Broken Hill

Travel Guide Oceania Australia New South Wales Far West Broken Hill



Broken Hill is a historic mining city in the Far West (Outback) of the Australian state of New South Wales. Mining has occurred throughout the entire life of Broken Hill since its founding in 1883. Australia's largest mining concern BHP Billiton has its origins here with the initials BHP standing for "Broken Hill Proprietary". The mining industry has declined in recent years however it still plays an important part in the story of the town with many tourist attractions associated with mining. The other main reason to visit Broken Hill is for the artists who have called the city home. There are many galleries around the city that are worth visiting.



Sights and Activities

  • Miner's Memorial - Located on the top of the mullock heap on the edge of the CBD is the Line of Lode Miner's Memorial and Red Earth Cafe. Good views over the town and desert. Gain road access behind the railway track via Iodide St. and McGillvray Dve. You can also walk up that road but there is no shade. Free.
  • A number of films have been produced in and around Broken Hill over the years, for example; Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Mad Max 2 and Race The Sun.
  • Mundi Mundi Lookout - See the sunset in the outback, just out of town. There are a few favourite pieces of high ground where the sun looks like it drops off the end of the world. The best spot is the lookout just west of Silverton, overlooking the Mundi Mundi plain. Truly spectacular.
  • Trades Hall - pretty exchange built in 1921
  • Pro Hart Gallery and Sculpture Park, 108 Wyman St. Contains a large collection of the noted Australian artist Kevin 'Pro' Hart's paintings and sculptures, as well as many artistic works of others that Hart collected during his lifetime. The gallery also features the Rolls Royce that he painted in his unique style. Pro was born in Broken Hill, New South Wales, was considered the father of the Australian Outback painting movement and his works are widely admired for capturing the true spirit of the outback. He was nicknamed "Professor" (hence "Pro") during his younger days, when he was known as an inventor.
  • Afghan Mosque, Williams St. Established by the Afghan camel riders who helped get the town started back in the 1880s. Tours can be arranged through the Broken Hill visitor's centre.
  • Royal Flying Doctor Service Bruce Langford Visitor Centre, Broken Hill Airport. 9:00am-5:00pm. Tours and exhibits in the local RFDS base. $7.
  • Badsha Mahommed Gool's Ice Cream Cart, White Rocks Historic Site, Schlapp St. A replica cart at an infamous rocky outcrop on the edge of the town, this is the site of the so-called 'Battle of Broken Hill' in 1915. Essentially two Indian-Muslims went 'postal' and killed a bunch of people, after firing 30 or so shots on a special train of picnic-goers, over disputes of halal-meal. Even though a lot of films have been shot in BH, this bizarre story is yet to be turned into one!
  • Sculpture Symposium and Living Desert Reserve, Off Nine Mile Road, 9 kilometres north of town. The centrepiece is a hill containing a number of stone sculptures built in 1993. Very popular for sunset (look out for wildlife when driving back). There are also some walks through desert plants and multitudes of kangaroos. The hill is a 1-kilometre walk from the parking lot. If you need direct access, contact the visitor centre. $5.



Getting There

By Plane

Regional Express has direct services from Sydney, Adelaide and Dubbo. The Sydney service can either be direct (one return flight per day) or with a stop over in Dubbo. Essentially there are two flights per day from Sydney to Broken Hill however they book out quickly. The Adelaide service is a direct flight with two to three return flights per day. This may be a better option if flying: in December 2007, one-way fares from Sydney started at AUD$218; from Adelaide, $132. No other commercial airlines fly to Broken Hill.

Taxis are available at the airport into the town centre. Ask the flight attendant to arrange for a taxi pickup.

By Train

Country Link provides services between Broken Hill and Sydney, among other places. Also, the famous Indian Pacific stops in Broken Hill en route between Sydney and Adelaide and Perth.

By Car

It is just over 1,000 kilometres of mostly long straight drive to Broken Hill from Sydney, and just over 500 kilometres from Adelaide. Both roads are mostly good quality sealed roads. The scenery will change slowly along the way. Broken Hill is on the edge of the real outback, but is easily accessible by car.

By Bus

Buses R Us travel three times per week between Adelaide and Broken Hill. The travel time is about 7 hours. Greyhound (formerly McCafferty)) no longer offer a service to Broken Hill from Adelaide and V Line only offers a service between Mildura and Melbourne. NSW Trainlink (see 'By Train' above) offer a combined train and bus route from Sydney.



Getting Around

Coach tours are an option. Taxis are also available. But you will need a car to see the town and surroundings independently. This poses problems for the adventurous. Rental cars in the city often charge a premium for travelling further than 100–200 kilometres, which is easy to do. After that, the rate is generally 25 cents a kilometre. Driving on unsealed roads is only allowed if you hire a four-wheel drive; even then, if you have an accident, you are liable for the entire insurance excess. So getting off the beaten track is difficult. At least one company only lets you drive to Menindee or Silverton. If you want a real experience you can always take a COBB & CO Coach ride that will take you back in time and off the beaten track, you can see some real country. Avis and Thrifty rental car offices are located in Argent St. in the town centre. The Hertz office is in the Visitor Centre building.




Have a snack on the top of the mullock heap at the Broken Earth Cafe and enjoy the view of the CBD.




Surprisingly, for a town with such a small population, Broken Hill has a burgeoning nightlife. Many clubs exist and are open most nights of the week until late. Establishments catering to both locals and tourists include the Musician's Club and the Democratic Club.
Try a spider at Bell's milk bar.

As one would predict for a mining town, Broken Hill, has its fair share of bars but those expecting frontier style pubs will be disappointed. The majority of bars in Broken Hill are of the RSL club style, full of cheap drinks and pokie machines. Having said that one should not miss out on a game of two-up at the Musicians Club held on Friday and Saturday nights. The Barrier Social Democratic Club holds a disco night on Saturday night in which the young people from the town come out to play.





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Keep Connected


Internet cafés are very common in the larger Australian cities and popular tourist destinations. However, once you leave the major population centres, you might have trouble finding somewhere to log on. Free wifi is getting more and more common (either with or without a code) in places like restaurants, some bars and coffee places and hotels. Sometimes a fee is required.


See also: International Telephone Calls

Australia is on a GSM 900/1800 network, so if you have an unlocked phone that works on those frequencies, you will be able to buy a prepaid SIM-card and stick into your phone when you're in Australia. You will receive a new Australian phone number with the SIM-card.

To dial out of Australia use the prefix 0011, followed by the calling code of the country you are trying to reach, followed by the area code of the city/town (without the 0!) and finally the phone number.

Within Australia, it is necessary to add an area code to the phone numbers if you are calling from outside the area. Below are Australia's area codes:

  • 02 - New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory (Sydney, Canberra)
  • 03 - Victoria & Tasmania (Melbourne, Hobart)
  • 07 - Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 08 - Western Australia, South Australia & Northern Territory (Perth, Adelaide, Darwin)

000 is the emergency telephone number in Australia, but the international GSM mobile emergency telephone number 112 also works on mobile phones.


Australia Post is the government's postal service. Most suburbs will have at least one post office. Opening times are mostly from around 8:00 or 9:00am to 5:00pm though larger ones keep longer hours sometimes. A standard letter or postcard sent within Australia will cost $0.60. Internationally, it costs $1.70 to send postcards anywhere in the world. Letters cost $1.85 to send within the Asia Pacific region and $2.60 to anywhere else in the world.[1]. It is also possible to send things as parcels or by express mail. You can also use use private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL as they are competitive and reliable.



  1. 1 Australia Post. Sourced 10 May 2013

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