I really don’t know what to say about Broken Hill. Its a large country town and has enough things for me to see and do over two full days. On the flipside they really make it difficult to find hidden gems or just find stuff you know about. Timing is everything and arriving just after lunch on a Saturday I thought I was arriving when the town would be busy with tourists. Oh how wrong I was. The Information centre was closed, most cafes and restaurants had closed or were starting to close for the weekend and many didn’t reopen til Monday. My hotel informed me they’d be open for dinner tonight just for inhouse guests, but closed the next two nights for dinner and breakfast. I know I’m coming across as privileged living in a city where 7 day a week trading is the normal and information is readily come by. Thankfully I’ve had an enjoyable time even if it meant getting breakfast from maccas yesterday.
So first stop, Id suggest is the Miner’s Memorial. I didn’t read them all, but the memorial lists all people who’ve died in mining accidents in town. Back in the late 1800’s there were a lot and some of the causes just had me wondering how that was even possible. Of course life was different over 120 years ago. The views of the town and the mining still going on from up here are great as well.
Ironically one of the more interesting places to visit here isn’t Broken Hill, but the very small and mostly deserted town of Silverton about 25kms away. Silverton was founded on the discovery of Silver and its how here that much of Mad Max 2 was filmed. In fact a lot of outback and post apocalyptic things get filmed out here, except at times right now. They’ve had unseasonally large amounts of rain, meaning the place is a patchwork of red dirt and green plants. Silverton also has a famous old pub still standing and operating, I visited the Silverton Goal museum, the highlight of which were the Sturt desert peas growing near the front door!
Silverton and also Broken Hill has become a bit of an artists destination. I visited a few galleries John Dynon in Silverton and the much more famous Pro Hart gallery in Broken Hill. I did actually learn where “Pro” came from for Pro Harts name. He apparently was a bit of a know it all when he was younger and was nicknamed “Professor” which shortens to Pro as happens in the Aussie bush! I resisted the temptation to buy an authentic Pro Hart, because well I could buy a car or go on some damn good trips with that kind of money.
Many of the old buildings still are still standing along the main streets of Broken hill. I find the names pleasing, especially when I have to remember to turn left at Bromide street or turn right into Oxide street. Most of the museums I’ve visited tend to have a display or rocks and ore as well. Both the Silverton Goal and the Sulfide St Railway station museums had cabinets full of rocks.
The last major highlight listed on all the whats to do in Broken Hill article and lists is the living desert sculpture park. I did it the hard way by parking the car and walking uphill to the sculpture park only to realise you could actually drive to the top. If i’m going to be honest, I needed the walk and while it was uphill, it was 20 minutes at most to get to the top. Amusingly the sculpture park was commissioned but the local material to be carved for the park turned out to be quite difficult. The sculptures as a result all have a bit of rawness about them. It was a mistake that most likely turned out to be for the best.