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Broken Hill: Australia's First Heritage Listed Town

Home > New South Wales > Long Weekend | Mines | Photography | Places of Interest | Travel
by Paula McManus (subscribe)
Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia. https://www.facebook.com/paula.mcmanus1
Published January 23rd 2015
Australia's First Nationally Heritage Listed City
After a 10 year petition, the New South Wales outback mining town of Broken Hill this week has been added to the National Heritage list. It joins such iconic greats such as the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and the MCG and has been added because of its outstanding heritage significance to Australia.

Broken Hill, New South Wales
Broken Hill, outback New South Wales (©paula mcmanus)


But what sets this news apart from the others and makes it incredibly unique is that the heritage listing applies to the whole of this amazing outback city, not just part of it. It's the first whole town to be added to the listing.

Broken Hill, New South Wales
Pro Hart sculpture, Broken Hill, New South Wales (©paula mcmanus)


There are large numbers of Adelaideans who have direct links with Broken Hill, including yours truly. Both of my parents were born, went to school, got married, worked and started a family in Broken Hill. I still have many family members who live in the city, as they have their whole lives. I imagine that all of them are feeling rather chuffed with the news that the city and all of ititss wonderful history has been recognised and celebrated in this manner.

Broken Hill, New South Wales
Broken Hill, outback New South Wales (©paula mcmanus)


Broken Hill is a remote city in the New South Wales outback and is home to more than 18,000 people. Even though Broken Hill is in New South Wales, the city uses the South Australian time zone and television stations. Adelaide is 511kms away in South Australia and is the closest capital city. Sydney is over 1,000kms away - almost twice the distance.

The original name for Broken Hill was Willyama. The name "Broken Hill" was first used by early Australian explorer Charles Sturt. He named it due to the number of hills that seemed to have a break in them. Once Charles Rasp discovered silver in the hills in 1883, those broken hills soon disappeared and mines have replaced them.

Sculptures Symposium Broken Hill
Sculptures Symposium, Broken Hill (©paula mcmanus)


The world's largest mining company, BHP BIlliton, started in Broken Hill and the city is a hub for art, artists and photographers. Tourism plays a major role in the city these days, and being part of the National Heritage Register will most likely attract a lot of new visitors to the area.

There is so much to see, do and experience in Broken Hill. It's a few hours drive from Adelaide, but a whole world away. If you're after a true outback experience, but with all of the luxuries of modern day life, then go. Go and visit this fascinating, historic and iconic Australian outback town.

Lane Lane, Broken Hill
Lane Lane, Broken Hill (©paula mcmanus)


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Why? An exceptional place
Where: Broken Hill
Your Comment
This is one town I am yet to visit. Now there is a great reason to break that drought.
by Steve Hudson (score: 3|1240) 1057 days ago
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