Australia's First Heritage Listed City
A true outback city in every sense, Broken Hill is a living, breathing time capsule where the great mining prosperity of yesteryear blends seamlessly with a rising modern art scene, all set amid a sprawling desert landscape. It’s a place of huge skies, red rocky earth and a fascinating and internationally significant history. It is, after all, Australia’s first heritage-listed city, and its secrets are just waiting to be discovered.
With its roots in the silver, lead and zinc mining industries, Broken Hill experienced great prosperity during the 19th century and the architecture of that period lives on to tell the tale.
These days, Broken Hill is a cultural hub, home to more than 30 art galleries exhibiting work inspired by the stunning landscapes of outback NSW and countless museums encapsulating the city’s rich history.
This is Australia’s most accessible outback city, so what are you waiting for? Your authentic Australian outback experience awaits.
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Local CharactersSee more stories from Broken Hill
Taylor Walker from Broken Hill
Born and raised in Broken Hill, AFL player and captain of the Adelaide Crows Taylor “Tex” Walker is one of Outback NSW’s proudest exports. He gives Travel In the hot tips on visiting his hometown. It was a proud day for Broken Hill when Taylor “Tex” Walker was named team captain of the Adelaide Crows in the lead up to the 2015 AFL season. A Broken Hill boy through and through, at age 24 Tex became the city’s first footballer to ever captain an AFL team. It’s an accomplishment that has rendered him a hero around these parts. Tex grew up in a sport-obsessed household with his two siblings and his single mother, who worked tirelessly as a hairdresser in Broken Hill to support her kids and their sporting pursuits. While he was also keen on basketball and cricket, Tex’s one true passion was footy. He played for North Broken Hill in the Broken Hill Football League until he was drafted to play for Norwood in the South Australian National Football League in 2008, before making his AFL debut with the Adelaide Crows in 2009. But Tex hasn’t forgotten his roots and is passionate about supporting local football, in particular junior footy, by visiting training sessions and maintaining a presence at his hometown club whenever he’s back in town. And with his family still living in Broken Hill, Tex comes home as much as he can in the off season. He reckons it was a great place to grow up, and has fond memories of visiting his family’s holiday shack at nearby Menindee, where they’d go waterskiing and chill out in the school holidays and on the occasional weekend. Naturally, we asked Tex to give us his expert local knowledge on his favourite haunts in and around Broken Hill, and where he takes mates when they visit. What’s your favourite café in Broken Hill? Either The Caff (235 Thomas St) or The Silly Goat (360 Argent St). How about your favourite restaurant? Alfresco (397 Argent St). And your favourite pub? Tie between Southern Cross Hotel (357 Cobalt St) and Mulga Hill Tavern (264 Oxide St). What do you consider the best local attractions? Either the town of Silverton, or the Mundi Mundi Plains. Any absolute ‘must dos’ in Broken Hill? Don’t leave Broken Hill without trying the chicken and cheese slaw focaccia from Café Lana’s (198 Argent St).
Things to do in Broken HillRead more on Broken Hill
Getting to Broken HillRead more on Broken Hill
Discovering a lost world in Broken Hill may be not be as hard as you first thought. Broken Hill lies in the centre of a vast yet accessible outback region and the city is a major hub for transport via rail, road and air. For starters, the nostalgia of the Great Australian Road Trip can be easily resurrected on a trip to Broken Hill. Load up the car with friends, family and luggage; stack the iPod with your favourite road trip tunes; and travel on sealed roads all the way from any capital city. The journey will be as rewarding as the destination as you create new memories along the great open road. Remember to perfect the famous outback wave to passing drivers. There are many versions, so take your pick. Some drivers favour a wave of the hand, others like raising a lazy finger or two. Some of the most enthusiastic travellers say ‘g’day’ with a lift of their bush hats. It's highly important though, to pack your maps (just in case!), and check the road conditions before you start your journey. BY CAR There are many rewarding alternative journeys to the direct routes between the Broken Hill region and major Australian cities. Each offers unique sights and experiences. Coming from Melbourne The most direct way to reach Broken Hill from Melbourne is to head past Bendigo on the Calder Freeway (A79) to Mildura, then continue to Wentworth and on to Broken Hill via the Silver City Highway (79). For an alternative trip home, head south east out of Broken Hill to Menindee. From Menindee, follow the last leg of the Darling River Run through Pooncarie to Wentworth. This is 123km of unsealed road, so check local road conditions here. Turn off at Pooncarie to Mungo National Park and the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area, then continue 110km south west to Mildura. From here, you can either follow the Murray River along the Murray Valley Highway (B400) via Swan Hill and Echuca, or head down the Calder Highway (A79) to Ouyen and return to Melbourne via Ballarat or Bendigo. Coming from Sydney Head out of Sydney to Bathurst on the Mitchell Highway (32) through Dubbo to Cobar, then turn onto the Barrier Hwy (32) and continue to Broken Hill. On your the return, head north from Broken Hill to the rugged Mutawintji National Park. From here, head north-east to the opal mining town of White Cliffs, then a further 98km south to the historic town of Wilcannia. At Wilcannia, you can access the Barrier Highway (32). Coming from Adelaide Leave Adelaide on the Barrier Highway (32) and travel north towards Burra. Break up your journey with a stop at Peterborough, then continue 283km north east along the Barrier Highway to Broken Hill. On the way home, head from Broken Hill to Menindee and follow the last leg of the Darling River Run through Pooncarie to Wentworth. This road is unsealed so check local road conditions here. Turn off at Pooncarie to Mungo National Park, then once you are back in Mildura, connect with the Sturt Highway (A20) for your return to Adelaide. Coming from Brisbane Take the Warrego Highway (A2) to Toowoomba, then the Gore Highway (A39) to Goondiwindi and on to Moree via the Newell Highway (A39). Take the Gwydir Highway (38) to Walgett and turn onto the Bourke-Brewarrina Road. From Bourke, pick up the Darling River Run through Louth and Tilpa to Wilcannia, then drive the final 200km through to Broken Hill. As an alternative route home, head north from Broken Hill on the Silver City Highway through Packsaddle and Milparinka, then head 330km up to Tibooburra, Sturt National Park and Cameron Corner. Return to Brisbane from Tibooburra by heading east to Bourke and retracing your outbound journey in reverse. BY AIR For the fast way in and out, Regional Express Airlines fly direct every day to and from Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne (via Mildura). Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia also connect daily to Mildura. Broken Hill services all flights through its airport in south Broken Hill, a modern and comfortable Remember to book early, flights often book out quickly! BY RAIL The Indian Pacific runs directly to Broken Hill from Sydney and Adelaide once or twice a week, depending on the season. NSW TrainLink runs weekly direct services to Broken Hill from Sydney on the 'Outback Explorer'. Additionally, NSW TrainLink runs a daily service that includes train travel between Sydney and Dubbo and bus travel between Dubbo and Broken Hill. Find out about timetables, fares and online bookings or call 13 22 32. BY BUS Many coach companies visit the area as part of itineraries where Broken Hill is usually a one to three night destination. Buses R Us travel three times per week between Adelaide and Broken Hill. V Line offers a service between Mildura and Melbourne. Countylink offers a daily combined train and bus route from Sydney.