Broken Hill, Outback New South Wales
Corner Country, Outback Australia
Broken Hill, the oasis in the outback and considered the capital of Outback New South Wales, is a large outback city that has become a premier travel destination known for its artists, living indigenous culture, and the evocative Living Desert Reserve with internationally renowned Sculpture Symposium.
Broken Hill is the perfect base for exploring Outback New South Wales; up north to the Corner Country or south to Menindee and the iconic Darling River.
The name Broken Hill is attributed to an 1844 account by the explorer Charles Sturt who noted in his dairy "Silver ore was later discovered on this broken hill in 1883 by a boundary rider named Charles Rasp".
Today the city sits on one of the world's largest known silver-lead-zinc lodes which is 7 km long and over 220 metres wide.
With many unique attractions for the outback traveller, there are two in particular that are the 'must-see' of the area; the Living Desert and the 'Sculpture Symposium'.
Nestled neatly amongst the red hills of the Barrier Ranges is the Living Desert; a 2400 hectare reserve about 10km from the city complete with several breathe-taking walking trails. Within this reserve is an amazing Flora and Fauna Sanctuary.
The Sculpture Symposium, located on Sundown Hill in the centre of the Living Desert Sanctuary is a surreal collection of 12 commission sandstone sculptures completed by a local and international sculptors, amazing situated and wondrous anytime of the day but especially poignant at sunset.
A Broken Hill visit is not complete without spending time in the city's excellent art galleries, walking down the main street and admiring the old hotels (one of which featured in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) and gracious public buildings, visiting the Thankakali Aboriginal Arts and Crafts Centre, travelling out to the semi-ghost town of Silverton and going on a conducted tour of the town's great mining complex and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
From Broken Hill there are some great side-trips. Menindee and the Darling River is a short (1 hour) drive with the beautify Kinchega National Park which is great for day visits or an extended stay camping on the banks for the Darling. To the north/northeast is Mutawintji National Park and the opal mining town of White Cliffs.
Driving to Broken Hill
There are many different routes that can be taken when driving from any of the capital cities to Broken Hill. The following is an overview of the routes from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide that may help you in planning your outback experience.
Warrego Hwy <> Darling River Run (Unsealed) <> Barier Highway: Distance = 1,445km approx
The Great Western Highway > Castlereagh Highway > Barrier Highway: Distance = 1,150km approx
Calder Highway > Silver City Highway: Distance = 837km aprox
Barrier Highway: Distance = 518km approx
Broken Hill Weather Outlook
Broken Hill Visitor Information
Broken Hill See & Do
- Royal Flying Doctor Service
- Visitors' Centre Living Desert / Sculpture Symposium
- Bell's Milk Bar
- Miner's Memorial / Line O Lode
- Historic Daydream Mine
Visitor Information Centre:
- Cnr Blende and Bromide Street,, Broken Hill New South Wales 2880.
- Telephone 08 8080 3560