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The Living Desert is Broken Hill City Council’s contribution to the environment, for the protection of native flora and fauna and for the better management of our ecosystem and sustainability.

The Living Desert is nestled amongst the Barrier Ranges and is located 12km from the City of Broken Hill. It is a unique 2400ha reserve which was established in 1992. The scenery within the reserve is breathtaking and can be enjoyed via the numerous walking trails.

An entrance fee per person is required and payable at the pay bay (correct coinage or credit card), located at the entrance. Parking is available at the picnic area or the car park at the top of the sculpture hill. Please follow the signs.

The Living Desert also provides a recreational picnic area with free gas barbecues, shade shelters and disabled toilets.


Broken Hill has long been known as a centre of excellence for the art of painting. Lawrence Beck, a Gosford based sculptor, proposed holding a Symposium to add sculpture to Broken Hill’s art culture. 53 tonnes of sandstone were transported from the Wilcannia area to the Living Desert Reserve.

Work on the site commenced in low key circumstances on 1st April, 1993 and ended with national media coverage in the third week of May, 1993. During this period the lonely hilltop was transformed into an artwork of international standing and the City of Broken Hill and the Australian Outback had obtained a new icon.

Broken Hill City Council was the principal sponsor with additional funds supplied by the Australia Council through their grants program for developing Aboriginal art.

The citizens of Broken Hill generously contributed tools, scaffolds and, ultimately, money.

Please note: The Sculptures can be accessed by road or a 900m walking trail from the Living Desert Picnic Area.


Summer months (Dec-Feb): 6.00am to approx. half hour after sunset.

Remaining months: 8.30am to approx. half hour after sunset.

Note: The area may be closed periodically for maintenance. Please check exact closing times with the Visitor Information Centre staff.

John Simons Flora & Fauna Sanctuary

Located within the reserve is the 180ha Living Desert Flora and Fauna Sanctuary which is bordered by an electric predator-proof fence.

The area allows visitors to gain an educational and cultural experience which further enhances an understanding of our Aboriginal Heritage.

On the 2.2km Sanctuary Cultural Walk Trails you will discover Aboriginal Heritage, wildflowers (incl. Sturt Desert Peas), an arboretum of native plants, geological interpretation, an animal viewing hide, scenic lookouts, a prospectors mine site, quartz outcrops and free ranging fauna including Wallaroos and Red Kangaroos.

Walking trail:

Approximately 2.2km - return

Estimated completion time:

Approximately a 1.5 hour to walk and observe interpretations.


Summer months (Dec-Feb): 6.00am to 2.00pm

Remaining months: 9.00am to 5.00pm

When visiting the Living Desert, please be aware that this area is isolated. Sturdy footwear, a hat and sunscreen is advisable. Please wear appropriate clothing according to the weather and take sufficient drinking water with you. Remain on walking tracks at all times. Do not disturb the natural features of the environment. Do not touch interpretive displays or artefacts.