Why the QANTAS Founders Museum is a Must Visit | Longreach | QLD
As a daughter of an aeronautical engineer (in dad’s hay day) I just love all things aviation. So after we glided into Longreach and saw the giant Boeing 747 Qantas Jet next to the car park of the Founders Museum, we just knew we had to check out what this attraction was all about.
Originally as most would - we thought it must be all about jumbo jets and modern day aviation but after looking in one of the info centre brochures we realised just how off track we had been and much cooler this place was going to be to visit. The Q.A.N.T.A.S Founders Museum is about the conception and birth of this now days magnificent airline. Before it was flying all over the world it first begun as a mail service back in 1920 in Longreach itself before taking the monumental leap into passenger transport in 1922.
What made it special for us on the day
After arriving in time for our optional added extra Jet Tour which lasted 1.5hrs - we got up close and personal with both the incredible Boeing 747 and Boeing 707 jets and a peek inside an original DC3. All generously donated, these aviation masterpieces were amazing, we got a full guided tour inside and out.
The boys loved the Boeing 707 the most as there favourite singer of the past, the late Michael Jackson had flown in this exact plane with his family’s group the Jackson 5. Us big Trekkers favourite part was getting to stand inside an actual Boeing 747 Rolls Royce Jet Engine to pose for a family photo.
Longreach is one of 2 places in the world where you can get to step into an attached jet engine since the devastating events of 911. A very unique and memorable experience we will never forget.
Then onto the Museum. Wow - what an incredible collection of memorabilia and history. Set up to be suited for guests from young all the way up to elderly, the curators of this amazing museum have thought of it all. Starting in the theatre room as you enter, you get a great 8 minute introduction to the birth of Qantas and a brief introduction to the 4 key gentlemen who were the at forefront of this incredible conception in aviation.
Following this fantastic visual presentation the awaiting giant hall is full of exceptional displays, interactive exhibits, impressive range of genuine artefacts from many areas of the Founding history, 2 different authentic jet engines, a fabulous old Bristol flight simulator (for all ages to enjoy), digital displays, short display films, an interactive overhead display of flying aircraft that make their way around the giant hall on a field track.... It is truly a place to get lost in the world of flight.
Included in the Museum entry price is a guided Hanger Tour. Learn about the early development of engines, the growth of the small planes as demand and needs grew, the involvement of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in the early Qantas years, who did what and when during the birth process of this company and it is all held within the heritage listed Longreach Hanger used by the original founders McGuinness and Fysh, as the Replacement to the original first hanger which was built too close to the Thomas River which was prone to flood.
The Hanger tour was full of information, multiple replica aircrafts to climb in and get a real feel for the early pilots and passengers. It was a great opportunity to ask the knowledgeable staff questions and more information of this exception feat in history.
Attraction related fact.
Something not everyone would know (I know we didn’t) is what Qantas actually stands for.... ‘Queensland And Northern Territory Air Service’. It was Founded 1920 by two mates, Paul McGuinness (pilot) and Hudson Fysh (gunner and observer), who meet when they flew together during WWII. Once they returned home from the war they needed to find something to do with themselves.... And that is how Qantas became more than just an idea inside Paul McGuinness’ mind.
What was it all about
Dedicated to the founders of Qantas, this museum is an independent not-for-profit community organisation and registered charity - started and run by a very passionate collection of locals determined not to let the history of Australian Outback aviation mastery to be forgotten.
Originally started back 1996 to commemorate and preserve the material heritage of the founders and early operators of Qantas Airways Ltd. This Museum is world class and provides a incredible cultural display of the incredible efforts in aviation history by the founders Paul McGuinness, Hudson Fysh, Fergus McMaster and Arthur Baird.
The Museum is a great dedication to the founders but also shares the connection between Qantas and the RDFS. The guided tour walks you through the Qantas Hanger that once was the only airport terminal for Longreach and is now the oldest civil aviation building in Australia! Outside on display for all to see - is the most fantastic museum piece, the multi million dollar, 3 story high, 22year old Boeing 747, donated by Qantas on their 82nd to the Founders Museum.
The Outback's hot dry air actually minimises corrosion and therefore Longreach was the perfect location for this incredible donation, and a way to keep the public’s spirit and passion alive in the interest of aviation. Notably this is the only Boeing 747 to ever land on a short Outback Australian runway and it was a huge feat to deliver this gift back on the 16th November 2002.
Price and Appeal
Museum Entry $28/A, $18/C or $80/F.
Museum and Jet Tour $63/A, $43/C or $190/F
Or Combine both the Qantas Founders Museum and Stockman’s Hall of Fame (we would absolutely recommend them both) $50/A, $25/C or $145/F
*All children under 5years FREE.
Purchase tickets on entry to museum, for all tour bookings contact the QANTAS Founders Museum on (07) 4658 3737 or check out the website at www.qfom.com.au
They say Qantas was Conceived in Cloncurry QLD, Born in Winton QLD and Learned to walk and talk in Longreach QLD. Go on and find out all about the history of the birth of Qantas for yourself.