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Best Places to See in Silverton

Home > Broken Hill > Art | Day Trips | Galleries | Lists | Museums
by Gayle Beveridge (subscribe)
Gayle is an accountant. Shh – don’t tell. She thinks she’s a writer. Check out her short stories and nano fiction at www.ficklefiction.com/
Published December 26th 2014
Best Places to See in Silverton

Thirty-nine dips in the road and around 25 kms from Broken Hill is the almost deserted town of Silverton. Some say it is a ghost town and it does look the part as the buildings are few and scattered. According to the town's web site, less than 50 people live there now; not a metropolis but inhabited none the less. It is a tourist town, with more to see than you might expect.

Silverton, Howard William Steer, Broken Hill
A sample of the art work in Silverton's streets.

The landscape surrounding Silverton is reason enough to visit. Add to that a rich serve of history, some talented artists and a Mad Max Museum and how could you pass it up; we certainly couldn't.

Silverton, Outback, Broken Hill
The landscape around Silverton viewed through the window at the cafe.


Silverton Gaol Museum
Silverton is home to a number of buildings constructed in the 1880's and the Silverton Gaol, restored by the Broken Hill Historical Society in in the late 1960's is a fine example. The Gaol is now an 18 room museum, a testament to Silverton's past, a story told by its antiques, memorabilia, photographs and documents.

Silverton, Gaol Museum, Broken Hill
The Old SIlverton Gaol Museum

One of the more macabre displays is the bath in which bodies were kept in preservative until the coroner from Sydney arrived. That trip is nearly 1,200 kms and I can only wonder how long it would have taken in the late 1800's. I do hope the preservative was effective.

In an old exercise yard, prisoners' toilets devoid of privacy are set into nooks in the wall. It must have been a bleak existence. One cell is displayed as it would have been, complete with ball and chain.

Silverton, Gaol Museum, Broken Hill, Toilets
Prisoners' toilets at the old Silverton Gaol.

A room dedicated to music pays homage to opera star June Bronhill whose real surname was Gough. Funds for Ms Bronhill's professional training as a singer in London were raised by the community in her home town of Broken Hill and it was as thanks that in 1952 she adopted the name Bronhill, an abbreviation of Broken Hill.

Another area houses washing machines through the ages, including a 1928 Maytag washer which was driven by a petrol motor.

In a roomed themed for education I came across a box of Quesionaire Rods. I'll admit to some excitement as I'd not seen these since my own school days. Oh dear, am I showing my age. For the younger folk, these rods were used to teach arithmetic. The rods were of ten different lengths and colours and could be lined up against each other. Ten white rods, ones, would form the exact length of one orange rod, a ten.

Quesionaire Rods, Silverton, Museum, Bronken Hill
Quesionaire rods at the Silverton Gaol Museum

My husband's attention was captured by an extensive display of radio valves. Elsewhere are displayed a morse code machine, a 1926 radio receiver, a pedal generator, a epidiascope (a projector), antique typewriters, and telephones.

There are old sewing machines and kitchen implements, measuring scales and cobbler's equipment and of course mining paraphernalia. With thousands of items on display, time will be needed to do justice to these historical treasures.

The Silverton Gaol Museum is in Burke Street, Silverton, NSW. Silverton is 25 kms north west of Broken Hill along Silverton Road.

More details can be found at www.silverton.org.au/museum.htm or by telephoning (08) 8088 5317.

The museum is open 9.30am to 4.00pm daily (except Christmas Day).

Entry fees (Dec 2014) are $2.50 for adults, $1.50 for pensioners and students and 50 cents for children under 12.

Silverton Hotel
The Silverton Hotel is a movie star, having featured in such films as Mad Max 2, Razor Back, A Town Like Alice, Dirty Deeds, and The Craic. Perhaps you have seen it. Built in 1885, it was originally the Silverton Post Office but became the hotel in 1918 after a fire destroyed that essential establishment, the original Silverton Hotel.

Silverton, Hotel, Broken Hill
Silverton Hotel.

Typical of the time, the hotel has a wide front verandah and patterned bricks framing the windows. It is a striking building. Inside, it is adorned with photos of the pub's film history and other memorabilia. Why not grab a cold one and take your time reading the walls

Silverton, Hotel, Broken Hill
Inside the Silverton Hotel (Image: www.silverton.org.au)
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The hotel has a good range of beers, serves hot dogs and light snacks which can be enjoyed inside or in the beer garden. Accommodation has recently been introduced.

The Silverton Hotel is in 12 Layard Street, Silverton, NSW. Silverton is 25 kms north west of Broken Hill along Silverton Road.

More details can be found at www.silverton.org.au/hotel.htm, on their Facebook page or by Phone: (08) 80 88 5313, Fax: (08) 8088 6030, Email: silvertonhotel@bigpond.com

The hotel is open from 9am until late Monday to Saturday, and 10am until 10pm on Sunday.

Mad Max 2 Museum
Mad Max 2 was filmed in and around Silverton so it is only fitting that Australia's only museum dedicated to the movie is based here.

Mad Max 2, Museum, Silverton, Broken Hill
The Mad Max 2 Museum at Silverton

The museum sits on the hill at the top end of town, a corrugated iron shed painted with Mad Max 2 murals, with car parts protruding from its tyre lined roof.

We enter through a themed door, (no spoilers, head out there and see for yourself). Inside, the walls are lined with stills from the movie. A video plays on a screen near the roof and there are life size models of the films characters. As this is copyrighted material, photos are not permitted inside.

Mad Max, Silverton, Broken Hill, Museum
Mannequins in Mad Max 2 costume inside the museum (Image: www.silverton.org.au)

Behind the shed in a caged area are vehicles from the film. There are so many there is barely space for them, souped up cars, dune buggies, a bus and a Mack truck.

Mad Max, Silverton, Broken Hill, Interceptor
Mad Max 2 vehicles and replicas on display

The museum is in StirlingStreet, Silverton, NSW. Silverton is 25 kms north west of Broken Hill along Silverton Road.

More details can be found at www.silverton.org.au/madmaxmuseum.html, on their Facebook page or by Phone: (08) 8088 6128, Email: madmaxmuseum@yahoo.com.au

The museum is open 7 days - 9am-5pm (winter) 10am-4pm (summer) but it is advisable to call first if you are making a special trip to see it.

There is an admission fee.

Art Galleries
The rich outback landscape draws artists to Silverton. At least two are resident here and many more display their work in the galleries and in some cases on old cars.

John Dynon Art Gallery
John Dynon's Silverton Art Gallery is in a most unusual corrugated iron shed, heralded by a paint dribbled VW, and surrounded by a fence made of bicycles. Inside paintings representing the outback in all its guises are displayed.

John Dynon, Art Gallery, Silverton, Broken Hill
The Jon Dynon Art Gallery.

The John Dynon Art Gallery is in 2 Stuart Street, Silverton, NSW. Silverton is 25 kms north west of Broken Hill along Silverton Road.

More details can be found at www.johndynon.com.au/gallery or by telephoning (08) 8088 6785, mobile: 0429 079 700 or by email: artfunk@johndynon.com.au

The gallery is open 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week.

Horizon Gallery
Albert Woodroffe's Horizon Gallery opened in 1987 is one of the oldest galleries in inland Australia.

Horizon Gallery, Silverton, Broken Hill, Woodroffe
Albert Woodroffe at The Horizon Gallery (Image: www.silverton.org.au)

The gallery, where Albert Woodroffe maintains a studio not only exhibits his work but that of many other artists including the late Bronwen Standley-Woodroffe, Clark Barrett, Warwick Fuller, Lindsay Womersley, Jennifer Harnett, Laima Politis with James Evan Jones. Also displayed are sculptures and ceramics, glass and woodwork.

The Horizon Gallery is in Layard Street, Silverton, NSW. Silverton is 25 kms north west of Broken Hill along Silverton Road.
More details can be found at www.horizongalleries.com.au/gallery/index.php on Silverton's website www.silverton.org.au/horizon.htm or by telephoning: (08) 8088 5331 or (08) 8088 6025, Fax: 61 (08) 80 88 5331 or email: artspace@bigpond.com

The Silverton Outback Art Gallery and Justin Cowley's Art Studio
The Silverton Outback gallery where Justin Cowley maintains a studio, displays and sells paintings and sculptures by a variety of items and prints souvenirs and gifts are also for sale. You will find original work by John Dynon, Peter Browne, Justin Cowely, Leo Smanioto and Mick Andrich.

Silverton, Outback, Art Gallery, Broken Hill
The Silverton Outback Art Gallery (Image: www.silverton.org.au)

The Silverton Outback Art Gallery is in 19 Stirling Street, Silverton, NSW. Silverton is 25 kms north west of Broken Hill along Silverton Road.

More details can be found at www.silverton.org.au/pbrowne.htm Telephone: (08) 8087 2002.

The gallery is open 9am to 5pm, daily.

Silverton Café and Tea Rooms
Where can you buy ginger beer spiders and quandong ice cream? At The Silverton Café and Tea Rooms, that's where. Inside the double brick walls of this quaint café and museum it is comfortably cool. This building was originally constructed in the 1880's and renovated in recent years by the café owners.

Quandong, Silverton, Broken Hill, Cafe
Quandong ice-vream, the signature dish of the Silverton Cafe and Tea Rooms.

The café serves home cooked meals that remind me of dinner at my grandparents. There is stew, damper burger, rissoles (called Stockman's Balls), and mash. Devonshire tea is served or if you prefer, plunger coffee, milkshakes, and spiders. The café is licensed.

Wander the rooms where collections of old bottles and antique dolls are displayed. Some of the bottles are for sale. Next door a stands a derelict house, its yard almost a museum in itself. There you will find rusted spades, teapots and pans, pots and ceramics, lamps and wheels, iron bedheads and even the front end of a vintage car.

SIlverton, Broken Hill, Outback
Memoribilia in the yard next to the Silverton Cafe and Tea Rooms

The view through the windows is an outback landscape. The remnant wall of an old stone house stands nearby, a chook pecks about in the yard outside and a pair of galahs sit on a wire fence.

The Silverton Café and Tea Rooms is in 8 Stirling Street, Silverton, NSW.

More details can be found on Silverton's website www.silverton.org.au/cafe.htm or by telephoning (08) 8088 6601.

The café is open daily, 8am to 5.30pm.

Mundi Mundi Plains
Remember the song, 'On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever'. So it is at Mundi Mundi Lookout, only five kms west of Silverton, from where the curvature of the earth can be seen across the Mundi Mundi Plains. On a clear day they say you can make out the Flinders Ranges, 150 kilometres away in South Australia.

Mundi Mundi, Silverton, Broken Hill, Lookout, Outback
Mundi Mundi Plains

Voted amongst the best 100 views in Australian by australiantraveller.com, this magnificent vista was the location for the crash scene in Mad Max 2 and it is a popular location for many an advertisement.

Mundi Mundi, Silverton, Broken Hills
The hills overlooking Mundi Mundi Plains

Mundi Mundi Plains are 5kms from Silverton along South Broken Hill (Road). Silverton is 25kms north west of Broken Hill, NSW.

More details can be found on Silverton's website www.silverton.org.au/sights.htm
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Why? Simply becasue Silverton is amazing.
When: Any Day
Phone: (08) 8088 7566 Silverton Visitor Information Centre
Where: Silverton, NSW, 25 kms from Broken Hill on Silverton Road
Cost: See article for individual attraction costs
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