Looking through the village 1961

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

British nuclear tests at Maralinga occurred between 1955 and 1963 at the Maralinga site, part of the Woomera Prohibited Area, in South Australia. A total of seven nuclear tests were performed, with approximate yields ranging from 1 to 27 kilotons of TNT equivalent. The site was also used for hundreds of minor trials, many of which were intended to investigate the effects of fire or non-nuclear explosions on atomic weapons. Looking down through the well kept village, with the airstrip clearance in the distance.

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Comments (14)

Andrew Royle on November 23, 2011

Hi there Gordon. Reminds me a bit of "nearby" Woomera. These would be very special photographs would they not? My hunch is that none of what you see here would still remain. It is also highly likely that the whole area is still off-limits to the public. Remote and isolated in virtual perpetuity

Gordon670 on November 24, 2011

Hi Andrew

This series of photographs get viewed a lot as you will see some have been viewed over 3,000 times. I am sure it is still off limits no one has ever commented, and of course we could not take photographs near the site of the blast, the Commonwealth Police saw to that!.

I did understand or thought I heard at one time that it had been turned into a prison, by the Commonwealth, but cannot be sure if that is true, but the nearest civilisation was at Watson rail some 30 miles to the south east, or the airfield where I was looking after Air Traffic Control, Transmitter and Receiver sites, and all mobile receivers in vehicles

So there you have some of it Andrew! Hey I did like your Japanese photographs you must have spent a lot of time in that country?

Regards Gordon

Andrew Royle on November 24, 2011

Hi Gordon. ..and back in the late '60s I remember gazing into the window of Mayfair Motors in Elizabeth St. Melbourne where they had on proud display 2 new model Honda CB350s absolutely caked in red mud with a large sign announcing.. "First motorcycles to cross the Nullabor.

Far-off days.

I have been to Japan a number of times, the most recent occasion being only 1 month ago. This time we visited the Inland Sea region. Thanks for your interest in those. That is appreciated.

Best regards.

Andrey Bogdanov on January 9, 2013

Village to my mind was too close to the test site.

Welcome to my photos taken at Semipalatinsk Nuke Range, if interesting,

Regards, Andrey

Gordon670 on January 9, 2013

Hi Andrey,

I think the village was far enough away from the test site, I visited the test site once or twice and it was quite a long drive, difficult to identify now aa nothing exists out there now, thanks for visiting my gallery

Kind Regards Gordon

snucklepuff on April 8, 2013

Gordon, thank for this great series on Maralinga, really enjoyed them!, cheers James

InTheBush on April 16, 2013

Yes, so did I James :-))

Gordon670 on April 16, 2013

A surprisingly well kept place being so far out in the bush, don't suppose it is like that now, Iam not sure but believe it has become an Australian State Prison, I don't know, but someone may!

Cheers all the best. Gordon

InTheBush on April 16, 2013

Hi there Gordon! Have a look on Google Earth, you can see what is remaining. All the Best, Caroline

GasGasL€X on April 17, 2013

Fabulous history shots Gordon..

garyjtropicnq on July 30, 2013

Thanks for the Photo's Gordon. Never visited Maralinga during my time at Cook in the 1980's.

Gordon670 on July 30, 2013

Hi Gary

Thanks for visiting my Maralinga Gallery. Am I right in assuming that Maralinga became an offenders institute, or a bit more than that, as I see from Google world the airfield is still visible

Kind Regards. Gordon

NobbyN on April 22, 2014

G'day Gordon

I've just come back from my second visit to Maralinga. The first in 2009 and then a few days ago at Easter. The place is now open to the public (after pre-arrangiong access with Robin, the caretaker)

The Maralinga-Tjarutja community were handed ownership of it about 4 years ago, I think, and they are trying to establish it as a tourist destination. Early days yet, and at the moment it is ideally suited to 4WDs with trailers or off-road vans. Small groups up to 10 can be accomodated on site in dongas if required. Semi-permanent abloution blocks are available for campers down near where the old warehouse used to be.

The far goal is to hopefully cater for FIFO visitors with well-appointed accomodation and facilities, but that is some way off yet.

Robin is a fantastic host and has been associated with the area since 1972 so his knowledge of the place and what went on there is encyclopedic. The range tour is an all-day affair, and there aren't many places left off the itinery. The tour cost is $100 pp, but assuming you've got any interest in the place (and why would you visit it if you hadn't) is worth every cent.

It was facinating to compare your shots with what's there today - which sadly, isn't much; not compared to what WAS, at least. The village for the most is concrete pads, but photos like yours bring it back to life.

Cheers Nobby

It was never used as any sort of detention facility.

Gordon670 on April 22, 2014

G'day Nobby,

Wow, very interesting, I guess Robin has seen my few photographs, not many people used to take photos of Maralinga, as it was not considered very photogenic. I don't think I will be re visiting it, you did not say if the airfield was still in use, or did you make your way from the Nullabor highway at Watson, always interested to read about how my photographs can bring back so many memories.

Many thanks Nobby and enjoy future visits as it becomes more well established again

Best wishes. Gordon

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 26, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Gordon670
    • Camera: Canon CanoScan 8800F