Even if you’ve never been to Silverton, there’s a good chance you’ll recognise it. This former silver mining town has starred in a number of iconic Australian films and its famous history is dotted all around town. Learn about its colourful past, meet local artists and keep an eye out for the friendly donkeys.
The dusty streets are lined with colonial buildings, including churches, a school and the municipal chambers. At Silverton Gaol Museum, see a fascinating collection of photographs, household items, and mining and medical equipment including a ‘coroner’s bath’, where bodies were once preserved before the arrival of the Sydney coroner.
Take a guided underground tour through a former silver mine at Historic Daydream Mine, 18km from Silverton, and get an insight into the harsh realities of mining a century ago. The mine opened in 1882 and operated for almost a century, employing close to 200 people at its peak, some as young as eight.
Museums and galleries
The Mad Max Museum is a tribute to the movie Mad Max 2, showcasing a huge display of props, life size characters and photographs from the film. Learn about the movie’s impact on Silverton, see original and replica action vehicles, including two Interceptors, and pick up souvenirs.
Stop for a drink or a meal at the Silverton Hotel, where you can see a display of photographs from movies shot in the area including Razorback, Mission Impossible II, Mad Max 2 and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. This classic Outback pub that has also enjoyed a starring role in several of these movies.
You’ll notice plenty of art all around town. Look for the murals and the painted VW Beetle outside the John Dynon Art Gallery, where the artist himself can often be found working. Pick up works from local artists at Cowz Art Gallery, The Horizon Gallery and Silverton Photography.
Mundi Mundi Plains
Just outside of Silverton are the Mundi Mundi Plains. Walk to the top of the lookout and see the plains stretch out before you for hundreds of kilometres. The view is so clear you can even see the curvature of the earth. It’s particularly spectacular at sunset.
Getting there and where to stay
Broken Hill is a 13-hour drive from Sydney, 11 hours from Canberra, nine hours from Melbourne and just under six from Adelaide. You can fly into Broken Hill and hire a car for the 25min drive. You may need a 4WD for unsealed roads and national parks. Stay at the Silverton Hotel, at the local campground or in nearby Broken Hill.