We’ve come along way since the security guard at the Art Gallery of NSW chased axo1000 & I out of the Chinese Pottery Army Men Exhibition. In fact this week, although attendance was compelled by their parents, axo1000 & BloggiE were spotted voluntarily looking at museum exhibits that didn’t even have computer screens attached!
And I for one learned so much social and political Australian history at 4 fabulous outback museums.
Barcaldine was the setting for the 1891 shearers strike against the pastoralists under the Eureka Flag – a significant step in the Australian Labour Movement (and birth of the Australian Labor Party). The Tree of Knowledge under which this event took place was mysteriously poisoned (Round Up!) in 2006, but undeterred, the city erected not only a monument to this event, but a fab museum.
It gives you an insight into work in the early 1900’s in Australia and has mock ups of a post office, school, parliament, train station and more. We followed a trail of clues for kids and all learned loads. A top excursion spot Gordon West!
Off to Longreach, where we discovered a bike track from our campsite to the QANTAS Founder’s Museum. Love that. We checked out the original hangar, where they actually made their own planes on site. We also enjoyed investigating the old planes and taking a tour of the 747 200 with a guide who explained much more about it than we could ever have known.
Also at Longreach was the Stockman’s Hall of Fame – details of life on stations, farms and the pressure on essential services in the outback. Happily there were “screens” where we watched information on plagues of rabbits, rodeo competitions, mustering cattle and flying doctors. Speaking of which… we decided that we would detour from our plan and visit Cloncurry, home of the Flying Doctors.
Cloncurry has been hot. Shorts and T-shirts at breakfast hot. The museum here is “John Flynn Place” – a small affair that charts the course of the Flying Doctor and the Australian Inland Mission from their inception. We took a special interest in it due to a family connection. Spike’s grandfather was a Padre who played an instrumental role in both organisations.