landed at Emu Junction (YEMJ) further north?
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Old 30th Apr 2007, 05:41
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I think you may find it's in a prohibited area.
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Old 30th Apr 2007, 06:09
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epirb, I thought it might have been tied up in the Woomera airspace too, but it doesn't seem to be (according to the ERC low chart and the DAH). It's definitely on Defence land, but I'm assuming it might be possible to get a permit to land there.. Seems a shame to waste such a large strip!
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Old 30th Apr 2007, 06:56
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It is possible to land at Maralinga but I understand prior permission from the department of defence is required.

An occaisional reader of these forums knows the details - I'll see if I can get him to post the info.

UTR
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Old 30th Apr 2007, 09:58
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I read an article in "Australian Geographic" a couple of weeks ago (benefit of trips to doctor) where they were talking of the area. I think I recall their was a caretaker at Maralinga. http://editorial.australiangeographi...spx?IssueID=45

Have a look @ this site
http://www.woomera.com.au/range/maralinga.htm
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Old 30th Apr 2007, 11:33
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Maralinga is monitored by the Australian Federal Police on a continuous basis and you probably will not get a warm reception there unless you have pre arranged business there.

At least it was last time I had reason to go there.
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Old 30th Apr 2007, 12:04
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Why would anyone monitor Maralinga on a continous basis? Nothing there anyway! Nothing secret about atom bombs either. Any schoolkid knows how they work.

What a crock.

The important question is, why would you want to go there anyway? Just so you can say you did? Plenty of nicer places to visit.

Z.
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Old 30th Apr 2007, 14:03
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Permission required,

Flew in and out of there for a week last Nov.

Interesting place worth a visit.

M
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Old 30th Apr 2007, 15:59
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Did you get to meet George?

PS this 120 second crap between posts is bullshit.
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Old 1st May 2007, 02:17
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Maralinga lies within the Maralinga Prohibited Are, not the Woomera Prohibited Area. As youngmic states, permission is required to land there, however, permission is not required to land at Emu. Maralinga is controlled by the Department of Industry and Science. If you want the contact number for permission to land there, PM me.
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Old 30th Oct 2016, 06:55
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Wondering if anyone has been out there recently and has any operational tips for someone flying a C172 not equipped with HF?

I understand it is no longer a prohibited area provided you have permission (which can be organised by the guy who does the bus tour out there).

Has anyone flown in there and done one of these tours?

Was wondering what methods you would use for cancelling your SARTIME upon arrival (without mobile coverage/HF radio) and nominating a new SARTIME for your departure later in the day.

Are such remote locations not really feasible without HF?

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 30th Oct 2016, 09:49
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Rent a sat phone for the trip.
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Old 30th Oct 2016, 10:03
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PM me for the phone number of Robin, the caretaker: I visited there a few years ago, got a very warm reception. I drove there. They have just fitted a very nice, I was told, lighting system for the runway. This required a fed govt grant of some millions. Strip is regularly used by RFDS, which was the justification for the lights. I don't think it's listed in ERSA. From memory it's a nice long, ca. 2500m strip, concrete, running north-south. it's in excellent condition. No the AFP don't monitor it, except that the caretaker might call someone if a plane landed there unexpectedly. He also said that it used to be an alternative strip for the Space Shuttle and that just before every launch he got a call from NASA to check that it was OK. I asked him if I could land the jab there and he said it would be fine, I'd be very welcome. I think I could land the jab there just in the parking area. I highly recommend a visit there. The history is fascinating. Ground Zero for Taranaki is one of the most forbidding, eerie places I've been. The sites they getting ready for bombs when the program was stopped are also interesting. I have other advice I'd prefer to pass on in a PM.
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Old 30th Oct 2016, 10:06
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further to my reply above, yes, it's a prohibited area but it's easy to get permission. Just call Robin and he'll advise. I haven't been to Emu and apparently the road between the two, (Connie Sue Highway?) is the most corrugated in Australia, so don't drive unless Robin confirms that he's graded it, which he planned to do, but it's a big job.
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Old 30th Oct 2016, 10:07
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I know the strip at Maralinga is in good condition because I walked over a lot of it and drive my car at high speed (rather not say how fast) on it.
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Old 30th Oct 2016, 20:44
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The 4WD enthusiasts site, "ExplorOz" provides a plethora of information and photos with regard to the region.
The ExplorOz Google result that is entitled "Maralinga Range Tour", provides reams of contact information under the "Preparation" heading.

Google search - ExplorOz Maralinga Airstrip
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Old 30th Oct 2016, 21:13
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Maralinga is a strip where permission to land must be obtained prior to landing. Landing without permission will mean that your insurance will more than likely be invalid, and you can be charged with trespass.

Dont be a knob and phone while enroute to request permission to land - do some pre flight planning and request in advance (they prefer six weeks notice). Nearest Avgas - YFRT, YNUB, YCDU.

Also be aware that Maralinga is only open for tourists between 1 April and 31 October. At this stage, all meals and accommodation are BYO (and this is dry country, so no alcohol). There may be some Dongas or a bunkhouse to rent in 2017, but you will find out when you make contact for landing permission.

Google Maralinga Tours, that will give you all the phone numbers you need.
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Old 30th Oct 2016, 21:27
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Landing without permission will mean that your insurance will more than likely be invalid, and you can be charged with trespass.
How typically Australian, let's chuck up some fear.

they prefer six weeks notice
How typically Australian. Hey we got an airport but ya can't use it without jumping through hoops. Even when you do there will be "terms and conditions". FFS what is this joint? It's nothing more than a derelict piece of Australian history and there is no good reason why itinerant aircraft should not be able to visit.
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 00:03
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Aussie Bob - not 'chucking up some fear' but just some timely advice. I have it on very good authority that Maralinga are sick of people dropping in without permission or prior notice, and are strongly advising that they will be considering charges of trespass for those who turn up without permission.


I would like notice if a stranger wanted to pull up their car in my backyard and expected a cuppa tea and a feed - to me, it's the same, same...
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 00:53
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I've flown into Maralinga. Its a typical "wartime" cookie cutter airstrip. Its about 2km long and 30m wide (single strip). Its very good condition asphalt, but its not rated, so the Government could never land heavy (ie King Air or business jets) there.

The runway is used for water collection for drinking water for the "township". Its completely bunded and runoff goes to a series of settling ponds. Therefore they are sensitive about what happens on the runway.

When I flew in, it was still managed by the department of science. The last caretakers were Leon & Diane Ashton, who occasionally now fill in at William Creek. I needed permission from the Area Administrator of Woomera plus the Dept of Science. Maralinga is "landlocked" in Maralinga Tjarutja tribe land. It is not possible to drive there without permission from the tribe. The main road maintenance was by the mailman who dragged an arrangement of old tyres each fortnightly trip to try and keep the road surface smooth. The road conditiona are variable.

Since then it has been handed back to the Maralinga Tjarutja tribe. Part of the contract is that they make the site available to tourists. However, they took many years to do this and for many years Maralinga was vacant with no caretaker. I believe it now has a caretaker again and is accessible.

Most of the buildings have been sold in successive "clean ups" over the years. There are only a couple of the original (heritage listed) prefab corrugated aluminium buildings that were shipped from England to establish the village. When we were there the caretakers stayed in what was the hospital. We stayed in "modern" mining camp style dongas.

Nearly all of Maralinga has a lower background radiation level than Adelaide. There is a small area that is not recommended for long term exposure. Maralinga overall is extraordinarily beautiful. Nothing like you would expect. Plains of long grass, groves of Quandong trees and lots of wildflowers. It has one of the only roads that Len Beadell make that was not straight. There is a kink in the road where it goes around Tietkins well. If you don't know about Tietkins - google him. If he had dug wells about 50km North, he would have struck the Great Artesian Basin and changed the history of inland Australia.

Do not expect ANY services at Maralinga. Power is diesel generated. Water is collected from the runway, put through settling ponds then stored in prefab aluminium paneled water towers with rubber bladders (which gives the water a rubber tainted flavour). There is no phone coverage, no local vehicles, nothing. And any accommodation & catering facilities will be at the grace of the Maralinga Tjajuta tribe.

The Maralinga Tjajuta tribe office in in Ceduna. I used to deal with them regularly. Sometimes they were good to deal with, prompt & helpful and other times a complete nightmare. Goodluck.
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