A permit is required for entry to the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA), except for areas covered by a standing permission (main roads and the railway). Permit applications should be lodged by mining companies, exploration companies, opal miners, researchers and tourists.

Tourist and research permits will not be issued for travel in an access zone during an  exclusion period. Exclusions periods are reserved for Defence use only, to ensure the safety and security of travellers and Defence staff. Permit holders may be required to evacuate the WPA during an exclusion period.

Exclusion periods are published in March of each year, showing the access restrictions which will apply during the following financial year (1 July to 30 June). Notifications for restrictions in parts of the Green Zone may be provided only three weeks in advance.

Pastoralists, Aboriginal persons and traditional owners, the rail owner and operator, and mines subject to a deed of access, and people employed or engaged by those users, may continue to access the WPA under their existing permissions provided by the Defence Force Regulations 1952.

You can subscribe to WPA exclusion period updates by emailing us with 'Subscribe' as the subject; see Contact.

Aboriginal lands and conservation parks permit requirements

To support Aboriginal communities in the Woomera Prohibited Area, the Department of Defence has suspended the issue of tourist permits until further notice.

The Maralinga Tjarutja (MT) and Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) traditional owners have advised that there are travel restrictions in place within their lands to protect the health of their people during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Both MT and APY require permits to enter their lands, parts of which are within the WPA. Please consult the traditional owners’ websites for further information.

The Gawler Ranges and Kokatha traditional owners have also advised Defence of restrictions on their lands. Please consult the traditional owners’ websites for further information.

Non-Defence permits may be required to access the following traditional owner and conservation areas within or adjoining the WPA:

Traditional owners with native title within the WPA are: