PIONEERS, EXPLORING, GLAMPING AND HERITAGE
Each time we visit Longreach, we discover something new in this heritage area. It’s an easy town to get around, no crowds, no traffic and limitless horizons. The skies are always clear and the air is crisp in winter and warm in summer. There is a lot to experience and with limited time available to us, we planned ahead and made the most of every moment. The big excitement for the kids was the glamping experience!
Mitchell Grass retreat http://mitchellgrassretreat.com.au is a tented glamping resort close to town on the Muttaburra Highway. We have stayed in many African safari tents over the years and this one rates very highly and, in fact, is super luxurious! There are 15 canvas tents which are either King or twin size all with ensuites and a private deck. We loved the fire pit in front and at night the kids roasted marshmallows whilst watching the night sky. Breakfast baskets are delivered to your room each day and are delicious. Self catering is easy with a mini kitchenette fully equipped and a barbecue at each room.
The first night we chose to go to Smithy’s Outback Dinner and Show on the banks of the Thomson River. The dinner was delicious – camp oven themed with damper and billy tea or wine and beer – followed by a show on the river stage. The performer told stories and sang songs all with a country theme. His two border collie dogs, although not part of the show, sat quietly on the stage and captivated everyone!
The Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre was originally opened by the Queen in 1988 and was recently refurbished and reopened in April of this year. It has been modernised and has interactive and immersive experiences and is wonderful for all ages. It brings to life the rugged landscape of the outback, revealing the incredible and sometimes unknown stories of the everyday people who lived and worked on the stock routes. Allow lots of time for this!
After wandering around the museum for a couple of hours, it was nice to sit down in the outdoor theatre and watch the Outback Stockman’s Show. The Showman, Lachie Cosser tells the story of real life stockmen and women who work on the land today as well as telling tales of what it was like in the past. He had working dogs, horses, sheep and a quiet bull to entertain us and his young son gave a whip cracking display. http://stockmanshalloffame.com.au
After a quick lunch in a very hip cafe serving both vegan and cafe style meals, we headed to the Qantas Founders Museum http://qfom.com.au. With so many different tours and experiences, it is important to book ahead. I was particularly interested in the main museum and the Catalina Display – these displays tell the story of Qantas from the outback days and what life was like in 1920’s outback Queensland to the present day. With so much to see – oral displays, video talks, artifacts and interactive exhibits you could easily spend a couple of hours here before going to the Aviation Park and walking through various aircraft.
Best time to visit this lovely outback town is probably in the winter months – at least for me – and we will definitely be back to check out some of the experiences we didn’t have time to do! I can honestly say that here there is something for everyone.