Qantas Founders Museum
Experience | history | Longreach | museum | Central West | Queensland

Qantas Founders Museum

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by Susie Baber  |  28 July 2022

The tight schedule of our inland trek up to Cairns and Cape York allowed for just a flying visit through Longreach. I would love to have stayed for longer and seen the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, had dinner at Harry’s and go for a ride on a Cobb and Co stagecoach. Sadly we would only have time for one attraction and for us the choice was obvious. My better half has always been airplane mad, we weren’t going to get away without spending some time at the Qantas Founders Museum.

Andrew was like a kid in a candy store.

The Museum is run as a not for profit and much of the work is done by volunteers, it always makes me more inclined to pay for a tour if I know the money is going straight back into the facility. General admission to the museum is $33 and for this you can spend as many hours as you like exploring the Main Museum building and exhibition hall, the Catalina Display and the National Heritage Listed Qantas Hangar. Easy to read displays, genuine artifacts and interactive multimedia exhibits tell the story of Qantas from its early days in Outback Queensland to present day. Displays focus on the four founders of Qantas, as well as life in Outback Queensland in the 1920s and the advancement and impact of aviation in Australia and the world.

The original museum was opened in 1996 in the old Qantas Hanger, with the new more modern building opening in 2002 including a restaurant, four galleries and the main exhibition hall. More recently a striking roof was built over the museum’s airpark enclosure to protect the iconic aircraft from the fierce Western Queensland sun.

If you would like to add a tour of the Airpark to get up close and personal with a 747, DC-3, 707 and a Super Constellation you are up to $72 each, and being allowed to climb aboard the planes it really what it is all about… There are also options to upgrade to a ‘Wing Walk’ on a 747 and an evening light show in the Airpark enclosure.

This was another case of me not planning enough and we were lucky to get the last two tickets a tour of the airpark that started in a few minutes. We quickly ducked into the museum before our tour started and then came back to finish it off after the big planes. We almost missed the Catalina and original Qantas hanger outside, noticing the signs on our way out.

Well worth a visit, the introductory audio-visual presentation, exceptional displays and interactive exhibits take you on a fascinating journey through the history of Qantas. From humble beginnings as a mail service to its monumental leap into passenger transport in 1922.

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