2020 has changed everything including our travel plans. Like many families from Sydney and the Central West, Broken Hill has become a popular destination. Our stay in Broken Hill was part of a 10-day road trip around NSW that included Orange, Dubbo, Griffith and Parkes.
Broken Hill is approximately 9 hours from Orange in the Central West, and 13 hours from Sydney by car.
We travelled to Broken Hill with our four kids in early October. Our initial plan was to stay for 2 nights but after speaking to friends we decided to change our plans and stay an additional night. There is so much to do and see around Broken Hill, that a 3-night stay is the minimum.
You will need to book your accommodation well in advance. With interstate travel restrictions, regional holidays are proving very popular. We booked 90% of all accommodation, restaurants and activities where we could. We even booked dinner at a local pub for our overnight stay at Cobar and we are glad we did! If you don’t book, you will at the least be disappointed and the worst spending the night in the car!
For large families with 4 kids, there are not a lot of options. We stayed in a three-bedroom apartment at the Red Earth Motel. The motel is well located, modern and very clean. Highly recommended.
There is some great food in Broken Hill. Visit Silly Goat for breakfast, brunch and lunch. You can only book one week in advance. The staff had inner-city Sydney attitude – which was a little amusing – but the food and coffee is worth the visit. They also do take away coffee. The Broken Hill Pub (BHP) has had a recent renovation and is the pick of the dinner venues. Their COVID Marshalls take their job very seriously. We also ate at The Astra and had a great night with more personal service. The Palace was disappointing. It is an iconic destination, but the food was average. Pop in around lunchtime to check out the décor, wall and ceiling artwork and take some photos etc, but give dinner a miss.
Allow a day to go to Silverton. There is a lot to see. A visit to Daydream mine is highly recommended. The mine tour provides an eye-opening insight into the brutality of life working underground. If you are not able to book in advance, you will need to get there early to avoid a long wait. If you get claustrophobia, give it a miss as the tour does go underground into tight spaces.
Silverton is home to the iconic Silverton Hotel and the walls are lined with photos from movie sets. You can also visit the Mad Max Museum and a number of galleries. If you like photography and/or gardening visit the Silverton Gallery & Garden. Helen loves a chat.
Finish your trip with a short drive to the Mundi Mundi lookout.
There are a number of fantastic locations to take in a panoramic view with Broken Hill enjoying amazing sunrises and sunsets.
Head up to the Line of Lode Lookout and Miners Memorial to take in the view over the city. The memorial is dedicated to the 800+ miners who lost their lives working in the Broken Hill mines. The Broken Earth Café at the same location serves basic food. It should be a premium food location, but isn’t.
The Living Desert and Sculptures is a must see. Enter the reserve about an hour before sunset, view the 12 sculptures and find a spot to enjoy the view. Take a warm jacket as it can get cold in the evening. There is a $6 entry fee per person to enter the Living Desert State Park. No bathroom facilities are here.
If you plan a day trip to Silverton, head to the Mundi Mundi plains lookout for a spectacular view.
Broken Hill is an inspiring place for creatives – photographers, filmmakers, painters, print makers, sculptures etc. I think it is a combination of the harsh beauty of the outback, larger than life personalities and the light. The Regional Art Gallery next to the BHP is definitely worth a visit. Entry is free but you will need to book. The Gallery has permanent works as well as short-term exhibitions. The Pro Hart Gallery is also worthwhile.
The Bruce Langford Visitors’ Centre is located in a working Royal Flying Doctor base. Tours provide a unique insight into life in remote areas of Australia. Pre-booking is required for groups of 10+. We really enjoyed the tour.
If you love a retro milkshake, Bell’s Milk Bar is not far from the Royal Flying Doctor base.
With four kids, we drove to Broken Hill in a Kia Carnival. Most of the roads around Broken Hill are fine and a drive out to Silverton is also no problem. You definitely want to be careful driving at sunset and at night. Slow down and watch out for roos. If you are planning a trip to a more remote area, the information centre can advise on road conditions. If you do not have a 4WD this is strongly recommended.