The Longreach Stockmans Hall of Fame was one of the items at the top of our bucket list as we prepared for our Austerity Road Trip of Australia.
The Stockmans Hall of Fame begins before arriving inside, when we got to meet the stars of the show.
There is so much to look at in this place. If you don't get to see everything in one day, there's another day tomorrow. Just arrange a pass to return before leaving.
Such a lovely natured border collie, in my mind she was one of the stars of the show. She was so eager to please her master, she wanted to hop in to help.
Each time Geoff went to leave, she'd grab his attention. When I came in for my shake hands, she just lay down and wasn't interested at all.
We slotted into the 11am show. And we learnt more than just about stockmen and the animals that support them in their work.
Did you know that the country folk acknowledge a fellow motorist on the road (even if they don't know them), with a lift of the pointer finger off the steering wheel. No one replies back, the closer you get to the city, and when they do, the drivers think, "another stockman". So we got into the swing of it, lifting our forefinger, and receiving the reply as we traveled through the Outback.
I hope I'm not boring you too much with the show. I know we kind of see farmers at work in NZ everyday we're on the highways and byways, but this blue heeler was amazing. His job was to shepherd the sheep, keeping the stockman on point (in the lead at the front). As he walked this way and that she was flat tack keeping those sheep in order. She just didn't stop. And yes, he let us into the secret truth about the blue heeler - they've tested the DNA and there is a bit of Dingo in them. The stockman believed that was what gave the blue heeler the tenacity to keep on working.
To be honest, we learnt heaps and the animals performed so clever tricks as well as showing how a working dog, stock and stockmen work, but we were a bit disapointed in the show. And some of that might come from our own backgrounds. I don't want to put anyone off seeing the show. It was priced right and there's a lot of work goes on behind the scene's to pull the show together. They say not to work with kids and animals, so under that proviso it was pretty good.
There was audience participation - always good.
After the show, there's the opportunity to meet the stars.
The Hall of Fame was absolutely wonderful. It was such a great idea to honour the pioneers of Australia, not just the people who were famous, or held high office, but the people who worked the land. The people who went before. There are so many people, we would needed to have been here for a week. I decided to follow the women of the outback. I would have struggled, just with the heat, dust and flies, let alone the distances from neighbours, doctors and just supplies - no supermarkets to "pop" down to.
From architecture to art, our visit here was one of the highlights of our road trip into the Outback of Australia, and helped us fall in love with this very special part of Aussie.
... here's the art.
So what is the Stockmans Hall of Fame? Is it a museum? An art gallery? A recording of social history? Music? The Flying Doctors? The indigenous people?
It's a big yes to all of those things. But it is much more than that.
I hope you'll add this place to your bucket list. I'm so glad we did.
I'll leave you with some close up detail of the mural...
Two Kiwi's who have retired early to travel the world. Share our journey with us.