Bike Odyssey
Sydney to Darwin 2001

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Journal for 17-Jul-2001 : Longreach
Date: 17/07/2001 (Location=Longreach, Dist=0km, Total=1969km)
Got to sleep in. Very nice.

Wandered down to the "Stockman's Hall of Fame". Quite a lot of interesting exhibits, the most interesting was the Longreach manually operated telephone phone exchange. This unit was straight from the 1920s complete with valves, manual connection plugs and black clicky panneling. The thing that was interesting is it was the only exchange in town as recently as 1987.

Longreach is no longer a disregarded backwater. I suspect a lot has to do with the name, but Longreach has been the benefit of a great deal of public investment over recent years as politicians vie to demonstrate they are looking after the "regional and rural Australia". The hall of fame was built on the back of the back of lots of government grants and "sponsorship" from government owned corporations. All the government services are here. The railway station gets 2 passenger trains a week, but still ha
s 2 staff operating the permanently manned ticket office (even though tickets are booked by calling a toll free number). They've set about building Local Area Traffic Management here. The road engineers were faced with quite a challenge building a roundabout which tripple trailer road trains can use. The result is the roundabout isn't quite round. All this public investment has worked too. Longreach is now a modern prosperous community, and hundreds of tourists a day stop here. The place has been done
up very nicely, with the skyscrapers water towers tastefully light up at night.

David F

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