Nowhere in Outback NSW comes close to Broken Hill when it comes to options for anything your taste buds might fancy.
Ever since the enormous wealth of subterranean Broken Hill was unlocked, its story has been characterised by boom and bust, by dreams realised and ruined, and incredible colour and vitality shaped by a multitude of diverse characters and their journeys.
Over more than a century, visitors have flocked to Broken Hill and they keep coming…and it won’t take long to discover why!
Its stunning backdrop of earthy outback hues, clear, deep blue skies and an unforgiving yet strikingly beautiful landscape is magnetic.
Layers of rich history shaped by countless people from many and varied backgrounds combine to make this iconic outback town uniquely captivating, and you’ll be astounded by how much there is to see, do and learn. Go down a mine, experience an eclectic world of art, sculpture, drag queens, divas, dining and entertainment.
Give yourself time to do it all justice – you’ll need four or five days at least in town, and then more to see the wider region. Whether your schedule’s tight or you’ve got time to linger – you’ll find something to surprise, amaze and delight you around every corner. Whether you’re here for a short stay or longer – you’ll find something to surprise, amaze and delight you around every corner.
Visitor Information Centre
If you’re visiting for the first time, this is the place to start. Brilliantly set out with oodles of information about the city, the friendly staff provide you with all you need to know.
Line of Lode Miners' Memorial
Standing on the edge of the city’s huge mullock heap, this symbolic and spiritual icon pays tribute to the human tragedy of more than 800 lives lost due to mining. Opened in 2001, it’s a sombre reminder of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice since the late 1800s.
Broken Hill Geology
One of the city’s internationally famous attractions is the Geo Centre where you’ll clap eyes on an astonishing collection of locally mined minerals and gems, hands-on displays and the Time Line Room. The most famous piece displayed here is the Silver Tree, an 8.5kg solid silver creation made in 1880 and once owned by Charles Rasp.
Some of the best sightseeing in Broken Hill and nearby surrounds is done on foot, so pack the camera and water bottle, don some good walking shoes and head off!
Broken Hill Heritage Trail
Take a two-hour signposted walk around the Silver City along streets named after metals, minerals, compounds and eminent citizens, to immerse yourself in an absorbing history documented by an extraordinary collection of heritage buildings, including the post office, Trades Hall and the Town Hall.
Heroes, Larrikins and Visionaries Tour This 1.7km stroll from the railway station to Billy Goat Hill brings to life some of the city’s colourful identities, including the world’s smallest mine worker, famous artists, musicians and actors, the first lady blacksmith, gamblers and even ghosts.
Sundown Nature Trail
A 2.8km walk in the Sundown Hills reveals a stunning world of native animals, wild flowers and grasses that have populated this area for millennia.
Living Desert Reserve
A 2.2km cultural trail through this 180-hectare sanctuary containing a variety of plant and animal life is a must. Located 9km out of town, nature-lovers will be blown away by the arboretum and the Sturt Desert Pea display. Another 1km trail within the reserve takes you to a stunning display of 12 spectacular sandstone sculptures on a hilltop. Breathtaking panoramic views, particularly at sunset, make this an unforgettable Broken Hill experience.
It’s known as the Hollywood of the Outback – a number of iconic films have been shot in and around Broken Hill, and you can relive the action by taking in a number of locations while you’re here. Blockbusters filmed here include Wake in Fright (1971 and 2017), Mad Max 2 (1981), The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (1994), Last Cab to Darwin (2015), Strangerland (2015) and Mission Impossible 2 (2000).
Some of these iconic movie set locations can be found right in the heart of Broken Hill, such as the imposing Palace Hotel and its 500 square metres of murals that have proudly showcased retro kitsch since well before it became trendy. If you’re a keen movie buff, other set locations, like the Mundi Mundi Plains, require a road trip past Silverton.
Over the years, the city has also lured many remarkable, talented, and unconventional types – writers, artists, raconteurs and gamblers to name a few – who have all added to its rich and unconventional types – writers, artists, raconteurs and gamblers to name a few – who have all added to its rich and diverse character.
Catch a glimpse of a vital and distinctively Aussie outback service – the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
Operating from Broken Hill since 1936, RFDS doctors and nurse provide emergency medical and primary health care services to people in this region across an area of 640,000 km2. The Bruce Langford Visitor Centre is an interactive museum that highlights the work of doctors, pilots and nurses who have been keeping outback communities connected with cutting-edge health care since 1936. The RFDS base is closely enmeshed in the Broken Hill community and is steeped in Australian history.
Take a tour of a working RFDS base and airport, visit the museum, view aircraft in the hangar, browse for souveniers and watch a film while you’re there. All proceeds from admissions and merchandise sales help fund the purchase of new aircraft and vital medical equipment.
See first-hand what school life is like for kids in remote outback locations. School of the Air is a unique Distance Education Centre that caters for geographically isolated students living as far away as 300km from Broken Hill.
School of the Air was established with 42 students in 1956 and lessons were conducted by radio correspondence. In 2003, radio was phased out and replaced with satellite-based lessons, allowing students to see their teachers for the first time.
You can even sit in on a live lesson or arrange to speak with a teacher giving you a fascinating insight into everyday education for children of the outback. School of the Air runs regular visitor sessions at 8.15am each morning during the school term. Tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Information Centre at least a day before.