Broken Hill, the gateway to Outback New South Wales, is a fascinating town dedicated to mining and art.
Its mining history stretches back to the latter years of the 19th century; BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, has roots in the town. Broken Hill itself was founded in 1883 and several of its street names were inspired by the minerals and resources that were found there – argent, chloride, sulphide and cobalt for example.
At the edge of the Central Business District is the Miner’s Memorial, which commemorates the hundreds of workers who died while working the mine. There are several art galleries for travellers to visit, such as Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, Pro Hart and Jack Absalom and the Brushmen of the Bush, along with heritage buildings to see, too. The Silver City Art Centre houses the world’s largest (12m x 100m) (40 feet x 328 feet) acrylic on canvas painting.
Within an hour’s drive of Broken Hill are Silverton (the setting of several movies), Kinchega National Park and the Menindee Lakes.
Broken Hill has a dry climate. Summer (December to February) temperatures reach 40 C (104 F) while winter (June to August) temperatures reach 20 C (68 F). Dust storms are no longer a problem in the city thanks to a reserve that circles the town. Spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) temperatures hover around 25 C (77 F).
Broken Hill’s tourist season generally begins mid to late March and runs until the end of October. Peak periods during this time are the school holiday periods, April, July, September and October.
November to February is, in general, low season.