29 September 2011

28th September 2011 - On our way to Beachport.

This post is to fix up an omission from a previous post.
Our stop-over at Woomera had a purpose other than just somewhere to park for the night.
Way back in the early 50s, a surveyor by the name of Len Beadell was tasked with selecting the site for the British Government to undertake some nuclear testing. It was Len who chose the site of Woomera. He was then asked to find a route through the inland such that when they fired the rockets, they wouldn’t go too close to any towns or villages.
Okay, it’s time to get your map out because Len plotted a route from Woomera to the West Coast just north of Port Hedland, thus becoming the longest possible human habitation free land route in the World.  He then needed to build roads to access this route at many locations. These “roads” were really just tracks that Len and his team of 6, with a bulldozer, a grader, a stores 6x6 truck, and Len’s Land Drover used to bash through the scrub.
These roads still exist! Gunbarrel Highway (Len liked straight roads), Connie Sue Highway (Len’s Daughter), Anne Beadell Highway (his wife), plus many others.
Beadell was Australia’s last true explorer. If you get a chance to listen to his CD, grab it with great haste because he is also a very laconic and dry humorist.
Our visit was so that we could pay respects at Len’s grave in the Woomera cemetery.  

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