Broken Hill

Broken Hill is a historic mining city in the Far West (Outback) of the Australian state of New South Wales. Mining has occurred throughout the entire life of Broken Hill since its founding in 1883. Australia's largest mining concern BHP Billiton has its origins here with the initials BHP standing for "Broken Hill Proprietary". The mining industry has declined in recent years however it still plays an important part in the story of the town with many tourist attractions associated with mining. The other main reason to visit Broken Hill is for the artists who have called the city home. There are many galleries around the city that are worth visiting.

Understand

Broken Hill and Silverton operate on Central Standard Time. All other towns in the region operate on Eastern Standard time.

Tourist information

Get in

By car

It is just over 1,000 km of mostly long straight drive to Broken Hill from Sydney, and just over 500 km from Adelaide. Both roads are mostly good quality sealed roads. The scenery will change slowly along the way. Broken Hill is on the edge of the real outback, but is easily accessible by car.

By train

NSW Trainlink run weekly direct services to Broken Hill from Sydney. It is called the 'Outback Explorer'. The Sydney to Broken Hill leg is on the Monday (6:20AM–7:10PM). The return journey is on the Tuesday (7:45AM–9:48PM). NSW Trainlink also run a daily service that is a train to Dubbo from Sydney and then a bus from Dubbo to Broken Hill. Sydney to Broken Hill is 7:10AM–10:45PM and the return is 3:45AM–8:48PM.

Indian Pacific runs directly to Broken Hill twice a week from Sydney and Adelaide. Tours of the town are available while the train is stopped at Broken Hill if travelling the Indian Pacific between Sydney and Adelaide/Perth. It is not possible to take cars to Broken Hill by train. The only drop-off/collection points are in Sydney and Adelaide.

Broken Hill train station is one block from the main shopping strip and walking distance to some accommodation. Taxis are available at the station to meet the trains.

By plane

Regional Express has direct services from Sydney, Adelaide and Dubbo. The Sydney service can either be direct (one return flight per day) or with a stop over in Dubbo. Essentially there are two flights per day from Sydney to Broken Hill however they book out quickly. The Adelaide service is a direct flight with two to three return flights per day. This may be a better option if flying: in December 2007, one-way fares from Sydney started at AUD$218; from Adelaide, $132. No other commercial airlines fly to Broken Hill.

Taxis are available at the airport into the town centre. Ask the flight attendant to arrange for a taxi pickup.

By bus

Buses R Us travel three times per week between Adelaide and Broken Hill. The travel time is about 7 hours. Greyhound (formerly McCafferty)) no longer offer a service to Broken Hill from Adelaide and V Line only offers a service between Mildura and Melbourne. NSW Trainlink (see 'By Train' above) offer a combined train and bus route from Sydney.

Get around

Coach tours are an option. Taxis are also available. But you will need a car to see the town and surroundings independently. This poses problems for the adventurous. Rental cars in the city often charge a premium for travelling further than 100–200 km, which is easy to do. After that, the rate is generally 25 cents a kilometre. Driving on unsealed roads is only allowed if you hire a four-wheel drive; even then, if you have an accident, you are liable for the entire insurance excess. So getting off the beaten track is difficult. At least one company only lets you drive to Menindee or Silverton. If you want a real experience you can always take a COBB & CO Coach ride that will take you back in time and off the beaten track, you can see some real country. COBB & Co

Avis and Thrifty rental car offices are located in Argent St. in the town centre. The Hertz office is in the Visitor Centre building.

See

Miner's memorial and the cafe (on the right).

Do

Buy

Broken Hill has developed a thriving artistic community. Take a browse through some of the art galleries and outlets in and around the town.

Eat

Have a snack on the top of the mullock heap at the Broken Earth Cafe and enjoy the view of the CBD.

Drink

Bars

As one would predict for a mining town, Broken Hill, has its fair share of bars but those expecting frontier style pubs will be disappointed. The majority of bars in Broken Hill are of the RSL club style, full of cheap drinks and pokie machines. Having said that one should not miss out on a game of two-up at the Musicians Club held on Friday and Saturday nights. The Barrier Social Democratic Club holds a disco night on Saturday night in which the young people from the town come out to play.

Sleep

Go next

Obtain a key from the Information Centre to see the Sculpture Symposium about 6 km from the city. The key allows car access to the sculpture site. Alternatively drive to the car park and walk 2 km to the site. A $10 park access charge is levied, payable at an honesty box near the site.

The historic boomtown of Silverton which has been the setting of several movies. Even though it 'poses' as a ghost town nowadays, it does in fact maintain a tiny population, having a camel farm. You can explore at will the ruined church and the Silverton Tramway, a now abandoned trainline which runs into S.A.

The Opal Mining town of White Cliffs is an interesting spot to visit or for prospecting.

Stephens Creek Reservoir is an artificial dam situated 17 km north east of the far western town of Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

When full of water, the Menindee lakes make a spectacular and surreal sight in the otherwise arid landscape. A drive through the river red gum forest in the adjacent Kinchega National Park is also worthwhile. Several quarries are worth exploring and the Mundi-Mundi plains too, perfect for a romantic sunset.

Drive further to and through Mungo National park to discover some old human history.

Head north the silver city highway to Tiboburra and the remote Stuart National park.

Routes through Broken Hill

Adelaide Peterborough  W  E  Menindee, Ivanhoe, Eubalong West, Condobolin, Parkes, Orange Bathurst


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