Honeysuckle Creek

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Honeysuckle Creek


This book reveals the pivotal part the Apollo tracking station at Honeysuckle Creek, near Canberra, played in the first Moon walk.

It tells the story of how the station's director Tom Reid and his colleagues transmitted some of the most-watched images in human history as Neil Armstrong took his first step.

But for their efforts, there would have been no live television of the moment a human being first stepped onto a celestial body.

Part biography and part personal history, 'Honeysuckle Creek' makes a significant contribution to the story of Australia's role in Space exploration.

What people are saying about this book

‘It’s a bold and quirky book…Tink demonstrates that the popular 2000 film The Dish was essentially a work of fiction. Indeed without Tom Reid’s Australian tracking station the world might never have seen and heard Armstrong’s immortal words…In crafting this important contribution to the story of Australia’s role in space exploration, and the significant role of Reid in particular, the photos and text of Honeysuckle Creek compliment each other beautifully…Tink is to be praised for bringing Reid’s remarkable story to public light’ – Ross Fitzgerald in the Weekend Australian.

‘“Houston TV: All stations, we have just switched video to Honeysuckle.” Moments later Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, watched by 600 million viewers. It’s a powerful moment in this recreation of the event and the role the tracking station at Honeysuckle Creek, near Canberra, played…Part of Andrew Tink’s project is also to correct the errors of The Dish which puts Parkes at the centre of the action…The tension is really felt just before Armstrong put his foot down, when Houston switched to Honeysuckle’ – Steven Carroll in The Sydney Morning Herald.

‘People who have seen the movie The Dish will know that Australia played an important role in the moon landing in 1969. The trouble is that the film shows the wrong dish. It was actually Honeysuckle Creek that was the vital link with Apollo 11. The man who headed that team was Tom Reid…Andrew Tink once dated Reid’s daughter and got to know the man himself, so this story has a very personal angle. It is a fascinating tale of a very humble but accomplished man who played an important part in a great historic event’ – Troy Lennon in the Daily Telegraph. 

'A wonderful and inspirational story, beautifully told. As hard as it is to do this extraordinary yarn justice, Andrew Tink has done it.' - Peter FitzSimons, best-selling author.

‘It is a wonderful book and a great tribute to the remarkable Tom Reid and all the glory and wonder of the NASA space program generally and the Apollo missions specifically. It also captures another era in a very fresh and compelling way. I was captivated from start to finish!' – Kim Williams AM, media executive and composer.

'I very much appreciate the time and effort Andrew Tink has made for technical and other accuracy. I am sure this book will become a reference for years to come.' - Mike Dinn, deputy director of the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station during Apollo 11.

'I was going into it thinking I don't know how interesting or exciting or easy to read it would be but I was totally taken aback. It's a fantastic book.' Peter Aylward, President, Space Association of Australia.


Station director Tom Reid at Honeysuckle's operations console during Apollo 8



Click on the link below to see Honeysuckle’s TV footage of Neil Armstrong taking his first step. The film runs for just under three minutes and shows exactly what the record world-wide TV audience of 600 million viewers saw live, including the switch from he Goldstone tracking station in California, to the Honeysuckle tracking station near Canberra.  

Book Launch

Honeysuckle Creek was launched by the NSW Premier, the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, at Parliament House, Sydney, on 14 November 2018.

Andrew Premier

A grateful author thanks the Premier.



Peter FitzSimons and Barry O'Farrell share a joke, probably at the author's expense.



The author pictured with Tom Reid's family.


To listen to an audio recording of the book launch, please

To listen to an interview I had about ‘Honeysuckle Creek’ with ABC 702’s Richard Glover, please click below.

On 27 November I appeared on Channel 10’s Studio 10 program to talk about Honeysuckle Creek.

studio10 1studio10 2

Click below to watch the interview.




The Unsung Aussie Who Let 600 million see Humanity’s Greatest Achievement.

To access a story about my book which appeared in The Canberra Times on 24 November, please click here.


Interview with 2GB’s Ben Fordham on 1 February 2019.

Ben Fordham and I first met when I was an MP and he worked in the NSW Parliamentary Press Gallery. So when he interviewed me in his 2GB studio, he insisted on a selfie to share with his former Gallery colleagues.

 BenFordham sm


 To listen to my interview with Ben, please click on the link below.

Click Here.


Ceremony Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Honeysuckle’s Apollo 11 TV Broadcast

On 20 July 2019, a sculpture was unveiled at the site of the former Honeysuckle Creek tracking station to mark the 50th anniversary of the station’s television transmission of Neil Armstrong’s first step. In addition to many former trackers, the ceremony was attended by ACT Minister Mick Gentleman, American Ambassador Arthur Culvahouse Jr, and Australian astronaut Andy Thomas.  

Click here to view a video of this ceremony.