Arrived in Broken Hill

We left our lovely camp site at Lake Pamamaroo and headed west towards Broken Hill. It had sprinkled rain during the night and we were amazed to run into rain along the way. It rarely rains out this way so it was a real treat to see rain falling in the desert.

Raining in the desert

As you approach Broken Hill a line of hills appears in the distance. These are the Barrier Ranges. The town of Broken Hill sits amongst these hills.

We arrived in Broken Hill and, after topping up with fuel and pumping our tyres back up to highway pressure we went to find a supermarket to stock up our supplies. We found a large carpark suitable for our motorhome near the Woolworths Supermarket. It was to be Catie’s birthday the next day and I managed to get a decorated birthday cake, a lovely bunch of flowers in a pot and a lovely Kaffir Lime & Mango scented candle as gifts.

After stocking up our supplies at Woolies we headed out to the Racecourse to book in to camp for a couple of nights. Robert and Andy had set up their vans with the rear facing the track barrier fence. The campground is a huge grass area in front of the grandstands with powered sites all along the track barrier fence and unpowered sites opposite. Kevin, the caretaker directed us to the site next to Andy and we started to set up there only to discover the three power points were all in use. We called up Kevin to come back and find us another site. While we waited for him Robert suggested we camp right next to him as the sites are very wide and he could park his car in front of his van instead of beside it.

Kevin agreed we could do that as long as we all agreed so Richard moved the motorhome into place in between the two Zones. There was plenty of room and we had power and water.

After everyone was settled in to their camp we set off in the two cars and drove up the big hill to the Line of Lode Miners Memorial. This memorial sits atop a big hill made from the remains of mining and overlooks the whole town to the north. The Memorial is built from Steel and contains a wall inside with all the names of miners who have died showing their name, date of death and how they died. So many died from falls and blasting. I think the saddest were the one that fell into a crusher and the other that fell into the sawmill. What a terrible way to die!

It was blowing a gale at the top of the hill. It was hard to walk against the wind. Next to the Memorial is a new building that houses a cafe but sadly it was closed. It would have an amazing view of the town and would be a fabulous spot to dine in the evening.

Outside are various mining equipment on display and one of the most bizarre pieces of street art I have ever come across. It’s called the Big Bench and is a street bench built in a large scale. However the whole thing is fenced off so you cannot climb up onto it. How crazy is that? A bench seat you can’t sit on. What are the council thinking? It is the perfect photo opportunity and you can’t use it. C’mon Broken Hill. Stick a Broken Hill sign on it and allow people to take their photo sitting on it. I’m sure most tourists would do it.

We drove back down into the CBD and went to the historic Palace Hotel for a cool drink. The Palace was used in the filming of the movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The Palace is still used for the Annual Broken Heel Festival. A festival that celebrates all that is colourful and eccentric about drag.

The interior walls are covered in murals painted by well known Aboriginal artist Gordon Waye. The murals cover the foyer and all the walls around the central staircase.

The historic hotel stands in pride of place in the middle of the Main Street. It is a three storey building with the pub and restaurant on the ground floor and accomodation on the two floors above. We all went exploring and found the first floor has a lovely wide verandah with great views along the Main Street. The whole building is in a shabby state and I hope someone with more money than sense comes along and restores it to it’s former glory.

The Palace Hotel, Broken Hill

Back at camp we had a social time trying to sit out of the wind while we discussed our day and all the marvellous sights we’d seen and what we would do tomorrow before everyone retired for an early night.


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