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Longreach to Brisbane

Longreach to Brisbane
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Longreach to Brisbane



23 - 27°S
144 - 153°E

3 - 6000m ASL


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MY FINAL morning in Longreach dawned overcast but cleared during breakfast. With free time this morning before flying back to Brisbane this afternoon, I decided to explore more of the town centre. I initially headed to The Station Store, a converted historic hotel selling everything you could imagine and having its own historical museum out the back. The hotel had once been the base for the Cobb and Co horse driven wagons, and several were still here.

Heading across to the island in the middle of the main road, to some white statues called "The Drovers" created for World Expo '88 in Brisbane. They had until recently been displayed outside the Department of Primary Industrys Building in Brisbane (and I had photographed these back in 2014). The site was redeveloped and these statues were gifted to the Longreach Regional Council for permanent display here.

I explored a bit more of the town centre before heading westward two blocks to the PowerHouse Museum, the final museum here I haven't seen yet. It was built over the old power station built in 1921 producing 134kw from a charcoal gas powered generator. It gradually expanded over the years with more generators added until 1985 when Longreach was connected to the State grid. The plant was due for demolition in 1989 but was recommissioned into a museum opening in 1994.

The generators were the highlight of the museum, showing all the generators and control systems. Other buildings surrounded the old power plant including an old cottage restored and furnished to its original state, a couple of workshops and other display rooms with all kinds of old artefacts and collections. Between the different museums here, this area is very good at keeping all their old stuff and not throwing anything out.

I returned into the town centre and headed to the historic railway station. It is a very quiet station with one train coming each day, but the track was closed somewhere along the line between here and Rockhampton so the trains were unable to use it. Today was therefore very quiet here.

I returned to the hotel and was taken to the airport along with most of the others in my group. The tiny terminal was quite busy not only with my plane going to Brisbane (this is a daily service), there was also a smaller plane going to Townsville, a service done on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Townsville plane was loaded and took off reducing the crowd in the waiting area.

Our plane to Brisbane was running late due to a medical emergency on board on the flight coming out, and it having to divert to Barcaldine where the medical facilities are better. It did arrive about an hour later, and we all boarded and took off back towards Brisbane. The plane took off and circled over the tiny town of Longreach sitting isolated in the vast green plains dead flat in all directions with the shiny braid of the Thomson River and several dry channels either side of it breaking the otherwise featureless landscape.

We flew to above the puffy clouds heading south eastward. The clouds gradually thickened requiring us to bypass a couple of storms. The ride became a bit bumpy. The cloud continued to thicken into two layers, but the lower layer cleared as we started descending crossing the Brisbane Valley with Lake Wivenhoe spanning out to our north. We were enveloped by cloud again as we approached the D'Aguilar Range but we dropped below this just as we reached the western suburbs of Brisbane, with amazing views of the city as the plane descended to land on the new runway on the northern side of the airport terminals. Once landed it was quite a long taxi to our stopping point, followed by a bus ride to the terminal. The air was quite cool and humid compared to the dry 32 degree warmth at Longreach. Once I collected my bags, I took the train home.


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