Sunday 30 May 2004
We managed a sleep in this morning and didn't leave the caravan
park until after 9.am to have a look around the town of Longreach.
We found the cheapest fuel (102.9 cpl) but it isn't open on
Sunday and is not accessible until about 8.am Monday (tomorrow)
we hope to be a fair way down the road. The only service station
that has it's fuel price posted shows diesel at 105.9 cpl that
may be our only option. In reality it is only about $4.50 difference
on a fill up of about 150 litres (about $159.00) that we need,
not much if we say it fast.
After that we drove down the main street and 'one of us' replenished
her purse from a local ATM, bought a TV Week (there are no TV program
booklets in the weekend papers like in WA) and then it was off
to the 'Stockman Hall Of Fame'.
The building the hall of fame is housed in is very impressive,
just like it is seen in the many photographs of it. Entry fee is
$20.00 each and this gives access to 5 galleries and also a slide
presentation that is accompanied by audio commentary and music.
We first entered the slide presentation and followed that by strolling
through each of the five galleries in order of footprints of time
in the Australian Outback. (1) This started with the 'Discovery'
period of the continent, which includes the aboriginal people before
first fleet and inland exploration. (2) It then moved on to the
'Pioneers' which included the early cultivation of the nation and
development of the then untamed outback. (3) From here we moved
on to the 'Outback Properties' where the life of the families were
depicted when they first pushed their way out into this baron land.
came 'Life in the Outback' which including the extensive involvement
years of outback
Australia and the development of the social structure of this vast
continent. (5) The last gallery covered the stock worker and the
modern approach to the outback properties and lifestyle.
There was a huge amount of information displayed in poster format
all around the galleries and it would have taken all day to read
it all (or maybe even longer), however we were there for almost
three hours and managed to see and understand each of the galleries.
This was a great experience and 'one of us' considers that although
it is small in comparison, it was second only to the Australian
War Museum. It told the story of the Australian Outback and the
development of these vast areas very well and in detail. Although
Longreach is a long way from the usual tourist drives along the
coastline, it is a must to visit for anyone passing this way.
We then returned to the caravan and had lunch before heading over
to the QANTAS Founders Museum which is situated at the airport,
across the road from the caravan park. Entry to this museum was
$15.00 each and the viewing started with a video presentation giving
some of the history of the museum and QANTAS. This video was narrated
by Michael Caton and as 'one of us' really likes him, she decided
the whole museum was going to be great.
After the video we entered the main area of the museum which housed
an old AVRO aircraft that is one of only two licensed flying versions
of this type of aircraft in the world. There were quite a number
of interactive video screens and displays that provided information
on a range of subjects, a lot of them being about the isolation
QANTAS and the flying doctor service. From this area we walked
out of this building and into the original hanger that was constructed
and used in the early days of the Queensland And Northern Territory
Aerial Services. This hanger had a replica of one of the early
aircraft used by QANTAS, along with a few more engines and other
We then left the museum building and went back out to the car
park where a 747 400 was parked. There are tours over this aircraft
that take about an hour and a half, however we were too late to
take one today and didn't consider it worth delaying our departure
from Longreach another day just to do that tour.
It was then time to return to the caravan park, pick up the spare
diesel containers and find the cheapest fuel around town - yes
it was 105.9 cents per litre and we needed 141.5 litres.
To finish the day off we have purchased tickets ($10 each) for
a smorgasbord roast dinner with the trimmings and at 7.30pm there
is a bush poet performing if we wish to stay a little longer.
Tomorrow is another one of those early starts and about 630 kilometres
to travel to Mount Isa, so a good night sleep is planned.