The heartbreak of eight years drought – Longreach

If we thought that Camden Park was desert…

What are we doing here Mum? What happened to Home?
View at sunset – that cattle feeder is now a Loo!
This is such an old tree -Where are its friends? How did it survive? What stories could it tell?

… we were heartbroken to arrive in Longreach and hear about their eight year drought. The only signs of activity in Longreach are the Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the Qantas Museum, which has just introduced a new Light and Sound Show on the bellies of their largest aircraft, telling the history of Qantas. The compere thanked us over and over for bringing a little money into the town.

Qantas Museum, just outside Longreach – what a stunning sound and light show they put on in the evening!

The Stockman’s Hall of Fame is not only a splendid static museum, but they have completed a new film telling Australia’s story of the stockman and their relationship with their land and their horses across the centuries. Very moving. It’s worth a flight to Longreach just to see it.

The building itself is wonderful, set in a harsh environment, the result of an architectural competition. What a shame they didn’t consult the architect before hiding part of the marvellous swooping lines of the roof behind a vast sheet of solar panels!

Charlie and Nancy relaxing in front of the Stockman’s Hall of Fame
Superb presentation – the Stockmen must be proud!

Your heart can’t help but be gladdened, though, by a town full of brolgas

A bright spot in our stay in Longreach were all the brolgas – walking the streets, marching through the campground, all around – yes, hungry for the titbits the campers gave them
We were expecting this – the further west you go, the drier it should get – – – but no!..

Sadly, the cafes and restaurants seem to be closed and the streets are pretty deserted. With a feeling of sadness and helplessness, it’s time to leave Longreach and go searching for dinosaurs…

Surprisingly, the countryside improves as we approach Winton and we find a chirpy town full of crowds come to see dinosaurs and – yes, more Brolgas, in the main street no less. The centre of life in town is Tattersalls Hotel, but we’re heading out dinosaur hunting tomorrow…

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