Outback NSW Broken Hill Silverton and Surrounds Top 20.
Broken Hill, Outback NSW, when it comes to outback destinations there are many reasons why the truly unique destination of Broken Hill should be high on your bucket list. Located in the far west of NSW is the town of Broken Hill, known as the unofficial Outback NSW capital. A living breathing time capsule with a rich mining history, a vibrant artistic and colourful community full of charcters.
We set off in our motorhome and thirteen hours later, after driving endless long tarred and red dry dusty corrugated dirt roads, sometimes rain falling turning roads into red boggy clay with no end in sight, we arrive in the unique outback destination of Broken Hill.
Many people have attempted to sum up Broken Hill over the years. To us it’s a melting pot of Australia’s mining history with industrial artefacts dotted all over the town. A supporter of the LGBT community thanks to the filming of ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’, a thriving creative scene, a rich history of Aboriginal heritage and home to some of Australia’s most iconic artists and galleries.
Outback NSW Broken Hills Top 20
So, what did we love about Broken Hill! Here’s our top 20 recommendations when visiting this unique destination.
1. Drive the Dusty Red Roads
Drive the red dusty roads, where you’ll experience the deep red earth, magical clouds and sunsets of the outback, like know where else. It’s fun and a real adventure just be well prepared.
2. Explore The Living Desert and Sculptures
The awe inspiring Living Desert Sculptures are deservedly the most iconic and photographed attraction in Broken Hill. Nestled amongst the Barrier Ranges, an easy access just 12km from the city centre.
3. Visiting Pro Hart Gallery is a Must
A visit to Broken Hill wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the unique Pro Hart Gallery. Pro Hart’s art captures the lush colours, space and spiritual quality of the outback – few artists are able to emulate.
4. Take a Tour of the Royal Flying Doctor Service
Go behind the scenes with a must do guided tour. Experience the operations centre, aircraft hangar and explore the interactive museum which gives you a great taste of what living in the outback is all about.
5. Go to the Top of the Broken Hill Mine
Line of Lode Lookout and Miner’s Memorial is a dramatic, iconic structure, a memorial to minors who lost their lives. While you’re there grab a coffee from the cafe and admire the spectacular views over Broken Hill.
6. Take a Self Guided Broken Hill Cemetery Tour
Pick up a free Broken Hill Cemetery self guided tour brochure from the Visitor Information Centre and head to Rakow St. As you stroll around don’t forget to find Pro Hart’s grave and reflect on the history of the area.
7. Book in the Free Heritage Walking Tour
The Broken Hill Heritage Walking Tour is a 2 hour free volunteer guided tour starting at 10am M-F from the’Visitor Information Centre. It’s a great introduction to Australia’s first heritage listed city.
8. Wander the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery
Admire the paintings big and small a treasure trove of 2,000+ artworks housed in the oldest regional NSW art gallery. A beautiful heritage building, to be admired with many wonderful and original features.
9. Enjoy a Milkshake at Bell’s 1950’s Milk Bar
For generations people have travelled from far and wide to visit ‘Bells Milk Bar and Museum‘ for malted milks, soda spiders and lollies. So, why not take a step back in time to enjoy this original and very popular 1950’s milk bar.
10. Explore Broken Hills Vibrant Art Community
Broken Hill is renowned for its vibrant and diverse art community with art galleries and artists studios everywhere. So, grab a map and explore, you’ll meet characters and see art of all kinds. Who knows you may even be tempted to take back a momento.
11. Drive the Broken Hill Heritage Trail
Download a copy of the ‘Heritage Trail eBook‘. The full drive will take about 2-3 hours over 40klms to complete and on a very hot day is a good alternative. If preferred, the drive can also be divided into two parts – trail numbers 1 to 65 and 66 to 118.
12. Visit the Historic Town of Silverton
A famous outback red dusty town featured in many movies such as Mad Max, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert to name a few. Enjoy a beer at the Silverton Hotel, visit the Mad Max Museum, wander the many galleries dotted around and more.
13. Head to the Mundi Mundi Lookout
The most amazing sunset – take a chair, your favourite bottle of vino, a picnic and watch the spectacular view as the sun sets and the sky comes alive with sparkling stars that twinkle at night, with no end in site.
14. Plan a night at the famous Palace Hotel
A popular hotel famous for being featured in the movie ‘Pricilla Queen of the Desert’. Built in 1889 as a coffee palace and later converted in 1892 to a licencsed hotel. The Palace Hotel is now homage to the LGTB community – a nights stay is highly recommended.
15. Book the Famous Broken Heel Festival
If you’re lucky enough to plan to be there in March or September take your favourite sparkling outfit (and big wig of course) and join in the fun at the fantastic 3 day Broken Heel Festival. To avoid disappointment don’t forget to pre-book!
16. Visit Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum
Also known as the Geo Centre, behind the stone facade of the restored former Bond Store is another of Broken Hill’s must-see mining museums. If you’re interested in mining and the rich local history of Broken Hill it’s open Tuesday to Saturday (closed on Sunday).
17. Drive to Historical Coburn on the NSW/SA Border
Drive to the NSW/SA border and 15 minutes over the SA border is a tiny town with a historical pub Cockburn or Co’burn as the locals like to call it! Worth a visit, stop and talk to the local characters, all 8 of them!
18. Go to the JP Keenan Lookout for Sunrise
JP Keenan Lookout is a short 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk from the city centre. It’s a lovely park with excellent views over the city for an early morning sunrise looking back at the town over the Line of Load Memorial and mine.
19. Visit the Sulphide Street Railway & Historical Museum
Sulphide Street Railway & Historical Museum is packed full of history with trains, minerals, migrant history, war stories, even an old hospital and some amusement park memorabilia of days gone by.
20. Experience School of the Air
Where children living on remote outback stations receive their schooling via satellite. Sit in the classroom with the teacher while a lesson is being conducted over satellite. ‘School of the Air’ – a wonderful experience.
Never Under Estimate Outback NSW
Road trips through Outback NSW (and other parts of outback Australia) require more planning than driving along the Australian coastlines. It can be remote and dangerous if you’re not properly prepared.
Enjoy your Adventure in Outback NSW, Australia!