‘The Historical Aircraft Restoration Society Museum’ is way too much of a mouthful, so its no wonder this wonderful aviation museum is more affectionately known as HARS.
We’ve driven past HARS in Albion Park loads of times over the years, but I had never thought to stop in before. I didn’t realise just how much was hiding behind the wire fences.
HARS Aviation Museum is one of the largest and most unique collections of aeroplanes in the Southern Hemisphere. It houses more than 40 aircraft of historical significance. And many are quite amazingly kept in airworthy condition.
It was a spur of the moment decision to stop in last week. We were driving home from Kiama and I decided to surprise my five-year-old who loves everything and anything to do with aeroplanes.
But wow! You don’t have to be an aeroplane enthusiast to enjoy the HARS experience. I was amazed by how up close and personal we were able to get with the planes both inside the hangar and out on the tarmac. And it was a real treat for the kids to be able to sit in the cockpit of the world’s fastest jet bomber.
We had our own private tour with the lovely Bob. He was super patient with the kids and was full of great stories and information about the planes, from the Tiger Moth and Dakota of the 1930s through to the fastest jets and airliners of the 2000s.
A definite highlight was walking through QANTAS’ Boeing 747-438, now retired after more than 25 years of service.
We spent a good two hours in the museum exploring, mainly with Bob (you need a guide to get to all the best stuff as you walk through a working hangar), but we also had time on our own to look at some of the displays.
HARS is run entirely by volunteers, most of which are retired and active aircraft maintenance engineers, pilots and cabin crew who either have or still work for Qantas. They are all passionate about their planes which makes the tours extra special.
If your heading to Kiama, or even if you’re not, HARS is well worth the visit.
HARS: The Lowdown
- Where is it? HARS is on the corner of Airport Road and Boomerang Avenue in Albion Park, approximately 140km or 1.25 hours south of Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport and 20km north of Kiama.
- Opening hours? The Museum is open daily from 9:30am to 3:30pm (except Christmas Day)
- How Much? Adults $20, children $8. Children under 5 go free. Admission includes a guided tour of the operational hangar.
- Tip? Just go! Its a fantastic museum and where else are you going to be able to sit in the cockpit of a fighter plane??
This isn’t a sponsored post. My family just had a blast and we want more people to discover this awesome place!