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"Broken hill - The Accessible Outback"
Beyond the Darling, on the edge of sundown they used to say, as if there was nowhere further to travel in Australia. Or perhaps it was simply the feeling of standing at the lookout over the Mundi Mundi Plains near Silverton and suddenly being confronted by all that space like some vast inland sea rolling into sunset. Out here are clear blue skies and magic light much loved by film makers from Mad Max 2 to Priscilla. Out here the big red roos boom two hundred kilometres in a night chasing a thunderstorm. Out here the Sturt Peas bloom in dark red soils and the wind blows silence. Out here tower mullock heaps that represent billions of dollars that drove the economy of a fledgling Federation. Out here it is easy to be reminded of the struggles of pioneers.
In a sense there is too much history to be contained in the four walls of a museum, too many relics such as the remnants of BHP’s first office to be displayed behind glass. Through its heritage drives and walks you are encouraged to discover something of Broken Hill’s history and in doing so to discover a little of the history of this nation. Broken Hill’s residents are actively encouraged to restore their heritage homes and buildings and in doing so preserve that special character of the place. From the heritage lookouts it begins to become possible to comprehend the magnitude of the “Line of Lode”, that seven kilometre strip of what was once the biggest deposit of Silver, Lead and Zinc in the world.
In the City it is possible to take guided tours of former mines, view rare and beautiful minerals, clamber over head frames or have a walk with the locals and let them explain what the City is all about.
The desert makes the Outback, its colour and subtlety. After rain the perennial wild flowers bloom and in spring the rich blossoms of mulga tress attract a myriad range of birds. This is the land of the raptor, hawks and wedge tail eagles. The hills are the home of the sure footed rock Euro while on the plains the emus strut and the big reds boom. Six kilometres from Broken Hill the well designated walking trails and interpretative signs of the Living Desert Reserve allow you to discover the wonders of this landscape. There is even a field guide available from the Visitors Centre.
Broken Hill is renowned for its vibrant art community and bristles with art galleries and artist’s studios.
Broken Hill is one of the nation’s most exciting art centres and has captured the imagination of visitors and has truly enabled them to see the region’s spectacular scenery through the eyes of its artists. Take a Look! Clear light, glorious views, expansive vistas and dazzling skies, at times interrupted by billowing clouds are all captured by the region’s artists. It is a City where you can meet the makers of the treasured memories. Meet the artists in their studios, watch them work on a piece which you would love to take away. Visit the many galleries and museums. Affordable works of art can be found at any of the many art galleries. Visit the spectacular Sculpture Symposium and admire the work and the view. Walk the Living Desert Art Trail and the Heritage Art Trails.
There are twenty two hotels and eight registered clubs. There’s entertainment everywhere. Play Two-up in NSW only traditional legalised school. Bet against your mates. Check with the Visitors Centre for days and times to play.
Events include the Silver City Show and Broken Heel Festival, celebrating Priscilla Queen of the Desert, in September and the famous St Patrick’s Race Club Meeting two weeks prior to Easter. The 4x4 Outback Challenge in May provides an opportunity for spectators to experience an event where the area’s natural features and elements test man and machine to their limits. A number of Gymkhanas and picnic race meetings occur throughout the region over the year.
The Accessible Outback leads into Silverton, Milparinka, Tibooburra, White Cliffs, Ivanhoe, Menindee and the Lakes, and the National Parks of Sturt, Kinchega, Mutawintji, Mungo and Paroo Darling.
All these areas are accessible with good graded roads. Coach and 4WD companies offer day and half day tours, overnight tours and extended package tours to the real outback.
Article & Photos courtesy of -
|© The Duke of Cornwall Inn - Heritage Accommodation|