One of the most unique towns in NSW, Broken Hill is an outback hub with plenty to offer younger travellers.
Play Two-Up year-round at the Palace Hotel
Australia’s only home of year-round Two-Up (Friday nights only) and the location for much of the filming of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the Palace Hotel is an outback icon and probably the coolest pub west of Surry Hills. It’s a sprawling, three-story corner pub with a grand, wrap-around veranda and an eclectic theme. The restaurant does a mean feed and the walls are adorned in landscape murals making this a true ‘desert oasis’.
Have a spider or milkshake at a 1950s milkbar
A preserved 1950s-era milkbar complete with mid-century furniture and ‘50s tunes cranking out of the jukebox, Bells Milk Bar is a Broken Hill Institution where young people have been hanging out for decades. An outrageous selection of original recipe syrups are made on-site, so the milkshakes are worth writing to mum about.
Stay in a converted Outback church
Unique accommodation at its best, the Outback Church Stay is a wonderfully opulent self-contained accommodation option suitable for couples and groups. Think towering pressed tin ceilings and marble floors that make any singer sound like a gospel icon, a gourmet entertainer’s kitchen, huge comfy beds with fine linen, luxury ensuites off every bedroom and, our favourite, a divine Roman bath in the master ensuite. Take me to church!
Look to the stars
There’s no better place to see the stars than the Outback, and you can get up close and personal, so to speak, with the night sky at Outback Astronomy. Located in the old Royal Flying Doctors Service base on the road to Sydney, this star gazing experience involves comfy reclining chairs, sleeping bags, high powered laser pointers and fascinating insights into the great beyond. Tours are themed, ranging from Milky Way exploration to Aboriginal Astronomy.
Fight for your right – learn about union history
If you enjoy your eight-hour working day, your weekends of leisure and the feeling that you’re safe at work, you have Broken Hill to thank. The early miners here pioneered ‘sticking it to the man’, rallying together against their employers during a series of bitter strikes to fight for safe conditions, fair pay and reasonable hours. From Trades Hall Museum to the ‘Heroes and Visionaries’ free walking tour that departs the Visitor Information Centre, there are plenty of ways to dig your teeth into this history and learn about some badass early Aussies.
Stay on a working sheep station
There’s no better way to understand life in the remote Outback than to stay on a working farm, so make like a Jill or Jackaroo and visit an outback sheep station. Eldee Station is an easy drive from Broken Hill and offers accommodation, camping, sunset and 4WD tours and tasty meals.
Broken Hill is an unlikely hub for the arts, with a disproportionate number of galleries and workshop spaces given its population. The Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery is the best gallery in regional NSW, while Pro Hart’s place on the outskirts of town is well worth a visit. Local Indigenous art is on display and for sale from the West Darling Arts Centre on Argent Street.
Eat healthy, tasty food at the Silly Goat Café
Hands down the best coffee in town, the Silly Goat also serves up creative, healthy brekky and lunch options the likes of which would be right at home in any café in Melbourne or Sydney. And with a fun, funky crew of young staff, this is the place for discerning café diners.
Wander the ruins and galleries of Silverton
Get post-apocalyptic at the Mad Max Museum
Located on the hill at Silverton, the Mad Max Museum is a cinephile’s heaven. With memorabilia from the film, walls lined with photos of the making of the film.
See the curvature of the earth at the Mundi Mundi Lookout
Just 5 minutes beyond Silverton you’ll find the Mundi Mundi Lookout, where the terrain drops down to the plains of the same name. They say you can see the curvature of the earth from here. Perfect at sunset.