The RFDS has a number of tourist centres around the country where you can visit to learn more about the work of the Flying Doctor.
With the travel restrictions now easing, there are many places you can visit the RFDS around Australia! Stop into one of our many visitor centres to learn more about the diverse work of the RFDS. Our tourist centres provide a variety of interactive experiences where you can see what happens at a working RFDS base, learn about the rich history of the world's first aeromedical organisation and find out more about how the Flying Doctor supports over 1000 country Australians every day.
1. Sugar Bird Lady monument, Jandakot, WA
2. Jimmy Darcy Grave, Halls Creek
3. Darwin RFDS Tourist Facility, perched on Darwin’s beautiful waterfront, this award-winning Tourist Facility tells the story of the Flying Doctor. Immerse yourself in the John Flynn hologram presentation and virtual reality experience and complete your visit by taking part in the 1942 WWII Bombing of Darwin exhibit at the same venue.
4. Alice Springs RFDS Tourist Facility, housed in Alice’s original RFDS base, find out why the Flying Doctor remains so critical for those who choose to live and work in the bush. See and learn through the heroic tales of the service in Central Australia since 1939.
5. School of the Air, Alice Springs
6. John Flynn's Grave, Alice Springs, in the foothills of the MacDonnell Ranges outside of Alice Springs is Flynn’s final resting place. The grave features a plaque concisely expressing a lifetime’s achievements: “His vision encompassed the continent.”
7. John Flynn Place Museum, Cloncurry
8. Stockmans Hall of Fame, Longreach
9. Charleville RFDS Visitors Centre, learn about the history of the RFDS and see how far we have come. Located next to the operational Charleville base which commenced operations in 1943 and services approximately 622,000 square kilometres of southwest Queensland - an area almost the size of the United Kingdom.
10. Broken Hill Outback Heritage Experience, uniquely located within a real-life working Flying Doctor base you can view RFDS team members take aeromedical emergency calls or track our aircraft fleet in real-time. Gain behind-the-scenes insight into where the RFDS TV show was filmed.
12. National Museum of Australia, Canberra
13. John Flynn Memorial, Moliagul
The Australian Outback offers spectacular scenery and the chance for a great adventure. But it is important to be ready for the rigours of travelling in isolated areas. Unfortunately, up to a quarter of the emergency medical evacuations that the RFDS carries out each year are the result of city travellers who get into trouble on their outback adventure.
Click on the map below to find out more about visitors centres near you and discover how the Flying Doctor supports Australians in rural and remote Australia. By visiting one of our tourist facilities you are supporting the work of the RFDS.
29th July 1917, the accident of stockman Jim Darcy causes a chain of events that eventually leads to the founding of the Flying Doctor Service in Australia. For more information on the founding of the RFDS, read more here.
The monument commemorates the Reverend John Flynn (1880-1951), founder of the Australian Inland Mission and the Flying Doctor Service. The monument is opposite where he was born. The monument was erected by local residents, the council of Bet Bet and the Australian Inland Mission. It consists of a 12-foot column of brick construction, a local stone wall and a propeller. The propeller was supplied by Australian National Airlines.
In honour of the extraordinary efforts and achievements of Australia’s early pioneers, the Cloncurry John Flynn Place Museum pays tribute to Reverend John Flynn and his team for their dedication and success in overcoming isolation and bringing communication education, and health to remote Australia. The museum takes you on a journey following in Flynn’s footsteps from conception, birth; and legacy of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, born in Cloncurry, 1928 to improve the quality of life for rural Australians.
Flynn’s vision took him on a lifelong adventure connecting him with the likes of genius innovators like Alfred Traeger, the inventive genius who “gave voice to the outback” with his pedal radio’s, veteran pilots; hardened nurses and everyday heroes living in the harshest and remote conditions in the Country. The Museum commemorates the committed men and women who dedicated their lives to the dream.
The John Flynn's Memorial Historical Reserve is the resting place for the ashes of the Reverend John Flynn, founder of the Flying Doctor Service and the Australian Inland Mission.
The grave is on a low hill at the foot of the MacDonnell Ranges. The plaque expresses a lifetime achievement in just a few lines "His vision encompassed the continent". He established the Australian Inland Mission and founded the Royal Flying Doctor Service. He brought to lonely places a spiritual ministry and spread a mantle of safety over them by medicine and the radio.’
Click here to know more about John Reverend Flynn.
The monument which is a representation of her Mooney aircraft commemorates pilot and nurse Robin Miller Dicks who was known as "The Sugar Bird Lady."
Robin Miller (1940 - 1975), known as "The Sugarbird Lady", was an Australian aviatrix and nurse. The name "The Sugarbird Lady" was given to her by outback Aboriginal children during her work combatting polio. She died of cancer at the age of 35. In 1973 she married Harold Dicks, the director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and became Robin Miller Dicks. After her death, Dicks set up an AUD$50,000 memorial foundation to help nurses get flying licences. Robin Miller Dicks was the daughter of writer and historian Dame Mary Durack and pioneer aviator Horrie Miller OBE.
Got a long drive ahead of you? Make sure you download the Flying Doctor Podcast to keep you company. In this podcast, we talk to real patients and their families about mateship, life in the bush, and the role that the Royal Flying Doctor Service plays in servicing rural communities.