Our night in Charters Towers will be remembered for downloading programs for the new Mac and being regularly woken by road trains cruising close by.
We made our way West through a number of small country towns, turning left at Prairie. We had been recommended a camp area south of town at Kooroorimya Falls Nature Reserve. Given the distance from the highway we had high hopes of a quieter night. Following dinner we made our way over to the ablutions block that we had been informed held the "best showers". We were not disappointed. A donkey heater to supply endless hot water and a large shower head surrounded by a few pieces of corrugated iron on a concrete floor and we were in shower heaven. I wouldn't normally go on about a shower but this truly lived up to its reputation as the best shower ever. The caretaker and his cool dog paid a visit in the morning and told us all about the area, the racecourse and the frequent twitchers he has camping here.
Our next stop was at Muttaburra, and The Exchange Hotel. The NZ publican informed us about the history of the area, the pub, and provided us with entrainment whilst we downed a few cold ones. After a quick look at the Muttaburrasaurus we continued on our way to Longreach.
Travelling through this area you feel like you are in true outback country. Everyone in the main street of Longreach looks like they are from a RM Williams catalogue and Thommo utes are everywhere.
After a visit to the information centre it was soon clear we would need a few days here to see all that the town has to offer.
Yesterday we spent the entire day at the Stockman's Hall of Fame. This included a live show with camels, horses, dogs and bullocks. Very entertaining. The museum has so much information it is quite overwhelming. Luckily for Jaks there were some interactive displays to keep her entertained and stop her getting bored. The RFDS display kept her interested for hours.
This morning we headed off to school, the Longreach School of Distance Education, previously known as the school of the air. The HF radios are now redundant and the program is all provided via computers and the internet. This week the Grade 4 class were in school for their once a year visit and were obviously having a good time.
To ensure we were completely toured out we made our way across the road to the QANTAS Founders Museum. We did a tour of a 747 and a 707 and Bryce got to stand with a beloved Catalina PBY flying boat. The 747 was donated by Qantas. at a value of $250,000.000 it was a good tax deduction for them. the 707 was one of the first jets sold overseas by Boeing and the first Qantas jet. the Cat was bought from Spain and will be restored to its WW2 condition.
Feeling all museumed and toured out it is time to leave town. We are still heading West, tomorrow towards Winton and Mt Isa.