What’s in Longreach besides bouncy coach-rides and bathing underneath a starry sky? Two musts: Meet local legend Ollie and visit the The Qantas Founders Museum.
The Qantas Founders Museum: a flying history
Walk around Qantas’s original hangar and see some of the old aircraft inside the heritage-listed building, including the DH-61 Giant Moth. With an open cockpit, this biplane carried seven passengers and in 1929 featured Australia’s first airline toilet, a square, wooden box that will make you grateful for how far air travel has come.
The museum is filled with memorabilia from the Pucci Qantas uniforms to round playing cards that Qantas released in 1971 to promote their new 747 service. Explore a 747 and 707, where you can walk on the wing of a 747 and get your photo taken standing in the engine. qfom.com.au/
Ollie the Brahman: an outback legend
As well as human characters, the outback is full of animal characters including Ollie the Brahman, who greets visitors at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and walks through the foyer to show people the way to the Outback Stockman’s Show.
This big gentle steer can also be seen down the street in Longreach, hanging outside pubs and cafes, free of any halter or ropes to tie him up. His owner, John Hawkes, is a stockman who started singing country songs in public for the first time at 53. Listen to him sing under the stars over Aussie tucker at Smithy’s Outback Dinner & Show.