Week 5 (Aug 17 – 20) The Outback, Broken Hill and Silverton

Week five will be covered in two posts due to the multiple locations visited.

  • First: Broken Hill and Silverton, an old mining town near Broken Hill, now a ghost town.
  • Second: Other country towns visited on our return to Sydney

Broken Hill and Silverton are Outback towns, at least they qualify as such, but these days are connected to the outside world by sealed roads, have all the usual services we expect, including the Internet/wifi. So you couldn’t say that the people who live there now have to rough it.  Broken Hill was my hometown where I grew up and went to school. Trade unionism developed as a powerful force in Broken Hill due to the nature of the industry,    conditions, and the city’s isolation.  It is 1305 kms from Sydney in western NSW and 48 kms from the South Australian border.

Broken Hill is a base for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), which first became operational in 1928. The base in Broken Hill was established in 1936. It was the dream of Dr. John Flynn to bring medical help from the air to people in the vast Outback. Christmas puddings made as a fund raiser by the Women’s Auxiliary of the RFDS are sold all over Australia.

School of the Air – Broken Hill – Think Distance Education and think School of the Air. This has been a Distance Learning Centre since 1956.

Many movies have been made in Broken Hill and Silverton, including “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”, “Mad Max II”, “A Town Like Alice”

The most distinguishing characteristic of both towns is the artist community, which is now well established. The light and bold colours of this outback region are explored to full extent by the many artists who live and work here. The most famous group is the “Brushmen of the Bush”.

  1. Our accommodation in Broken Hill
  2. My home when I was a teenager. The embankment behind the house is the railway line for the Indian Pacific train.
  3. Side lawn, embankment, and Mine headframes beyond
  4. Kangaroo on Mine property
  5. Alma Public School, my elementary school
  6. Sipping Lime Spiders at Bell’s Milk Bar, a local icon
  7. RFDS
  8. Attractive man-made Zinc Lakes, created by mines for recreation
  9. Section of Argent Street, main street in Broken Hill
  10. Camel and calf near Silverton
  11. Umberumberka Reservoir
  12. Silverton, donkeys too
  13. Silverton, Mad Max II Museum
  14. Silverton, Sturt Desert Pea wild flowers
  15. Broken Hill High School
  16. The Broken Hill Sculptures
  17. With John and friends Jann and Ron Symons at the Sculptures at sundown
  18. Creek bed near Broken Hill
  19. Emus near Broken Hill



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