Our first full day in Longreach started nice and early to be at the Qantas Founders Museum right n nine to finalize our tour. Our little pilot O was fair jumping out of his skin at seeing a 747 up close, and after a minor camera glitch, some negotiation and rearranging of camera usage rights (they are my children after all, and ever reluctant to give up a camera when there are things to take photos of!), we were loaded up with “boarding passes” and wrist bands and found ourselves on the underside of a jumbo. Holy moly those birds are big!! We got an explanation of all the different systems, include some info on their introduction – which generally involved a reference to “if you’ve watched Air Crash Investigation”…. Thankfully there is no flying in our near future, let’s put it that way! O was enthralled with the whole thing, and decided he definitely would fly a 747. Bess, on the other hand, just made herself comfy in the business class seats(which may make for a interesting explanation next time we go to Germany… Why are the seats so small mummy? Count the number of children, my daughter, and multiply by a big chunk of cash).
After the 747 was a run through of the 707 – Qantas number 1, the first international jet they bought. It has been refitted several times before being abandoned, purchased by the museum for £1 (yes, one. Plus VAT), and restored (costing a heck of a lot more than £1!!). The inside is still set as a luxury private jet, though in 1980′s style – about as ostentatious and attractive as it sounds!!
Following the planes, we hit up the cafe for some late morning tea/lunch, before wandering through the museum, which was really interesting, seeing the history of the Qantas company, and all the old planes – I shall never complain about cattle class again (ok, well, maybe. Don’t hold me to that, ok?), and a wander through the original Qantas hanger.
As we were leaving, I was chatting to O about his plans to be a pilot, and he is definite it is a Qantas 747 he wants to fly. “And will you fly mummy to nice places, sweetheart?” “yes. But only if you buy a ticket first. You aren’t allowed on the plane without a ticket”. Yeah, being the child of two accountants definitely has messed with his sense of freebies-for-his-mama!!
We passed a lazy afternoon at the trailer before giving up on the concept of trying to convince Bess to sleep (no, husband, she is NOT dropping her day sleep. It was a once off. She WILL sleep, dammit!), and popped into town for an ice cream (yep, it’s definitely ice cream weather. And shorts and tshirt weather. And uh-oh, where’s the sunnies, those legs have been living in jeans weather), and some groceries, before a quiet evening, and an early night for the smalls.
This morning, our second full day in Longreach, we got to have a bit of a lie in and a lazy breakfast before a quick tidy of the camp site and some general relaxing and hanging out. We got to the Stockmans Hall of Fame around 10-ish, got our tickets and went for a wander through the museum, which was really interesting, and even got to see a whip-maker at work. By the time the smalls had had enough, it was about time to be waiting for the stockman show, which was a bit of fun. O laughed like mad, Little Fish was spellbound, and Bess, well, she pretended to be sleepy the first half on daddy’s lap, until the music started, then she was up and dancing on the steps. Disco baby doing it in style.
After the show, we had lunch at the Cattlemans Bar and Grill (part of the ticket package we chose), before a more successful nap time for the girl, while the boys played aeroplanes and dinosaurs, and laughed hysterically about “that bit in the horse show, mummy, did you see it, when he had a broom like a gun a gun and the dog laid down and pretended it got shot?”. Boys, hey?
Afternoon saw us head back into town for a scooter in the park, and a play on the playground. The trees were stripped bare by the massive flock of birds (we think cockatiels?), and every now and then they’d get up and squawk and fly around before settling back into the tree. Which is all fun and games until they crap on your shoulder. Yes, yes, I was the “lucky” one. “Someone” claims it’s karma. He’s probably right. Though it was a heck of a lot funnier when it was him
Which brings our stay at Longreach to a close. Tomorrow we head a couple of hours down the track to Winton, and Little Fish is beside himself – it’s finally DINOSAUR TIME!!!