A bucket-list destination for any keen traveller, Broken Hill is an outback oasis bred by the world’s largest and dominant mining company, BHP (Broken Hill Proprietary), a history which has very much shaped the town today. Beyond the strong mining legacy, it’s hard to escape the town’s thriving art scene, from stunning murals and unique galleries to incredible open air sculptures shaped from the rocky landscape. Broken Hill was declared Australia’s first heritage-listed city in 2015. But if you ask anyone that’s visited what Broken Hill’s greatest asset is, they’ll tell you it’s the people.
Its isolation in a compellingly beautiful, rugged and harsh terrain means locals have always been resilient and made things happen through forming strong community bonds. They’re diverse, busy doing many different things, but always have time for each other and for visitors. You don’t have to look far to discover a sense of old-world hospitality. As one whose family connection with the area goes back before the town was established put it: “It’s got a genuine soul. People come here because we are Broken Hill.” Established and developed by the world’s largest mining company, BHP (Broken Hill Proprietary), mining has very much shaped the city today. But it’s also never hard to escape the city’s thriving and progressive art scene; from stunning murals and unique galleries to incredible open air sculptures crafted and shaped from the rocky landscape.
Drive just 10 minutes in any direction from town you’ll find yourself in complete isolation surrounded by rugged, moonscape terrain – and, as Hollywood quickly discovered, the perfect backdrop for many iconic films including The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Mad Max II and Mission Impossible II.
As the sun sinks below the vast horizon, the town is treated to world-class sunsets and epic views of the Milky Way above. Beyond Broken Hill, discover spectacular national parks, lush rivers and lakes, abundant wildlife and other classic towns of outback New South Wales.
A visit to Broken Hill delivers an authentic and unique Aussie outback experience, which you can enjoy in different ways – sleeping under the stars in a remote National Park, or being pampered in the lap of luxury. No matter how you do it, you arrive expecting the unexpected, and leave with lifelong memories of an amazing place that’s like nowhere else on the planet.
There are two main routes. The most direct one (1144km/13 hours) is via the Blue Mountains to Mudgee and Dubbo on to Nyngan, Cobar, Wilcannia and Broken Hill.
The road less travelled is via the Riverina. Head south along the Hume Highway from Sydney then take the Sturt Highway to Wagga Wagga and the Riverina, meeting the mighty Murray at Euston and then on to Mildura and Wentworth. From here, go north along the Silver City Highway to Broken Hill (1309km/14 hours).
Take the Calder Highway to Mildura, then north through Wentworth and on to Broken Hill (837km/9 hours). If you have a little more time, you can divert through Pooncarie and Menindee and follow the course of the Darling River and take in two great local areas (915km/10 hours).
The two main routes are the Barrier Highway north through Gawler and Burra, then north-east to Broken Hill (515km/5 hours 45 minutes).
Alternatively, head through the Barossa Valley and pick up the Sturt Highway just north of Gawler, then east through Renmark on to Mildura, Wentworth and Broken Hill (674km/7.5 hours).
Flights into Broken Hill depart from Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Dubbo and Mildura.
The weekly Outback Explorer service runs from Sydney Central Station to Broken Hill. If you’re starting in Adelaide or Sydney, you can get on board the Indian Pacific.
Daily service between Dubbo and Broken Hill and twice a week between Adelaide and Broken Hill. Please note: Daily XPT from Sydney to Dubbo.
A number of car hire options are available in Broken Hill. There is also a local city bus service and taxis.