Another day and another long 400 kilometre drive from Hughenden to Longreach via Winton. We did get a little wet on the drive and our destination caravan park was not really set up for too much rain. We ended up setting up in an inch of mud which did spoil the experience. On this part of the journey we have now run into school holiday traffic as well so the caravan park was at capacity with one grey nomad being told that there was no space during our check in. This was a common occurrence from here on.
The van park was pretty standard with reasonable facilities but did have something special. Wild Brolgas roaming the laneways in the van park. Both B and I got to experience Brolgas up close with B getting nipped and growled at (yes growled, such a weird sound), when hand feeding them. S and B could definitely see where dinosaurs evolved with these two.
Longreach is famous for two museums, the Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the QANTAS Founders Museum. In the end we decided to visit only the QANTAS museum which is a fantastic experience and took us all afternoon. The museum is self funded and does not receive any funding from the current QANTAS company so only shows the early company history starting with the two WWI pilot founders through to the mid 1900s. The museum has a wealth of information of this period and is well presented getting the thumbs up from our own museum curator, B. For additional cost you can get to tour the tarmac visiting several types of planes used by the company. During this tour, I got to see fascinating interiors of the much photographed 747 and a tour of a VIP version of a 707 that has an awesome history but did not fly in the QANTAS fleet. I had an official picture taken of myself in the cowling of the 747 jet engine as part of the tarmac tour, getting a print did cost $25 extra though. We were told this is a unique experience as only a couple of other places in the world allows this.
There are other tours and features available at the QANTAS Founders Museum like a 747 wing walk photo. Be sure to book online to get your best times or you may miss out during busy times for the special tours. The booking web site is a little problematic but fiddle with the times if it says the tour is not available. The main museum entry is all day but you do select a time either morning or afternoon on the booking page. There is a night light show using the planes on the tarmac tour as a backdrop available as well. Would highly recommend this museum and it does show with the number of visitors. Oh, and do get someone to take your photo when trying the WW1 flying simulator.
As for our stay in Longreach, the wet and muddy van park annoyed us too much so we decided to leave a day early to go to our next stop.