This photo was taken from www.travelpod.com
The mining town of Broken Hill is unlike any other place you’ll ever visit. Here Australia’s pioneering past mingles with the colourful contemporary and for a city seemingly in the middle of nowhere, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied. Spend some time here and you’ll see why people often come for a short visit and never leave.
The town is full of friendly, welcoming people, there are plenty of bars and restaurants, mobile phone reception is no problem around the city, and it is easy to navigate (that is, providing you switch the GPS system off – or at least ignore the machine’s insistence that the overgrown dirt track is your best route from Sydney).
Everywhere you look, the heritage value of the town is evident: wide streets are fronted with impressively restored buildings in the main CBD precinct. Move away from the centre, and you’ll discover an eclectic mix of stone and tin miner’s cottages in various states of repair (many taking advantage of the local council’s paint restoration and heritage grant scheme) glittering in the brilliant, artist-attracting late afternoon light. The sunsets here are among the best you’ll see and a short drive will find ample viewpoints for the sublime. Once night time hits, you’ll be struck by the unbelievably bright mass of stars twinkling beneath the ink-black sky.
Broken Hill is famous for mining, (BHP was founded here in 1883), industrial relations, (the unions first flexed their muscles here in the massive strikes of the early 1900s), and art, (the late Pro Hart and his fellow Bushmen of the Bush exhibited all over the world and countless films and TV commercials have been born from the made-for-the-screen surrounds over the years).
In the days gone by, the town was more or less totally controlled by the unions. If you went to work on a union badge day, you couldn’t work unless you were wearing your badge. If a union ‘Blacklisted’ your business for any reason, members were forbidden from shopping there, effectively stifling your trade.
Some of our favourite local attractions are listed below:
Zinc Lakes (AKA Twin Lakes) – Originally built by the Zinc Corporation, these ‘Twin Lakes’ are all green grass, kids playground, ducks to feed and a mining backdrop. Perfect place to enjoy a takaway Bells drink. Wentworth Rd South Broken Hill.
Flying Doctors – Enjoy the recently opened brand new tourist facility, discover the amazing story behind the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and take the only tour of an operational base available in Australia. Broken Hill Airport. Ph (08) 8080 3714
Sundown Trail – About 10kms along the Tibooburra Rd, this walking trail gives you an intimate walk through the hills behind Broken Hill. The car park is about 2kms along a pretty dodgy dirt road so high clearance is recommended and the trail takes around an hour to complete. Tibooburra Rd
Owl Barn – a few kms along from the Sundown Trail, for those with a sense of adventure this collection of thousands of owls, from stuffed real owls to key rings and tea cozies, is worth a closer look. Closed Thursdays, otherwise just beep and Mitch will let you in. Tibooburra Rd Ph (08) 8088 5301
The Palace Hotel – Made famous for it’s role in the Pricilla Queen of The Desert movie, the palace is as quirky as it gets. Check out the painted and eccentric interior. Open for accommodation and the bar opens regularly on weekends with live music. 227 Argent St. Ph (08) 8088 1699
Photographic Recollections – check out a range of pictures capturing a snapshot of the Hill’s past. Eyre St. Ph(08) 8087 9322
The Cally Art Directory & Cafe – Attached to the Caledonian B&B the directory is a fantastic way to begin your Broken Hill art odyssey. Featuring examples of paintings from over 30 Broken Hill artists with free mud maps to the galleries. Be sure to try Hue’s famous Anzac biscuits CNR Mica and Chloride St. Ph.(08) 80871945.
The Railway Museum – located across from the Visitor Info Centre and housed in the former Sulphide St Railway Station, this is more than just a train museum, featuring a varied and accessible collection of the Broken Hill history including hospital museum and migrant museum and a whole lot more. Ph. (08) 8088 4660
The Silverton Gaol – Though this old gaol now houses a collection of historical artifacts including a pro hart piano, the original intention of the building is never far from your mind. Look out for the old morgue and body bath. Silverton HWY (on the left as you come into town)
Menindee Lakes – No visit to Broken Hill is complete without a side trip to the marvelous Menindee Lakes region situated an easy hour’s drive from the Hill. The lakes form a vital part of the Murray Darling river system and the amount of water in them varies, but regardless of the levels, the lakes are well worth a visit any time. Year round you’ll find more different species of birds than Kakadu National Park and history dating back further than Burke and Wills’ ill-fated expedition long before Broken Hill was discovered.
This photo was taken from www.australiantraveller.com.
160 Patton Street
PO Box 5040
South Broken Hill
Ph (08) 8087 5380
Fax (08) 8087 7457
Open 7 Days
10:00am till 5:30pm
Open Public Holidays
12:00pm till 5:00pm