Broken Hill Business Directory
A Guide to Broken Hill
The isolated and thriving mining town of Broken Hill is the unofficial capital of the New South Wales outback, and home to an overwhelming community bursting with creativity, art, agriculture and a vivacious outlook. Home to the biggest lead, silver and zinc mine under the wings of mining legends BHP, Broken Hill might be a remote gateway to the arid terrain of the Australian bush, but it has an effervescent and intoxicating vibe all of its own. With a flourishing film industry, a huge tourism sector and a chance to see the authentic Aussie spirit alive and well, Broken Hill is a fascinating holiday destination.
Good to Know
BHP Billiton was established here way back in the 1800s, when three young friends put their stamp on a small stony ridge which was later to be called Broken Hill. Little did they know that they had stumbled upon the richest concentration of lead, zinc and silver ever to be found in the world. It is still a working mining town today, with historic monuments and memorials dating back to its origins and showcasing the invaluable history the community of Broken Hill has provided to the entire country.
Things to See and Do in Broken Hill
The Living Desert Sanctuary is more than 180 hectares of Aboriginal heritage, lush with native flora and fauna and some 12 sandstone works of art that dominate the landscape. Each with their own unique story, many of the original sculptures came from artists all over the world in the early 1930s. See modern and contemporary work and a brilliant showcase documenting Aboriginal culture.
Silverton is just a few minutes' drive outside of Broken Hill, yet you will see scenes from the town that are vaguely familiar. The landscape provides the location for many famous movies, like Priscilla Queen of the Desert. With an abundance of historic buildings dating back to the 19th century, the town was heaving with people during the gold rush, but who eventually moved to Broken Hill later on. Cool off with a beer at the Silverton Hotel.
The Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum is a fascinating showcase of the intriguing mining history. It has a number of interactive displays, historic implements and props, minerals and gem exhibits that rotate all the time. At any given time, there could be some 200 specimens on display. Great for exploring the unique history of Broken Hill.
The Bells Milk Bar And Museum is the original milk bar dating back to the 1950s. People come from all over the world to experience this old fashioned shop with all of its original recipes from Les Bell that are still made right here, from scratch. Sip on their legendary spiders, sodas, milk shakes and cordials after browsing the Milk Bar Museum.
The Broken Hill Heritage Trail is a two hour tour on foot that passes many of the main heritage buildings in the town. With histories all integral to the mining background, each street has been named after a mineral, metal, or compound, and in some cases citizens, mine managers or other leaders. A perfect way to explore the nuances of this fascinating city.
The Historic Daydream Mine is a little bit further away, but well worth the visit. The tour through the mine that was built in the 1800s will take you underground to see exactly how the old mine used to work, and you can see the stark working conditions that miners and young boys used to work in. The trip includes light snacks, drinks and tea.
The Mutawintji National Park is a magical place that will creep into your soul and stay with you long after you have returned home. A hugely significant site for the Aboriginal culture, the land was returned to its original owners just before the turn of the century. Originally a place of meeting for the local people, it is now open to tours to the public.