Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 226. Ilfracombe (Longreach)

A gallop thru the scrub...

This morning we had a date with the Longreach 'School of the Air', so we were out the door by 8:30am and heading into town. It was only a 10 minute drive from Ilfracombe, so it was a relaxing drive across open grazing plains that seemed to stretch out forever!

Longreach School of the Air
Although it's presently school holidays here in QLD, the School of the Air is still running tours and there must of been at least 30 people on this mornings tour. We were shown through the studios that are used for teaching - outback style. We also got to take a look at the schools play grounds, they explained the different grades curriculum's to us, and we were also shown some of the work that the students had sent in. The area that this school broadcasts to is the size of two states of Victoria, with Tasmania thrown in! It truly is amazing, and we really enjoyed the experience. At the end of the tour, Scarlett bought a reading book (and signed it), and then donated it back to the school for the students! She was so proud of herself!

Scarlett visiting the Longreach Fire Station

We then went for a look around the town of Longreach, which is a place full of history and nostalgia. The shopfronts and the big wide streets send you straight back to a time of horse drawn wagons and bullock teams. This is my idea of outback Australia!

Just watching the world go by....
Bec had us off to the local park/kids playground, where we enjoyed another great picnic lunch while Scarlett ran around in circles for ages. We then headed into the 'Kinnon & Co' Station Store, where we browsed through unique outback products including leathergoods, clothing, gifts and souvenirs. Scarlett found some stuffed toy 'Blue Heeler' dogs, and spent the entire time playing with them in the middle of the stores floor. The shop really is a treasure trove of all things country. I think that if we had the time or the money, Bec and I could of went crazy buying new items for the house we still have to refurnish once we return to work after our trip is over!

There was even an Old Time Photography Studio, and an old-time movie theatre on the premises. Out back of the Station Store, we found the 'Changing Station' CafĂ©, where we decided to get ourselves a cool refreshing drink as the temperature outside was creeping into the mid 30's! Bec savoured a Banana Smoothie that she swears black and blue is the best smoothie she has ever had, while I enjoyed an old style chocolate milkshake that certainly hit the spot! Scarlett tried a babycino, but wasn't overly impressed. Oh well, you can't win them all.

The two most amazing people in my life! My beautiful wife Bec, and our precious daughter Scarlett!

The 'naked' horse - 'Starlight Spectacular'
Next, we attended an old time Australian tent show, and watched and listened to the story of "Captain Starlight"; a local cattle duffer who stole a 1000 head of cattle from around here and drove them down to South Australia to sell. Lets just say it wasn't what I was expecting, but we all thoroughly enjoyed the show none the less. It was packed with poetic story telling, Australian humor, live animal acts, and stockmen/stockhorse comedy. Bec was laughing the whole time, and Scarlett was having a ball; especially when a Frizzle Rooster went walkabout from the show and 'took off' under the stand that we were sitting on! I would recommend this show to anyone who wants to experience a unique act of old Australia - but told with a twist!

Moments before our 'Gallop thru the scrub!'

Before we knew it, it was time  for my 'Wild Ride' on the Cobb & Co stagecoach. My girls came to see me off, (on my early birthday present), and Bec 'happened' to mention my Birthday to the driver. Before I knew what was happening I was then promptly seated up front with the driver! You Beauty! Better still, two 'older' tourists refused point blank to sign the indemnity form for the ride, so they were kicked off the coach - leaving two empty seats. The owner of Kinnon & Co - Richard - just happened to be our driver; so he offered both Bec and Scarlett a free ticket and passage, both jumping at the chance!

Our adventure included a 'Gallop' along an outback dirt track in our fully-laden Cobb & Co stagecoach, where we retraced the steps of Cobb & Co by travelling on the original mail route between Longreach and Windorah. We really enjoyed the unique history of Cobb & Co and Longreach. Richard (our driver) was a wealth of information, and during the ride he gave a hilarious commentary that was uniquely Australian! Both his commentary and humour made for an entertaining trip, but the highlight was when he let the 4 x Percheron Horses have their head and opened them up to a full 'gallop'! Sitting up front was amazing, and something I will remember forever! Thanks honey, I love you!

If you play the next two videos at the same time, it gives a unique insight into our great ride!

We finished the day by returning to Ilfracombe, and enjoying 'Happy Hour' back at the caravan park. We shared stories of our adventures over a 'quiet' drink with our newly made friends - both caravanning neighbours and hosts!

A great way to finish off the day in Outback QLD.


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