Broken Hill

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Grey nomads love Broken Hill
Soak up the sunset at Menindee Lake near Broken Hill Photo: Broken Hill City Council

The remote New South Wales town of Broken Hill is com­monly called the Silver City in reference to its close associa­tion with the precious metal … but, from a grey nomad’s perspective, the place is pure gold.

Situated more than 1,000 kilometres west of Sydney it’s also known as the spot where the real Outback starts and it’s this feeling of an adventure about to begin that most visi­tors relish.

Apparently, Broken Hill once had the world’s richest de­posits of lead, zinc and silver but there has been a lot of pre­cious metal taken out of the ground since it could lay that claim. The series of ‘broken hills’ that the town was named after have long since been mined away.

It’s well worth taking one of the mining tours available here to get a sense of what this place is all about, but Broken Hill has well and truly moved on since its ‘mining only’ days.

This is where acclaimed Australian artist Pro Hart was born and lived, and he has helped to inspire a proud artistic tradition in the town. There are many art galleries to enjoy here, including the Pro Hart Gallery where the master’s famous painted Rolls Royce can be found.

Art lovers will also appreci­ate the amazing Sculpture Symposium located in the Living Desert, a massive reserve located just 10 kilo­metres or so from town. At its heart, sitting on the evocative sounding Sundown Hill, is the Sculpture Symposium, a truly memorable collection of 12 sandstone sculptures created by a collection of imaginative sculptors.

The Living Desert is also home to a rich array of flora and fauna and hosts some su­perb walking trails and paths. Also within striking distance of Broken Hill and well worth a trip is Kinchega National

Park which houses the beauti­ful birdlife-rich Menindee lake system.

Other attractions closer in to Broken Hill include the Silver City Mint, the Miner’s Memorial which honours the hundreds of miners who have died since mining began here in the 19th century, the Royal Flying Doctor Museum, and the Railway Historical Museum.

Ultimately though, Broken Hill is one of those places that people are happy just to wander around soaking up the atmosphere and the sense of history. There are some friendly caravan parks to stay at, and plenty of fascinating old buildings to stroll past and enjoy.

And, when a busy day draws to an end, it’s tough to beat the idea of ‘pulling up a glass’ and marvelling at some truly incredible Outback sunsets.

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