It has been a while, but it is definitely worth sharing some of our memorable experiences on our road-trip to the Australian outback, the Broken Hill. We went on this Road Trip in December 2020.
Broken hill is an old Australian mining city, far away from any major city. It belongs to the state of New South Wales. However, it is located closer to the borders of South Australia (Cockburn) and Victoria (Mildura).
Decorated with Red Dirt, Broken Hill is a dry, rural yet colourful city with lot of culture and story. Let me take you through the whole journey, just like the way we did.
Canberra to Dubbo via Cowra Japanese Garden
We were living in Canberra at the time and we took off early in the morning. Our first stop was Dubbo. On our way, we had some rest at the Cowra Japanese garden. Our route was as follows.
The Japanese garden was full of green life with lovely people actively maintaining the premise. We had a small lunch at a park just outside of the Japanese garden.
This park is an excellent place to relax your eyes, have a walk and fill your tummies to give your trip a wonderful start. Our final destination for the day was Dubbo, where we stayed the night. Dubbo houses one of the bases for the Royal Australian Flying Doctor Service. Accompanied with the base was a nice museum to see the associated heritage.
Dubbo to Cobar via Nyngan
Our next immediate destination was the city of Nyngan. It was a city full of history.
Nyngan is the home to the infamous Bogan River. You’ll find a town museum/heritage centre that would portray the related history and the story of the Bogan River Floods. It is a heart-touching story one should see. There you will find a short video projection at the museum.
You can get more information on what to see and buy some souvenirs from the station master’s office. If I remember correctly, they should be able to direct you to the Bogan River story.
Our next destination was Cobar. Cobar is a famous town for its copper mines. It is not hard to miss Cobar town due to the massive monument that says “Cobar”. But it was quite the route to find the gorgeous cut on land that mines gold – Open Cut Gold Mine.
We stayed at a motel quite close to the monument, which was a cosy cold place with air conditioning. That should really be a must-have amenity at that scorching temperature.
There are many many small heritage centres, small monuments and friendly people to ask around. Do that if you are unable to find the route to the mine. It was not quite obvious on Google Maps.
Cobar to Broken Hill
Next was the drive to Broken Hill, the oldest living mining city in Australia.
The drive is a long one on lonely roads, mostly red across the bushy lands. One important note is to have a full tank whenever you get the chance.
You could probably fill up at the rural town Wilcannia. The route homed a historic site named “Mount Grenfell”. There we found some nice cave paintings of the first Australians. That was a stunning view and an unforgettable journey of 40km into the desert on a red unsealed road.
Well, that probably is the most valuable thing we saw on the entire road trip. Well, it was far from over.
Broken Hill, the Mining City
The things we saw and places we visited were too much of details to gather under a single topic. But here are a few highlights and the stuff that probably one must see.
A few kilometres from Broken hill resides Silverton city. This city houses mines of different minerals like zinc, silver and a few more. But on the way, you will find the Day Dream Mine. There you can go on a guided tour inside the mine and later have freshly baked scones with cream and jam along with a cup of warm coffee. That was quite fascinating and delicious.
You should be safe when you drive, especially if it rains. Flash floods come fast and roads get super slippery. Our vehicle slipped on a red road and got stuck on the edge. Lucky for us we were on the last tour and the tour guide helped us out on their way home.
You can reach further into the outbacks to Silverton city. Or as some call 39 dips away (from Broken Hill). That should explain the road, a bit.
Silverton city is full of culture, art and the redness of the desert. You will find plenty of places to fill your souvenir cabinet. Here are a few shots from Silverton.
The Return Journey
We had planned our return journey to Canberra via Griffith, a city in New South Wales. The path would have been quite okay if not for the floods we had. The roads were closed and we had to take a pretty long detour. You can see the detour on the map.
We had a very long drive and arrived at the hotel very late. But it was totally worth it as Griffith was a wonderful sight the next morning.
On the way to Canberra is Temora, which is an aviation city. Temora houses an aviation museum that keeps World War aircrafts running and ready to go on airshows. Or as they call it “keeping them airworthy”. There was a fascinating airshow which we attended later in 2021 (More on that in a future post).
Well, that was our 10-day road trip in a flash! For your reference here are the things that you should see, and I have skipped the details for brevity.
- Western Plains Cultural Centre
- Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden
- Dubbo Royal Flying Doctor Base Visitor Experience
- Nyngan Museum
- Bogan River
- Great Cobar Heritage Centre (Evening visit)
- The Kidman Way (Different View)
- Great Cobar Copper Mine
- Cobar Heritage Walk
- Fort Bourke Hill Lookout and open-cut gold mine
- The Royal Flying Doctor Service Outback Experience in Broken Hill
- Outback Astronomy
- The Living Desert and Sculptures
- Pro Hart Gallery
- Heritage Listed Broken Hill Synagogue and Museum
- Line of Lode Lookout and Miners Memorial
- Mundi Mundi Plains
- On the way
- The Original Silverton Hotel
- John Dynon Gallery – Silverton
- Mad Max Museum
- Pioneer park museum
- War Memorial
It was an amazing journey. Few last-minute treats below, the way is full of decorated classic cars. Don’t miss them. Hope you enjoyed this write-up.