Heading to Wollongong with a budding pilot? Check out the amazing historic aircraft at the HARS Museum (HARS = Historical Aircraft Restoration Society)! I won’t pretend I know anything about historical aircraft, but my boys do love planes. Especially planes they can clamber about.
If the weather isn’t great for the beach, a visit to the HARS Museum is a fabulous option. HARS is a working museum, which means you must take a guided tour. We even got to wear snazzy high-vis vests.
Our lovely tour guide, Wendy, told us the tour normally takes one to one and a half hours. I was a little nervous about the boys short attention spans. We mentioned this to Wendy, who suggested a tour to cater for the kids. I could have hugger her! Wendy skipped the detailed historical parts of the tour and took us straight to the planes the boys could explore.
Wendy’s special kid tour included the Qantas 747-400, a F-111 fighter jet, a neptune bomber, the famous ‘Connie’ and a troop carrier. The boys really were in their element. They each got to sit in F-111 and of course pretended to speed through the air.
The biggest lad declared that the troop carrier wouldn’t be very comfortable if you were flying to Indonesia. Amazingly the troop carrier was used by the Royal Australian Air Force during World War 2 and in the Vietnam War. It was only decommissioned by the RAFF in 2000 at the ripe old age of 55!
I was fascinated to see ashtrays in the armrests of every seat on the Connie! I forget that not smoking on plans is a relatively new thing. There’s something to interest every member of the family at the HARS Museum.
The HARS Museum – details
Where: The HARS Museum is in Albion Park, about 20 minutes out of Wollongong. It’s on the corner of Airport Road and Boomerang Avenue. The signposting is a little confusing, but trust your GPS.
When: HARS is open every day (except Good Friday and Christmas Day). Tours are available any time between 9:30am and 3:30pm. Tours generally last from 1-1.5 hours.
Cost: $20 for each adult, $8 a child, children 5 and under free. A family of 2 adults and up to 4 children is $55.
What else? If you can, arrive early in the day. We got to HARS at about 10 and it was relatively quite. As we were leaving 2 hours later it was much busier. There is free parking on site.
If you are off to the HARS Museum with kids, don’t be shy about requesting a tour that’s catered to your kids needs. I suspect some of the volunteer guides are more accommodating than others, but really, what’s the harm in asking? Perhaps you’ll get lucky and have Wendy as your guide. Our biggest lad even requested we have a family photo, with Wendy, who kindly posed with us!.
Looking for other things to do in Wollongong? I highly recommend the Early Start Discovery Space at the UOW. Or if you need a great day trip for kids around Sydney, try this for little fire fighters, this for mini farmers and this for apple lovers.
Any plane enthusiasts in your family? You must take a trip to visit the HARS Museum.
Linking up with Kylie for #IBOT