. The remote mining city of Broken Hill is in the Australian state of New South Wales. It is positioned close to the South Australian border where two main motorways, the Barrier Highway and the Silver City Highway, meet. At 220 meters above sea level, its average yearly rainfall is only 230 mm. Through the summer, temperatures can climb above 40 degrees Celsius. Adelaide is the closest metropolitan city, 500 km away.
Like most of Australia’s outback areas, this interesting city’s growth was due to the mining of precious metals. At one stage, it had the world’s richest supply of silver, zinc and lead. Although these deposits are somewhat depleted, mining still produces over two millions tons a year. Merino sheep farming is currently the main industry; in fact, there are more sheep than people in the area.
Tourism is also a rapidly growing industry and, on the economic front, it produces almost as much revenue as mining. This region has also been popular with international film-makers. Many TV shows and movies have been shot in this expansive area, the three most notable being ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’, ‘Mad Max’, and ‘A Town like Alice’. Tourism received another boost in 2007 when a direct flight from Sydney was offered.
Three of the main visitor attractions are the Living Desert Sanctuary, the Sculpture Museum, and the Regional Art Gallery. These attract local visitors and also those from round the world. Sitting on top of a massive hill is the Sculpture Museum which features 12 incredible sandstone sculptures that silhouette against the skyline. A bunch of international artists participated in this project which reached completion in 1993.
Tourists can see an array of flora and fauna that is indigenous to the area at the Living Desert Sanctuary. This is only 9 km from the city and is situated on a massive reserve of 2400 hectares. Visitors can book a 2-hour trip (return) to this region and learn fascinating details about Aboriginal heritage.
The Regional Art Gallery has won numerous awards for the renovation and refurbishment of the old Sully’s Emporium. In the early days, this was among the biggest commercial businesses. Much of the heavy machinery and equipment used to develop and explore the mineral fields was provided by Sully’s.
Another recommended attraction is the Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum. Visitors can enjoy intriguing displays of interesting artifacts, minerals, and gems that portray mining history. This is not merely a set of stones – a variety of interactive displays include lighting, sound, and other effects that bring the beauty and mystery of gems and minerals to life.
The nightlife is bustling and there is a wide variety of pubs, clubs, music bars, cinemas, and restaurants. A favorite with tourists is the Broken Earth Restaurant which offers fine a la Carte dining while patrons enjoy stunning views and sunsets. It also offers a great lunch menu and serves tea, coffee and freshly baked cakes at any time of the day. Broken Hill accommodation options are plentiful and varied. Choices include guest houses, apartments, cottages, cabins, hotels and motels, B&Bs, backpackers’ lodges, caravan sites, and camp parks.