In the Outback there are many legends ... some of them, like the Afghan cameleers and the story of the Broken Hill Mosque, are true.
The Broken Hill Mosque has historical significance as the first mosque built in NSW and the only surviving mosque built by cameleers in Australia. It inspired a leading Muslim pioneer to credit Broken Hill's cultural organisations with “reviving the Afghans”.
Each year the mosque draws visitors from Australia and around the world to learn about and honour the story of the cameleers who helped pioneer the Outback.
There were originally two Afghan camps in Broken Hill, set at the north and west ends of town, and each had their own mosque. It is the main north camp mosque which survives today as the Broken Hill Mosque.
The mosque is constructed of corrugated iron sheets and wood, all painted rust red, and an avenue of date palm trees lines the entrance of the site. The mosque's alcove points to Mecca and prayer rugs have been left by worshippers in appreciation.
Broken Hill City Council acquired the land which houses the mosque in 1967. It was rededicated by visiting Muslim officials as a place of worship on 26 September 1968, and is still used for worship today.
The introduction of camels and Afghan cameleers proved to be a turning point in the exploration and development of the Australian interior. They built the overland telegraph which connected NSW to London and played a crucial role in exploratory expeditions and scientific survey parties which opened up the Outback.
The Afghan Mosque is located on Williams St, Broken Hill, NSW. For worship, a key to the mosque can be obtained at the Broken Hill Visitor Information Centre. Click here for more information.