Travelling Australia - Journal 2009
18-23 July 2009 - Longreach
Longreach is the largest town in central-west Queensland. Situated on the Thomson River the town has a wide range of shops and businesses to support sheep and cattle grazing properties on the Mitchell Grass Downs. Tourism has not been overlooked and Longreach hosts two major attractions in the Qantas Founders Museum and the Outback Hall of Fame.
Longreach main street Longreach main shopping street.

Kangaroos Kangaroos frequently visit the caravan park

The Qantas Founders Museum incorporates a hangar used by Qantas when it was Longreach-based before becoming an international carrier. A purpose-built museum building houses the main display but the nearby hangar serves as a reminder of the years before large jet passenger aircraft entered service. The museum concentrates on the people and aircraft of the early years with plans to extend museum and coverage to the later years. A Boeing 747 and 707 are on static display at the museum as well as a Dakota and models of all the aircraft operated by Qantas. Although this was our third visit to Longreach I had not yet completed the Boeing 747 tour so this time I did the internal tour followed by the "Wing-walk" which included climbing down an internal ladder into the computer bay then into the forward cargo hold; the small group (only four permitted) could fit in the flight deck and have a good look. The final stage of the tour was a walk along the wing from the over-wing escape hatch. This was a 200 series Boeing 747 built in 1979. Now retired, this incorporated old technology and emphasised the changes in aviation in thirty years.

Across the road from the Qantas Founders Museum the Outback Hall of Fame commemorates the Australian stockman in a comprehensive series of displays.

While we were in Longreach I had the chip in the Pathfinder windscreen repaired; a small external hole remains but the distracting star pattern around the impact point has gone.

The weather was generally good during our stay at Longreach but several days were very windy, to the extent that I rolled up the awning and left it rolled up for the latter part of the stay.

Our week in Longreach was very relaxed with a lot of time spent sitting outside the van or chatting to neighbours.