Monday 3 September
As we were driving along we came across some cattle being rounded up by stockman on horses and using their whips, now the kids were thrilled as we stopped as the cattle crossed the road the kids watched in absolute awe. Its amazing the small things that bring such joy and this was certainly one of those moments.
We arrived at Longreach and headed into town to check out what was on offer we had decided we would stay at the Apex Park just north of town which would allow us to do some of the great tours on offer.
Our first stop was the information centre a nice little building with helpful staff before heading into the One Zero shop we so need to get a Telstra internet plan prepaid is costing us a fortune.
We called into the Kinnon & Co office to book one of their packages as we had heard such good things about them.
We bought some hot chips for lunch and who should we bump into but the lovely Newton Family, Trent, Linda, Hayden, Amber & Ebony. We first met these guys as Clem Walton Park they also have a Windsor Rapid just the bigger version with bunks and a shower and toilet. They told us they were also going to be staying out at the Free camp Apex Park.
So after lunch we headed over to see if we could get a spot at Apex Park and set up ready for a few days of fun. Not long after we set up the Newton’s arrived and set up just opposite us. Tom was very happy as a boy his age to play with most kids we have met along the way have been much younger and girls.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Longreach means the long –reach or waterhole of the Thomson River
- Longreach has a rich history with sheep shearing and farming
- Longreach isn’t the origin of Qantas- Winton is, and it moved to Longreach in 1922 when the first hangar was built
- Has a population of approximately 3500
Tuesday 4 September
Today we plan on going to The Stockman’s Hall of Fame. We had been told to allow at least half a day to look through here but there is no way you can experience it all in half a day we spent almost the whole day there. And i really need to commend the kids as it can be a bit boring looking around museums when your a kid but they were so well behaved and enjoyed it as much as we did.
We booked the Hall of Fame premium package which gives you access to the museum, live show and lunch at the Cattleman’s Bar & Grill. At a cost of $160 for a family of 4.
We started off just browsing the gallery, gift shop and book store, before starting on the first level of the museum which is dedicated to early pioneer explorers and indigenous cultures. At 11am when the cow bell rings is the signal to come outside to the live show.
Once we walked down the back and took our seats we were ready for the show. Not really knowing what to expect we absolutely loved the show with good old fashioned outback humour. With horse displays, bullock team demonstration, camels, dogs and chook we had a whole lot of belly laughs. Luke the presenter of the show is fantastic so funny and talented. Tom even managed to buy 3 mongrel bloody dogs (Lukes words) at the auction for $650 haha hilarious. Everytime the dogs moved he would say to Tom control your mongrel bloody dogs.
Can you believe Luke and I grew up in the same country town and figured out we went to the same school he was just a couple of grades lower was in the same year as my sister what a small world.
After the show we walked over to the Cattleman’s Bar & Grill for our lunch of a cattleman’s beef burger and it was huge and was a real struggle to get through it all. The restaurant is very nice and well kept there were kangaroos just roaming around along with a lone Brolga wandering around the grounds.
After lunch we headed back to finish off the museum.
Statue of the Ringer
One of the highlights of the museum for me was the new Royal Flying Doctors Display it was just so interesting the history and the current way in which the service operates. They had a listening pod where you listened to 4 different call outs from isolated patients for me with my nursing studies I took away so much from listening to these and I was amazed to see that the isolated stations have a medical chest in these chests are vital medical supplies such as morphine, angonine, ventolin, paracetamol, bandages etc its like a miniature pharmacy its great to see the remote stations have these and the RFDS talk them step by step through everything. Everything in the medical chest is numbered and the RFDS tells them what number item they need and how much and how to administer. I really walked away with such admiration for this service.
If i could have one wish granted in life it would be that every person in Australia donated $1 to the RFDS imagine what that could achieve. A truly amazing service.
Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame a brilliant place to visit for more information go to www.stockmanshalloffame.com.au
After the Hall of Fame I dropped Darrell and the kids back to the van and I went back into town to do some washing at the Laundromat and have a shower at the aquatic centre. You can have a hot shower for $2 at the Longreach aquatic centre .
Wednesday 5 September
I think today was one of the best days we have had it was action packed from the moment we woke up right to the very end. Today was our Kinnon & Co Package. And we were really not sure what was in store for us but we were definitely not disappointed in fact we enjoyed it far more than what we hoped for.`
Kinnon & Co started from the hard work and dedication of one family the Kinnon family they were local farmers who struggled hard through the drought a few years back and looked for other ways to survive with thier love of horses and history they started this great tourist attraction.
We purchased day package at a cost of $399 for a family of 4. I know this is a lot of money and we dont usually spend this amount of money on a tour but it was worth every single cent. And as we free camped in Longreach the money we saved on caravan park fees allowed us to spend more on tours.
Our package included:
- Cobb & Co Gallop through the scrub tour
- Starlight Spectacular show
- Paddlewheeler sunset cruise with campfire dinner
For more information go to www.kinnonandco.com.au
First up we arrived at the gorgeous Station Store this store has an amazing variety of gifts, souvenirs and leather goods, we walked away with new hats each and Tom finally got that whip he has wanted for ages.
We were served up a beautiful smoko of scones with jam and cream and lovely hot billy tea.
Whilst we were waiting for our replica Cobb & Co Stagecoach to arrive we were kept busy browsing all the memorabilia they have.
Now as I have said this is a real family business Richard and Marisse have got all the kids involved to. Morning tea is cooked and served by Marisse and their daughter and their daughter is a photographer so this has also been incorporated into the business where she does old time photos (just gorgeous). As you get on to the stagecoach your photo is taken for a cost of $10 you get a lovely black and white family photo. If you purchase the photo they are happy to take photos on your camera also.
Check out Rusty the dog on the back.
This ride lasts just under an hour and you are taken down the dirt track of what was the old mail run. You are supplied with headsets so you can hear all about the history and as your bouncing along and the dog is barking at the back you really get the feel for it. He gets the horses up for a gallop but we learned the only time Cobb & Co drivers were allowed to gallop the horses was if they were racing the weather.
Tom & Taz were really happy they got to sit up front with the driver.
On our return we collected our photo and were ushered into the movie theatre where we were shown an old Australian classic movie Smiley gets a gun, sitting in the old canvas seats (hmm was a bit hard to get out of them) and a bag of fresh popcorn it was great to watch this old movie the kids absolutely loved it.
Next up was Starlight’s Spectacular tent show.
Again this contained the family Richard and his two gorgeous sons (I want to keep them) I only know them as Uno Watt and Half Watt lol their names in the show. This show is based on old bush legend Captain Starlight and the poetry and humour in this show is spectacular.
Tom’s favourite line from the show:-
Uno Watt – this is excruciating pain
Half Watt – what is e e e e xc
Uno Watt – dont try to say that word we will be here all day just say hurt
Haha we loved the humour.
From here we went back to the caravan and relaxed while watching the kids mainly Tom & Hayden cracking the whips.
At 4.45pm we were picked up by the bus and taken out to the river to the boat unfortunately the paddlesteamer was broken down but we were able to go on the cruise on a smaller boat. We cruised down the river with wine and nibblies served by the delightful Uno Watt.
We had a lovely sunset and river cruise.
Following the river cruise we were shown off the boat and up to a lovely area where they had a nice campfire ready for us. We were kept entertained by a lovely local gentleman (whose name I cannot remember) telling yarns and reciting poetry we were served the most delicious camp oven stew, apple pie and custard finished off with fresh hot billy tea with damper and golden syrup to say we left there pretty full is an understatement I personally felt like a beached whale in the outback lol.
So this concludes our magical day hosted by the delightful Kinnon family.
Thursday 6 September
Today was a laze around camp day letting the kids have fun playing with the Newton kids as tomorrow we head in different directions.
Something I didn’t mention that was a highlight for Tom and Hayden was each night when the Kinnon and Co bus came to collect people Richard would call the boys over and get them to crack the whip for the people on the bus the boys were getting very good at it now.
So this concludes our fantastic stay in Longreach and will definately be back again as we still have the Qantas museum to see unfortunately this time round it didn’t fit in our budget. One of the hardest things for us is choosing which tourist attractions we do and which we miss it usually comes down to what has the most benefit for the kids, a family vote and every now and then a bit of fun lol.