Category Archives: Broken Hill

— Broken Hill —

Outback Travel Guide – New South Wales’ Outback by Train

WRITTEN BY EDITOR • FEBRUARY 13, 2016

  • ***Created in partnership with our sponsor NSW TrainLink***

    Discover the natural beauty of the NSW outback by rail with NSW TrainLink. The Western Route can take you to the spectacular Menindee Lakes and the famous opal-mining town of Lightning Ridge, with the silver city of Broken Hill at the end of the line. Our fleet of fully air-conditioned trains makes travelling to the outback easy and relaxing. Sit back in spacious and comfortable seating and enjoy magnificent views of the outback’s classic red soil and deep blue skies through panoramic windows.

    Contact: 13 28 29; nswtrainlink.info

    Australian Traveller Issue 61

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    — Broken Hill —

    The outback road trip: beating the heat

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • MARCH 25, 2014

    When Australia heads to the coast, Steve Madgwick takes the path of most resistance straight into an outback furnace to discover if ‘low-season’ travel is possible (and/or pleasurable).

    The road is melting. Yet another warning? Ignore. Must keep going! My rental car security deposit is probably lost anyway. The Corolla’s pearl white duco is freckled with molten pieces of tarmac, which the 45-degree heat has fused on – and I’m not even close yet. 

    “Why would you want to drive into the outback at this time of year?” a chorus of friends and strangers had asked me when I told them I was planning to head north from Kangaroo Island, through the Adelaide Hills, en route back to Sydney, the long way via Broken Hill.

    Initially I didn’t have a coherent answer. At a time when most ‘normal’ Australians are fighting for their piece of 36,000 kilometres of coastline, I would be making my way to NSW’s ‘Dead Heart’ in the midst of a January heatwave.

    Most authoritative travel advice, including guidebooks such as Lonely Planet, frowns on outback-bound summer travel.

    In his book In a Sunburned Country, American author Bill Bryson goes one step further, likening the outback to our deadliest predators: “You may be fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles, or carried helplessly out to sea by irresistible currents, or left to stagger to an unhappy death in the baking outback.”

    My last line of defence, the South Australian town of Burra’s tourist information office, sings the same tune. The amicable woman is flummoxed at the idea of driving a further 350 kilometres into nothingness.
    “You know it’s going to be near 50 degrees out there?” she asks.

    “Yeah, I’m sticking to the main road,” I say.

    She tilts her head and arches her eyebrows. She thinks I’m unhinged. Well, maybe. But I am also in the majority of Australians who hasn’t even been close to an area of the country that is said in many ways to define it. This is, I s’pose, why I am ignoring the venomous heat and well-wishing naysayers.

    She sends me on my way with a pointed warning about not pulling off the road because my car’s engine heat could spark a massive scrub fire, “like the other day”.

    The flowing wheat fields hastily surrender into a semi-arid expanse: grey saltbush, hardy grass, low khaki scrub, red dirt. A quicksilver heat haze swallows both sides of the horizon, like I’ve misnavigated onto an uncharted Belgium-sized inland lake.

    The traffic dries to a trickle; big rigs mostly. A lone emu plays a high-speed game of chicken with me, before dramatically exiting stage left, leaving me staring in blinking wonder. Most wildlife is either asleep in the shade or pre-flattened on the highway. There is, however, an abundance of feral goats snacking on thorny bushes. Tough udders indeed.

    I reach Silver City mid-afternoon and cruise down the main drag. It is deserted. The ’Hill is in lockdown, an enforced summer siesta. Travelling ridiculously out of season comes with its benefits: accommodation is noticeably empty and prices reasonable. I have my pick of the rooms at the Palace Hotel (the Priscilla pub with the kitschy murals).

    Taking my cue from the locals, like a desert lizard I wait out the remainder of the afternoon on the hotel’s broad verandah, each beer staying cool for all of three minutes. The latent heat hovers heavily as the sun sets. I drive up to the top of the all-surveying silver skimp dump, essentially a mound of mining waste that imposes itself over the ’Hill, a superb spot to gain some perspective over this settlement of many personalities.

    A small group emerges from their air-conned hibernation, gathering around me to sunset worship. An older couple sparks up conversation, as though we’ve met before. They are happy I’ve made the effort to come all this way and seem relieved I actually made it in one piece.

    We gawp at a trillion stars slowly replacing the day’s last sunlight. Behind us, some distance away, a blinking Royal Flying Doctor Service plane lands at its base. Yep, I’m in the outback now.

    The couple insists I go for a swim in their pool tomorrow. They also list other places to keep cool and give me their phone number – “just in case”.  Does high-season hospitality stretch this far?

    Over the next few days, as the furnace maintains its rage, I visit the area’s must-dos at a distinctly off-season pace. A cool(er) evening is spent at the stunning Living Desert Reserve, ogling the majestic rock sculptures against a backdrop that defines infinity. I stroll around Pro Hart’s (exquisitely air-conditioned) gallery, all by myself. I negotiate the ‘39 dips’ along the road to Silverton; Priscilla and Mad Max territory.

    I stop. I rest. I walk slowly. I drink water mechanically.

    Even further out at Broken Hill’s Riviera, Menindee Lakes, I sit and watch galahs act like galahs, dancing crazily ’round a sprinkler. I spy an eagle the size of a four-year-old child perched on a post. She stares at me as though she is my master. I revel in my stubborn defiance that has exposed me to all of this. 

    Australian author Ian Parkes once wrote that the outback landscape seizes you, even in intense heat. At first, just the concept of the landscape seized me and then the landscape itself grasped me. The outback had made the decision for me to head north, I didn’t have a say in it. A little thing like summer was never going to get in my way.

     

    MORE: The Australian outback anyway you want it

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    — Broken Hill —

    Silver City Tours

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • JANUARY 10, 2014

    As the longest-serving tour operator in the Far Western Region of NSW, Silver City Tours is a fantastic way to explore this region. These organised tours – from half-day to six day adventures – allow you to ‘sit back, relax and enjoy’ in comfort, safety and style.

    Our half and full-day tours of Broken Hill and surrounds include White Cliffs Opal Field, Menindee Lakes and Kinchega National Park, Silver Trail – The Complete Experience, City Sights and Heritage Tour, and much more. Special tours can also be arranged for groups.

    Contact Details
    T: 1300 723 583
    W: silvercitytours.com.au

    — Broken Hill —

    Broken Hill

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • JANUARY 10, 2014

    Broken Hill offers each visitor a diverse, culturally-rich outback experience. Take a few days to discover the area’s vibrant colour, amazing scenery and friendly people. Explore diverse national parks, view distinctive architecture, experience expansive vistas, or take time out to relax in the real outback. With a mix of modern conveniences and authentic hospitality, it will be an experience to remember.

    Contact Details
    T : (08) 8080 3560
    E: tourist@brokenhill.nsw.gov.au
    W : www.brokenhillaustralia.com.au

    — Broken Hill —

    Broken Hill: the Silver City with Outback soul

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • MAY 20, 2013

    The Silver City is a place overflowing with outback soul and adventure right on its doorstep, writes Jessica Schumann

    Drenched in light, vast blue skies and clear nights ablaze with stars, Broken Hill is a Mecca for artists and is a culture hub in its own right.

    Situated just 50km from the South Australian border, the affectionately named Silver City is rich with authentic experiences, artefacts waiting to be discovered, and an overflow of nationally significant heritage.

    Broken Hill will greet you with classic outback hospitality, impressive history and a powerful punch of breathtaking beauty. It is one of the few places in the world where you can stand in a street with civilisation at your back and nothing but red desert as far as the eye can see in front of you.

    Since its inception in the 1880s, the Silver City is today recognised as the boldest of the Australian outback locales, giving way to a local passion for the arts, culture and literary connections.

    Art deco shops interlace an offering of more than 30 quirky art galleries, each featuring the works of local artists inspired by the town’s  architecture and stunning surrounds;  none more jaw-dropping then the colossal canvas appropriately titled ‘The Big Picture’, which features more than one million brush strokes and took five years to conceptualise.

    But the mining town offers visitors more than just a collection of brush strokes and acrylic paints with gateways to a breathtaking range of diverse landscapes to explore including the vast expanse of the Mundi Mundi plains near Silverton, the mesmerising Menindee Lakes in Kinchega National Park and the rugged, red vibrancy of the Bynguano Ranges surrounding Mutawintji National Park.

    Originally made up of nine natural ephemeral lakes and holding more than four times the volume of Sydney Harbour, the Menindee Lakes are a comfortable one-hour drive south-east from Broken Hill and rewards the outback traveller with one of the finest freshwater fishing spots in NSW. They lakes  are also home to an array of waterbirds; a living dream for any photographer.

    One-day tours of Kinchega National Park, departing from Broken Hill, are available through Tri State Safaris, with morning tea on the banks of Lake Pamamaroo the perfect introduction to the Menindee Lakes system before exploring the majestic lakebeds and rich pastoral history of Kinchega.

    Silver City Tours embrace the outback offering tours of the region and its history with local guides; its tours include Menindee Lakes and Kinchega National Park.

    If you’re not a morning person, then an afternoon basking in the winter sun, sipping on billy tea with the Barkindji Elders on the banks of the Darling River at Kinchega,  may be more enticing before indulging in one of the modern hotels and havens in Broken Hill for the night.

    The city’s central location makes it the ideal base from which to explore the entire outback region. With a decent night’s sleep behind you, it’s time to venture north to the remote, rugged country of Mutawintji National Park.

    Home to the famous hand-stencil art of local indigenous communities, remnants of forgotten fireplaces, stone flakes and rock engravings can be discovered in guided walking tours or in the serenity of a private tour with Tri State Safaris or their sister tour company, Mutwintji Eco Tours, which has more than 20 years experience. Tri State Safaris also offer guided passenger or vehicle tag-along one-day tours. Dreamtime stories are brought to life by the ancient wonders of the land as they’re revealed at every turn of the river red-gum lined gorges and rock-pools; a majestic activity lead by local Aboriginal guides.

    If one-day tours aren’t for you then an overnight stay is the ideal way to breathe in the fresh country air and unwind under the stars that spread across the vast outback skies. Set up camp beside the Darling River and soak in the tranquil vibe of the idyllic riverside campground, or head across to the Kinchega Shearers Quarters for a taste of simple living if the comfort of a bed is preferred (bookings essential).

    Or pitch a tent under the towering river red gums at Homestead Creek campground at Mutawintji National Park. Suitable for caravans and camper trailers, this large and well-equipped campground is the perfect location for relaxing on your touring holiday throughout Outback NSW.

    More information

    For accommodation options and other ways to make planning a trip to Outback NSW easy, visit NSW National Parks.

     

    — Broken Hill —

    100 Best Views In Australia #78 Silverton, NSW

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • APRIL 1, 2012

    Where is it?

    20km West of Broken Hill, on Silverton Road

    How to see it for yourself?

    To get to Silverton from Broken Hill, drive for about 20 minutes along Silverton Rd.

    Why I love it

    “The colour of the sand matches the colour of the rusting car, which is embedded in the most amazing landscape in the NSW outback. It’s a must-see!” – Hartmut Toepler

    Image by Hartmut Toepler

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    — Broken Hill —

    100 Best Views In Australia #90 Mundi Mundi Plains, NSW

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • APRIL 1, 2012

    Where is it?

    29km west of Broken Hill, 4km west of Silverton

    How to see it for yourself?

    Drive from Broken Hill along Silverton Rd, following signs to the Mundi Mundi Lookout.

    Why I love it

    “From here you can see more than 150km over a whole lot of nothing. Even the curvature of the earth can be seen. It’s an iconic place as parts of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert were filmed here.” – Hartmut Toepler

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    — Broken Hill —

    Out and About: Broken Hill

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • MARCH 1, 2012

    It’s the outback NSW mining town that may just be Bloke Heaven, but there’s much more to it than big machinery and holes in the ground, writes Elisabeth Knowles.
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    — Broken Hill —

    Broken Hill

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • JUNE 10, 2011

     Down to earth experiences are everywhere Continue reading

    — Broken Hill —

    100 Things To Do Before You Die #097 See The Sculpture in Broken Hill

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • MARCH 28, 2011

    Where is it? 9km north of Broken Hill, NSW 

    Take a picnic and watch the sun set over one of the world’s most spectacular outdoor galleries, the Sculpture Symposium: 12 individual stone works carved by Australian and international artists in 1993. To see the sculptures at their best, get there at either end of the day as a pink and yellow sky swirls around, perfectly complementing the works. Broken Hill itself is rich in history, with spotless parks and gardens, more galleries than pubs and fantastic restaurants.
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    — Broken Hill —

    Outback Escape: Kinchenga National Park

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • SEPTEMBER 13, 2010

    Kinchega National Park lies about 111km southeast of Broken Hill. Liz Schaffer pays it a visit
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    — Broken Hill —

    Emaroo Argent Holiday House – Broken Hill

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • SEPTEMBER 9, 2009

    Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Great Australian Holiday Homes Continue reading

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    — Broken Hill —

    Milton Lavers: hidden treasure of the outback

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • JULY 6, 2009

    Craig Roberts unearths an overlooked tourism gem in Broken Hill – a rock collector with a mineral display to rival any in the country. Continue reading

    — Broken Hill —

    Exploring the Artback

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • JULY 6, 2009

    A cynical Craig Roberts explores the artistic landscape of Broken Hill and discovers plenty to be amazed by . . . Continue reading

    — Broken Hill —

    Royal Exchange Hotel

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • MAY 26, 2009

    Explore the Australian Outback and stay Art Deco Style at Broken Hill’s Royal Exchange Hotel. All your leisure and business needs will be met. A special Australian Traveller Promotion.

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    — Broken Hill —

    Tag along on a Bushmail Run

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • MAY 8, 2009

    The Broken Hill Bush Mail Run is a no-frills “tour” that’s as real as they come. Nothing’s staged, nothing’s contrived. It’s just you, the ever-changing scenery, some highly eccentric mailboxes and hundreds of kilometres of honest to goodness outback. Words by David Whitely Continue reading

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    — Broken Hill —

    100 Best Towns In Australia #25 Broken Hill, NSW

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • MARCH 25, 2009

    Surrounded by desert in a 300km radius, Broken Hill is smack bang in the middle of nowhere – or the middle of everywhere, as locals like to say. The compact town has grown to be a culturally diverse and vibrant hotspot. It’s not only home to dingoes, dust and desert peas but to the oldest mosque in Australia, established in 1880 by camel drivers, with one of our country’s oldest synagogues just across town.

    Aboriginals and explorers passing through used the area around what is today the capital of the outback as a base, and the town itself wasn’t founded until 1883, when boundary rider Charles Rasp discovered what he thought was tin – and later turned out to be silver and ore.

    The isolated Silver City’s mining history is evident from the moment you set foot on its Main Street but the name-giving hills with a break in them no longer exist; they were mined away.

    As panellist Fleur Bainger says, “You can’t go past a place with street names like Gypsum, Bromide and Iodide. It also boasts more pubs than you can poke a stick at, and a massive, vibrant arts community typified by Pro Hart. It’s rough, rugged, quirky and beautiful – an ideal mix.”

    With its historic and artistic appeal, there’s much to see even before you venture beyond the town’s edge. When you do, you’ll discover why many visitors return: the heart-stopping beauty of the Living Desert Flora and Fauna Sanctuary and its majestic Sculpture Symposium.

    Where? // 1159km west of Sydney, 422km northeast of Adelaide. Did you know? // During WWII all of Australia’s gold reserves were moved to Broken Hill Gaol (the last place the Japanese would look). So, for a while, instead of stopping people from breaking out, the jail had to stop them from breaking in.

     

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    — Broken Hill —

    100 Best Towns In Australia #47 Silverton, NSW

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • MARCH 25, 2009

    A town so emblematic that every time anyone in TV or film wants to portray the outback they head straight to Silverton. Having Mad Max’s Interceptor parked out front of the Silverton Hotel reveals how readily the town wants to cash in on its celluloid ubiquity.

    Silverton peaked as a town in 1885 when the discovery of silver lit the beacon for speculators and miners to follow; once the bigger deposits around Broken Hill were discovered, the population ebbed thataway. The whole experience of being in Silverton is frankly surreal. Solitary, small historical buildings occasionally pierce the red dusty landscape over an area equivalent to several football fields. Most of the buildings are now empty, but those in use are well worth a visit.

    “What I’d call a character town. With its Mad Max landscape, rich history and thriving arts scene, it’s well worth the dusty drive.” – Fleur Bainger

    There are several art galleries; out front of Peter Browne’s gallery you’ll find the painted VW beetles. The Gaol and Courthouse has a fine collection of relics and documents. Silverton is usually referred to as a ghost town, but this is a bit insulting to the 50 or so permanent residents who rely on visitors.

    Just north of Silverton is Mundi Mundi lookout, which provides an absolutely stunning vista of the flat plains that continue from that point until they fetch up at the Indian Ocean in WA.

    Where? // 1140km (15hrs) west of Sydney, 530km (6hrs 45mins) northeast of Adelaide.

    Did you know? // While BHP may carry the Broken Hill name, the company is reported to have been formed in the Silverton Hotel in 1885. The Silverton Gaol Museum has a document that shows one of the original founders of the mining giant sold his stake for 10 steers before the extent of the find was known.

     

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    — Broken Hill —

    Spotlight on Broken Hill

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • MARCH 3, 2009

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    — Broken Hill —

    05 Four States, Many Corners

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • MAY 27, 2008

    Australian Traveller looks at The Four States Many Corners Trek, one of Australia’s 10 Greatest Outback Journeys. Continue reading

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