Tuesday, October 13, 2015


On the move again today so it was a nice early start.  We found the Qantas Founder's Museum really interesting and by the time we left the day before we still had not even got to look into the original hanger and see the displays in there.

Since we were only travelling to Lara Wetlands today, a total of around 150kms, we figured that if we got away just after 8.30am, we would be able to drop back into the Qantas Museum and see the rest of the video's we missed and also wander through the  Hanger.

We got away at 8.40am and headed to the Qantas Museum, thinking that we would see the rest of it within an hour and be on our way by 10am.  We did not anticipate the amount of interesting things there were still to see out there and it was almost 11am before we finally got away.
 We watched a couple of video's on the restoration and the arrival of both the 747 and 707 planes to the Museum in Longreach.  We found them both very informative and interesting..
Seeing the old hanger was really interesting.  They had a couple of planes in there and also a larger theatre where we were albe to watch quite a bit about the history of aviation in Qld. 

The old bi plane in the hanger...
Steve was impressed with the old drill press
The old fuel tanks
The first Qantas domestic plane with a toilet on board....
Interesting to see inside this plane..
 How far has aviation come in the last 100 years.  It was interesting to see inside this plane.
The original Qantas passenger plane. 
Inside the Original Qantas passenger plane...
 The seats were pretty much dining room chairs bolted to the floor.  The upholstery was just a cloth cover with Qantas embroidered on it.  I think this plane could take 6-7 passengers.  
A bit squeesy to get into.
No air conditioning... original working conditions...
The main museum looks just like a plane...
Fare welling Longreach..
 As we drove to Longreach we drove through Ilfracombe.  It was only a small town but had a very impressive machinery museum along the highway.  As it was on the other side of the road, we decided that we would stop and check it out on our way back to Lara Wetlands.   They had a very impressive display and musseum, not only of machinery, but of household chattels,  guns, bottles, and the nicest part about it was that it was free to check this out. 
Coming into Ilfracombe
Just a few of the many different vehicles on display

We probably spent a good hour looking around Ilfracombe.  It was really interesting and then we headed straight through to Barcaldine, where we fueled up before heading south.  The scenery along the road changed completely.  There was a lot more bus, and the soil was very red. 
A lot more trees along the side of the road and little road kill
The soil is quite red out here... quite volcanic.
 The turn off to Lara Wetlands is only about 27kms south of Barcaldine.  It is hard to miss with this large sign on the side of the road at the turnoff. 
Hard to miss.
 It was then another 13kms of dirt road into the wetlands itself.  The road though is in good condition, and you don't even really need a 4WD to travel in there.  It is regularly graded.
13kms of pretty good dirt road in. 
Hard to beleive that at the end of this dirt road lies a little paradise
 What a little piece of paradise.  We loved it here.  Only wish we had more time up our sleeve and we would have spent a few nights in here. 
This is pretty much what greeted us at the end of the track...
A little green oasis.  $10 per person per night, sounded pretty good to us.  There is no power but you are allowed generators, however, they do have water and toilets and showers so it really is a lovely spot to stay.  They also had wheelbarrows of wood for those that didn't want to chop their own.  $5 a barrow load.  Each camp site had their own fire pit.   There were probably more than 40 vans here but all scattered around the wetlands, so it still was very quite and peaceful. 
Beautiful, green and peaceful
Even had the funny dunny out there...
Apparently we should have looked behind this dunny as they had the throne of all thrones.  We missed it but friends of ours who had been out a couple of months ago saw it. 

We were able to drive right around the whole wetlands and find a spot we wanted to camp in.  So we took a slow drive around but ended up coming back to a lovely patch of green grass near the amenities block, and where we could get a good view of the sunset over the wetlands. 
Our campsite amongst the trees

We set up our vans and then decided to have a cuppa.  We had missed as we were travelling but didn't really feel like having it so a cuppa and snack tied us over. 
Enjoying a cuppa
Chilling out.
What a view
What a view we had....
Our view
After all the the sitting we had been doing driving today, we decided to go for a nice walk around the lagoon to check out what Lara Wetlands offers..  I am afraid there will be a photo overload here because we really loved this spot. 
Canoes for canoeing on the water
Looking back across the wetlands towards our vans
We walked around the wetlands to go exploring.  They have a camp kitchen is near the naturally heated pool.  The kitchen really suited the wetlands, all made from natural timeber and iron, fits right in.  There is plenty of room under it.  the Girl Guides were out here camping and using the kitchen whilst we were there. 
Camp Kitchen
Cooking area.  - Lovely big barbecues. 
Next we headed for the heated artesian pool.  The water coming out of the ground and filling this pool was about 50 degrees C.  It was really quite hot. 
Heading into the hot pool area. 
Looking back on the camp kitchen
Heated pool
It was very popular
Where the hot water feeds into the pool

Looking across the hot pool to the camp kitchen. 
Dressing room and shower
Enjoying the views from the otherside of the wetlands. 
 There were plenty of flies out here.  They didn't seem to trouble our faces but they sure loved our backs. 
Flies are loving Kathy
 From here we continued our walk and headed off towards the cool pool.  This is another pool that actually feeds into the larger body of water in the wetlands. 
Sitting around the Cool Pool
Looking across the cool pool towards the wetlands
Children canoeing on the cool pool
 Meanwhile whilst we were enjoying watching the children have a good time on the water.  Steve spied this little fellow. 
Wonderful wildlife wandering around. 
We were amazed at how close we were able to get up to him.
 Seeing this little fellow made our day.  The Wetlands are full of amazing bird life also, and we had fun photographing them when we got back to our van. 
As we wandered further around the lake we came across these reindeer  in the water.  It is these little treats that make Lara quite special
These little fellows caught us by surprise. 
Up close and personal with them
 We looked straight across the wetlands and could see our vans. 
Viewing our vans from the otherside of the wetlands. 
 We had to pick up our pace a bit as we could see the going down rather quickly and we wanted to be back at our vans to really enjoy the sunset. 

Not long to sunset...
Picking up our pace...
 By the time we got back to our van,  the wetlands were teaming with birdlife.  It was just amazing watching them all and listening to their different sounds.
Some of the amazing birdlife....

Some of the amazing birdlife at Lara
 The sunsets out here were amazing... and it was so nice to just sit relax and enjoy it...
A special Lara sunset...
Sunset at Lara
 We honestly could have spent at least another couple of days here.  It is the perfect spot to unwind and relax but yet there is still plenty to do here if you want some exercise. 
The boys decided to get our fire going before the sun completely went down.  They were both still boys at heart having fun with fire. 
Chopping some wood for the fire...
They have a raging fire going..
 As we have no power tonight,  the boys were going to cook our dinner on the fire...

Waiting for it to die down so that they can boil the billy

 It was quite cool, and I really didn't bring a lot of warm clothes,  just three quarter sleeve jackets, so I had to dig out our snuggle rug to keep warm.  It was nice sitting around the fire chatting and toasting marshmallows.   We really didn't want the night to end. 
Toasting marshmallows
We need to do more of this sort of camping
 We really did enjoy our time at Lara, and we will definitely be back, and for more than one night next time.  We had a reasonably early night,  no power and internet to download photos.  Also we knew we had a pretty early start in the morning as we were heading all the way to Charleville,  it would be our longest haul yet these holidays with well over 400 kms to drive. 

Highlights of the day today....
Almost too many to count....
1.  Seeing an echinda in the wild and getting close enough to photograph it.
2.  Lara Wetlands and it's natural beauty and peace and quiet..
3.  Abundant birdlife and all the amazing colours.
4.  Magnificent sunset over the wetlands..
5. Toasting marshmallows around the camp fire and enjoying the company of really good friends.  


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