Broken Hill

The legendary outback city of Broken Hill is rich with history, a vibrant artistic community and cast of colourful characters. Discover amazing galleries, famous sculptures, cool cafes, palatial federation heritage and towering mining landmarks in Australia’s first heritage-listed city. 

Broken Hill highlights


Mining history 

Learn about the city’s fascinating history on the Broken Hill Heritage Walk Tour. A stroll down Argent Street reveals many great shops, galleries and historic buildings such as the magnificent 1905 Trades Hall, as well as restaurants and cafes including The Palace Hotel. You might recognise this iconic hotel from the cult Australian movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Couple enjoying the Drag Bingo night at The Palace Hotel in Broken Hill, Outback NSW

Enjoying a Drag Bingo night at The Palace Hotel in Broken Hill

Broken Hill is Australia’s oldest mining town, with a colonial history dating back to the 1880s. Poised dramatically above the landscape, the Line of Lode Miner’s Memorial celebrates the life and work of more than 800 miners who lost their lives here. This striking memorial provides a commanding view of the town. While visiting, be sure to check out The Big Bench – two and a half times bigger than the normal size of a park bench and a fun photo op.

Albert Kersten Mining and Mineral Museum offers a hands-on insight into the science of geology and mining. See artefacts from the city’s mining history and almost 2,000 specimens, including an impressive 42kg silver nugget, and learn the story of the Royal Flying Doctors Service and the vital work they continue to do. 


Art in Broken Hill 

The Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery is the oldest regional gallery in NSW. See works from the Brushmen of the Bush, a group of five artists who included Pro Hart, Eric Minchin and Jack Absalom. There’s also an excellent collection of Aboriginal works from Badger Bates, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri and Emily Kame Kngwarreye. 

There are many other galleries and studios in town, including the Pro Hart Gallery and Willy Nilly Art. Twenty minutes’ drive north of Broken Hill, you’ll find the stunning Living Desert and Sculptures. Created by 12 international artists in 1993, the dramatic sandstone sculptures adorn a trail through the centre of the Living Desert Reserve. 

Sun setting over sculpture in The Living Desert in Broken Hill

Sun setting over sculpture in The Living Desert 

The Broken Heel Festival, held in September, features divas, DJs, and live music that pays homage to the iconic film and stage musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Other great Broken Hill events are the Heritage Festival in April and the Perfect Light Film Festival in March. 


Eat, drink & play 

There’s plenty of ways to enjoy a cold drink in Broken Hill, from classic pubs and bars such as the famous Palace Hotel to the welcoming Broken Hill Distillery. For a delicious breakfast and great coffee head for the Silly Goat Cafe, or drop in to Bell’s Milk Bar for a delicious milkshake topped with authentic 1950s decor. 

Couple stepping back into time at Bells Milk Bar in Broken Hill, Outback NSW

Bells Milk Bar, Broken Hill

Travel five kilometres out of town for some out-of-this-world stargazing with Outback Astronomy. Here, you’ll be able to relax in a purpose-built dome, get comfy under a blanket and listen to the expert guides as they point o9ut the galaxies, constellations and stars shining above in the exceptionally dark sky. 


Where to stay 

There are lots of places to stay including motels, historic cottages, campgrounds and farmstays. The Palace Hotel has 48 rooms to choose from, from pub-style rooms to the famous Priscilla Suite where the characters stays in the movie, decked out in colourful murals and over-the-top furnishings. 

The Palace Hotel, Broken Hill

The Palace Hotel, Broken Hill

Getting there  

Broken Hill is a 13-hour drive from Sydney, an 11-hour drive from Canberra, nine hours from Melbourne and just under six from Adelaide. You can fly into Broken Hill Airport and hire a car to explore the region. You may need a 4WD for unsealed roads and national parks.  

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