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Broken Hill Road Trip

Home > Adelaide > Fun Things To Do | Long Weekend | Travel | Weekend Escapes
by Outrageous Jones (subscribe)
but you can just call me Ray. My life is full of great experiences, made better for sharing.
Published September 18th 2016
Hit the road again, for a Broken Heel weekend
Broken Hill seems to be the last place Adelaideans think of when planning a weekend sojourn away. I am as guilty of passing it by; my last visit was over 20 years ago.

However a recent four-day break beckoned a new destination, and
Broken Hill, Menindee Lakes, Outback, Aboriginal, Palace Hotel, Priscilla, BHP, Silverton, Mad Max, Mutawintji, Manna Hill, Barrier Highway, Tourism Australia, Adelaide, Pro Hart, Jack Absolom
Manna Hill Rail Station on the Barrier Highway
we delighted in our afternoon drive up the Barrier Highway, passed some great little towns to the sadly declining, but wonderfully rich tourist tapestry of "the Hill". You can't miss the giant Solar Array as you drive into the outskirts of town.
A sign of things to come.

For accommodation, we chose one of the many cottages on offer from locals through the usual sites. Our cottage was close to the main street and full of amenity. There is plenty of good quality accommodation available in Broken Hill.

For day one we selected a fully catered one day Tri-State Safari to Mutawintji National Park. Our certified guide Mark taught me more about the deep and abiding Australian indigenous culture than I had ever known or imagined. Truly enlightening thank you, Mark.
 


Back in town, and out for dinner to the Palace Hotel, scene of part of the movie Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It was the beginning of our art experience that would last the next 24 hours. The wall art and bric-a-brac feel of artefacts all over the Pub was unique. Let me recommend a pre-dinner drink on the expansive balcony. The food here was a big surprise. Plenty of choices and expertly presented.
Broken Hill, Menindee Lakes, Outback, Aboriginal, Palace Hotel, Priscilla, BHP, Silverton, Mad Max, Mutawintji, Manna Hill, Barrier Highway, Tourism Australia, Adelaide, Pro Hart, Jack Absolom
Panoramic Views from the Sculpture Symposium
Broken Hill, Menindee Lakes, Outback, Aboriginal, Palace Hotel, Priscilla, BHP, Silverton, Mad Max, Mutawintji, Manna Hill, Barrier Highway, Tourism Australia, Adelaide, Pro Hart, Jack Absolom
Mad Max Museum - Silverton
 

Day two continued our art tour with a visit to the eclectic Jack Absalom's Gallery, including an audience with Jack, one of the famous brush-men of the Bush. On to Pro Harts professional outfit, a delightful experience, then to the Sculpture Symposium on top of a beautiful 360-degree panorama. Out to Silverton for lunch at the pub, a visit to the Mad Max Museum and a drive around the ghostly 50's infrastructure of the Penrose Park, once the playground of Broken Hill families on their day off.

Back to town and a visit to the small, but exquisite collection of the Regional Art Gallery in the main street. Dinner at the other beautiful pub, with live music from the owner and equally excellent cuisine, the Royal Exchange.

Day three broke with more sunshine on offer, and a trip to Menindee Lakes was beckoning. While the lakes are mostly dry, there is enough water, especially in the Darling, to keep your interest and the bird life was teeming. The local Pub again fed us well, as we pondered what it would have been like when visited by Messrs Burke and Wills on the way to infamy.

Broken Hill, Menindee Lakes, Outback, Aboriginal, Palace Hotel, Priscilla, BHP, Silverton, Mad Max, Mutawintji, Manna Hill, Barrier Highway, Tourism Australia, Adelaide, Pro Hart, Jack Absolom
Darling River at Menindee


Back to the Hill, and a visit to the resplendent 60's at the local ice cream parlour, Bells Milk Bar on the other side of the mine.

That evening we again chose the Palace Hotel and delighted in one of those travelling conversations with strangers, that you can only find in the outback. Our farming friends from Yass (near Canberra) were on an airfield hopping holiday to the Kimberley's, and Broken Hill was the first stop.

Broken Hill, Menindee Lakes, Outback, Aboriginal, Palace Hotel, Priscilla, BHP, Silverton, Mad Max, Mutawintji, Manna Hill, Barrier Highway, Tourism Australia, Adelaide, Pro Hart, Jack Absolom
Palace Hotel Great Food
Broken Hill, Menindee Lakes, Outback, Aboriginal, Palace Hotel, Priscilla, BHP, Silverton, Mad Max, Mutawintji, Manna Hill, Barrier Highway, Tourism Australia, Adelaide, Pro Hart, Jack Absolom
Pro Hart's Roller
 


Next morning and a leisurely drive back down the highway to Adelaide, full of plans to spend a week or more, and fully explore the region around "the Hill". Perhaps using the Gyrocopter's the locals use to muster sheep.
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Why? Visit Broken Hill as an alternative weekend away
Where: Broken Hill
Cost: Meals mostly $ Mid 20's, Accomodation $ Mid 100's
Your Comment
A great trip. I did the reverse, Broken Hill to Adelaide and found the scenery spectacular. My husband and I (from Melbourne) had spent three days in Broken Hill when he took ill and the Royal Flying Doctor Service flew him to Adelaide, so my trip down the Barrier Highway was one of necessity. I stopped for coffee at the Manna Hill pub on the way. I would love to do the Barrier Highway trip again when I had time to spare.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|6943) 1089 days ago
For South Australians, I recommend a special link to our past, the Sulphide st railway station -https://www.travelin.com.au/articles/Sulphide-Street-Railway-and-Historical-Museum-Broken-Hill-01096
Yes, in its day, Broken Hill had two different stations for two different lines with two different gauges (widths).
by daviddon@dodo.com.au (score: 2|555) 1088 days ago
Liked where you went and what you saw and did.My grandfather worked in the mines there and my mother was born there.Passed through there many years ago and stopped for an hour...having read your article,I now feel I should do something similar to what you have done in the Silver City.
by noelp (score: 3|1199) 1087 days ago
To fully enjoy Broken Hill hospitality, head up there for the St Patrick's Day weekend. Spend the day at the races (it's the Broken Hill Melbourne Cup). Then the next day being Sunday, go to Silverton for the 'recovery day'. Live music, plenty of tucker and a great atmosphere. See you there in March 2017
by gchey (score: 0|4) 1077 days ago
We recently visited Broken Hill travelling on the Indian Pacific stopping and staying at Broken Hill just opposite the station. Had the best time there - pubs, eateries,chatting to the locals,loved Bells Milk Bar that takes you back to the younger days and visiting and meeting Jack Absalom's gallery. I do feel for the town of Broken Hill as the Indian Pacific no longer offers the concession rates for Seniors to enjoy the trip from Adelaide to Broken Hill and return for a very minimum cost.This may affect some of the businesses, sadly, however I will continue to visit Broken Hill and to support the small city and it's wonderful people. If you just want a few days away, it truly is worth the trip to see the old mines and the history of the area as well. Broken Hill is close to my heart too as my Grandfather worked on the mines and his photo,with others,is displayed at the Silverton Museum. Love Broken Hill!!!
by emma1 (score: 0|7) 1087 days ago
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