Visitor's Guide to the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) and
Boolardy Station Accommodation Facility

Contents

Vehicle departing the MRO site {C}


Introduction

The Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) is the location of CSIRO's ASKAP project and a number of other innovative radio astronomy facilities.

The MRO is approximately 370km from Geraldton. The MRO is on Boolardy Station, a pastoral grazing property.

All arrangements for visiting the MRO should be made through the CASS office in Geraldton (the MSF). Visitors should make themselves familiar with the MRO HSE Manual.

Please note that access to the MRO is restricted.

Directions to the MRO

The Murchison Shire Council has a preferred driving route for visitors to the MRO. The route assumes visitors are departing from Geraldton. If travelling from elsewhere the preferred route should be followed from the town of Mullewa onwards.

  • Drive East along Geraldton-Mt Magnet Rd, towards Pindar
  • Turn Left at Pindar
  • Travel North along Pindar - Beringarra Rd crossing Greenough and Sanford Rivers
  • Turn right at Boolardy Station

For detailed instructions refer to the ASKAP Driving Directions  (PDF). All local roads are gravel/natural formation and are subject to variation due to the weather. Check road conditions before departure.

Travel precautions

Hazards along the road include kangaroos, cattle, sheep, goats, goannas, eagles, emus, wild dogs, rutting, corrugations, dust, sand, loose gravel and, when wet, slippery surfaces.

All persons travelling to the MRO are required to ensure their vehicle is in good condition, that vehicle drivers have adequate skills and training to deal with the road conditions and hazards. In the event of rain, all travellers should check for road closures and conditions with the MRO Site Manager or Site Coordinator.

Vehicles are to carry sufficient water (approx 10L/per person) to cope with an extended wait in the event of a vehicle breakdown or delay due to road conditions.

Travellers are to ensure they have in place an agreed travel notification plan to ensure search actions are initiated in the event of an overdue arrival at the MRO/Boolardy Accom Facility. Mobile phones do not work beyond Mullewa. Vehicles should be equipped with a satellite telephone and UHF radio. Boolardy Station operates on UHF channel 12.

All speed limits must be complied with; in WA trailers are limited to travelling at 100km/h.


Site Information

Boolardy Station

The Boolardy Accommodiation Facility is co-located with Boolardy Homestead. When driving in the vicinity of the accommodation facility drivers are requested to reduce their speed for the safety of other visitors, Station residents and workers and to reduce dust.

Boolardy Station is an operating pastoral business. Visitors to the MRO are to conduct their activities in manner that does not interfere with the normal operations of the Station's activities. Station residents and staff are not available for traffic directions, inquiries etc.

The Station Manager's residence and adjacent farm building do not form part of the Boolardy Accommodation facility and are not available for access by visitors to the site. The Station Manager and his family are not CSIRO employees. All arrangements for visiting the MRO should be made through the CASS office in Geraldton (the MSF).

The Station cannot supply fuel, food, groceries or personal items. Neither the Station nor the accommodation facility carries supplies of alcohol or a licence to supply or sell liquor.

Pets are not to be taken to site. Registered Guide Dogs may be taken to site with prior notification. Visitors should ensure they do not transport exotic weeds to the site.

Clothing

Visitors are advised to dress appropriately for the climate. Summer temperatures regularly exceed 45°C (113°F) in the shade. Long sleeved, lightweight shirts and long trousers are strongly recommended as is a wide brim hat. Contractors must supply their own sunscreen.

When visiting during periods of building and/or antenna construction or commissioning, safety boots with a reinforced toe and an Australian Standards (AS2210.3) tag must be worn. International visitors must ensure their safety boots meet an equivalent safety standard.

Accommodation Facility

The accommodation facility comprises a fully catered dining room (supplying hot or cold breakfast, packed lunch and hot evening meal) along with single and double bedroom en-suite rooms. Each room is supplied with linen, towels, pillows etc.

Visitors are required to supply their own:

  • Toiletries and personal items
  • Torch/flashlight
  • Computer equipment (access to the internet is available via wired Ethernet)
  • Wine, beer etc. (each room is fitted with a small fridge)

Smoking is not permitted in any CSIRO building or vehicle.

Laundry facilities are available. Laundry powder is supplied. Please do not use alternative laundry products as they adversely affect the sewerage management system.

Booking your accommodation

Book your accommodation via the approved form. The form collects essential information for your visit; it also allows you to notify the accommodation manager of needs such as special dietary requirements.

  1. Download the Word format document
  2. Fill in the form using the Word format document.
  3. Submit the form as an attachment via email, to the email address given on the form.

Bookings must be made allowing the required notification period as noted on the form to allow for room allocation and catering requirements. Boolardy is an isolated facility and extra supplies cannot be obtained at short notice. Beds are limited so unexpected visitors are not be able to be accommodated.

You will receive confirmation that your booking has been accepted, via email. If you do not receive a booking reply within 72 hours you may contact MSF Reception for further information.

Conduct while on site

CSIRO promotes equity and diversity and a non discriminatory work place. Activities, actions and statements that are contrary to these objectives will not be tolerated and those involved in actions contrary to these principles will be asked to leave the site. For more detail, see the HSE Manual.

Fuel

Fuel is not available from the MRO/Boolardy without prior arrangement with CSIRO. Unleaded petrol (ULP) is not kept or available at either the MRO or Boolardy. The closest supplies are at Mullewa.

Water

Visitors are advised to bring sufficient supplies of drinking water for their use whilst at the MRO. Supplies of drinking water at Boolardy are limited. No drinking water is available at the MRO site, you must carry it in with you.

Contacting the MRO

For further information regarding a visit to the MSF or MRO please contact the MSF Administration Officer using the number shown below. Alternatively, to contact MSF staff, visitors can email mro-bookings_at_atnf.csiro.au.

Contact telephone numbers for the MSF

. AWST is UTC+8hrs. AEST is UTC+10hrs.

Role Location Number Hours
Admin Officer / Reception MSF, Geraldton +61 08 9923 7700 08:30 - 16:30 AWST
Visitors
Public