A stay at home Mum who doesn't stay at home much; too many exciting things to be discovering in this city...
Published June 5th 2012
My son loves anything to do with transport. Cars, trucks, boats, trams, planes, helicopters – you get the picture. Naively I had not anticipated this aspect of parenting a boy, as I grew up with 3 sisters and I'll confess that I don't really 'get it'. However I try my best to get excited for him when we see a tram in the city or a tractor cutting the grass in a field.
So when we found ourselves in Point Cook with an hour or so to kill I thought we might indulge his passion for all things with engines by visiting the RAAF Museum at Point Cook; the birthplace of the Australian Flying Corps and the Royal Australian Air Force. The museum is located on a working barracks so you have to sign in and get a pass in order to be admitted. Spread over 3 buildings, the museum is smallish but with plenty of displays to look at and lots of information to read.
The main building where you enter the museum is full of artefacts related to World War II. The displays are interesting and thoughtfully set out, and one very kind soul walked with us through the first room pointing out various bits and pieces. The most spectacular part of the museum is housed at the end of this building, where real aeroplanes, jets and helicopters have been lovingly restored to their former shining glory and make a dazzling display of aeronautics. My son was practically wetting himself with excitement at this point.
Two hangars on either side of the main building, house more aeroplanes and other related exhibits and there is also a restoration workshop where you can see workers lovingly restoring old planes. At 1pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays there are Flying Displays. Unfortunately we were there a little early to watch one, but we got lucky and saw a couple of planes presumably practising as they performed stunts like loop-the-loop and what I think was a barrel roll (I'm not very clued up on aeronautical manoeuvres).
At the end of the museum is a very reasonably priced gift shop, which was staffed by a lovely man when we visited who plied our son with all sorts of free balloons and stickers. Museum entry is also free and the entire operation is run by volunteers. The RAAF Museum is a great way to spend an hour or two if you know somebody with a passion for flying or planes. We were very impressed by the helpful and efficient staff and some of those shiny aeroplanes even had me half interested. If you're keen to visit, go to the museum website for information on opening hours and location.