Saturday, 16 July 2011

Day 4: Longreach Tourism

I never left Longreach. I was staying close to the two main Tourist attractions, the Stockman's Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founders Museum (QFM).
I started my day at the QFM. I had booked the full Tour Package at $125. This started with the "Secrets of the 747 Tour". Well maybe no secrets that you cannot easily discover on the Internet, but it is not often that you can get up close and personal with a Boeing 747, except sitting in cattle class on an international flight.

Folowing that we moved straight on to the "Restoration Tour of a 707". The claim to fame of this plane is that it is the first 707 bought by Qantas. It was the first production 707 that rolled off the assembly line at Boeing. And also the Qantas 707's were all modified (slightly shorter) from standard so that they could land at Nadi airport.

This jet had a varied history after being sold by Qantas, it was tarted up and at various times leased to Madonna, and an Arab Sheikh. It ended up in an aircraft graveyard in the UK and was purchased, restored and flown to it's current home. It is still maintained in flight mode, although I suspect that it would need many months work before it could actually get off the ground.
After that it was the "Wing Walk of the 747". This tour included getting into the secret parts of the aircraft seen only by engineers and maintenance crew. The avionics bay under the floors that you walk on, and the walk on the wing. Once again not something that the average man in the street gets to do, and you get a different view of the aircraft than normal. As it happened my camera batteries ran out at that stage so I got no photos other than the ones that I have had to buy.
That took all morning so I had a lunch break and then returned to the Museum for the tour of the Hanger and the fixed displays. Suddenly it was the end of the day
That basically concludes my time at Longreach, an early night tonight and then hit the road tomorrow at first light. Destination Winton and dinosaur relics.
So far I have travelled 1400 Kms, I have about another 2100 to go.
The Bludger has the following conclusions, Qantas Founders Museum - well worth it, Stockmans Hall of Fame - ok, but not worth a specific trip out this way.

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