From lush wetlands and lakes to spectacular flat topped mesas and shimmering gibber desert plains, Broken Hill offers a breathtaking range of diverse landscapes to discover and explore.
The vibrant colours and perfect light of the NSW Outback have drawn in film-makers and artists for decades. And it’s not hard to see why: the horizons are vast and the contrast between the dark, red soil and the clear blue skies is a sight to behold. This is grandeur and delicate beauty all rolled into one, and it truly must be seen to be believed.
In the outback towns you will discover main streets of dirt, classic outback hospitality, unbelievable history and down-to-earth experiences. At sunset, when the wide horizon glows red and orange and then the sky above rolls in with its blanket of stars you will marvel at the magnitude and relax in the silence.
Take day-trips and base your stay in Broken Hill or journey further afield in search of a holiday like no other.
One of the easiest and most rewarding day trips from Broken Hill is to Silverton. A classic outback town, Silverton and its spectacular surrounds offer an array of unique finds. Behind the sleepy streets and heritage stone buildings is a swag-full of art galleries, artist studios, museums, a famous pub and an atmospheric cafe.
Nestled in the Western Barrier Ranges, Silverton is spectacular in a classic outback sense. No wonder the town is more famous as a film location than most places in Australia. The historic Silverton Hotel has featured in more than 100 films and commercials. Today, the hotel welcomes visitors to view its film memorabilia.
Between Broken Hill and Silverton is the Daydream Mine. It descends deep into the earth and gives visitors a real sense of what it must have once been like wielding a pick and shovel in such challenging conditions.
Distance from Broken Hill: About 25km, or 22 minutes by car.
Getting here: Travel north west along Silverton Road.
The township of Menindee sits snugly among the magnificent Menindee Lakes water storage system which, when full, holds over three and a half times the water of Sydney Harbour and provides a haven for water birds of all kinds.
The dry sand-dunes around the lakes have given up some of the most prolific and consistently early remnants of human existence anywhere in the world - fossils and marked stones of the Barkindji people and their ancestors dating back 26,000 years!
Menindee was the first town on the Darling. Be sure to find the two historic trees - one marked by a survey team in 1882 and one in Yartla Street that marks the height of the 1890 floods. Take a heritage walk past 19 historic sites to uncover a colourful past featuring local characters, Ah Chungs bakehouse and Maidens Hotel.
Distance from Broken Hill: About 112km, or an hour and twenty minutes by car.
Getting here: Head south east along Nr Menindee-Broken Hill Road.
About 200km from Broken Hill, Wilcannia is an evocative step back in time. In 1860, it was a thriving inland port (Australia’s third largest) and not long afterwards had 13 hotels and a population of 13,000. This legacy is apparent today on streets lined with historic architecture, best enjoyed by walking the town’s heritage trail.
Once known as the Queen City of the West, take the heritage walk or a short drive around town for a glimpse of beautiful and architecturally impressive buildings made of local sandstone.
Significant buildings and structures are the courthouse, the gaol, the school with its murals, the post office with its iron lacework, as well as the National Trust-listed centre-link bridge and old wharf that handled all that cargo so many years ago.
Distance from Broken Hill: About 196km, or two hours by car.
Getting here: Head north east along Barrier Highway.
The opal-rich country around White Cliffs appears at first like a moonscape, with the craters of countless mines dotted as far as the eye can see. The town was born through the discovery of opal in the 1890’s and is a pioneering town with genuine character. To escape the summer heat, houses are built underground in mine shafts, where the temperature is a constant 23 degrees.
Visit opal showrooms, fossick for opal and sleep underground in the White Cliffs Underground Motel. Visit the photographic gallery, have a drink at the local hotel, have a go at the dirt golf course or just enjoy the unique atmosphere of White Cliffs. Nearby must-sees include the Paroo Darling National Park which incorporates the Peery Lake Mound Springs.
Distance from Broken Hill: About 287km, or three hours by car.
Getting here: Head north east along the Barrier Highway, then turn left onto White Cliffs Road.
As far outback as you can go in New South Wales, Corner Country offers wide-open spaces, red sand dunes and big blue skies. It stretches north and west beyond Broken Hill, taking in historic mining towns, remarkable wildlife, places where explorers once camped and the famous wild dog fence – the longest single fence in the world. The main towns in this unique pocket of Australia are Tibooburra, Milparinka and Cameron Corner, this latter destination famous for being the intersection intersection point of Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.
Distance from Broken Hill: Milparinka is about 294km from Broken Hill, or three and a half hours by car. Tibooburra is a further 42km north east, and Cameron Corner is another 133km from Tibooburra.
Getting here: Head north along Silver City Highway.