Broken Hill Roadtrip

After being in lock down for months, I felt the need to get outback, and Broken Hill seemed like the place to head for

Broken Hill is a mining town in the north west of the state of New South Wales and has a number of attractions worthy of the trip for a photographer, which is a good thing as it is a nearly 1200km journey by car. After a few days at my co-travelers place in Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands, we headed outback with our first stop overnight in Griffith, NSW. The next day we hit the road, destination Broken Hill.

Broken Hill Roadtrip
The endless red dirt of the NSW Outback

Upon arrival in Broken Hill we settled into our AirBNB accommodation which thankfully was a short walk up the road from the main business district, and all of it’s restaurants and hotels. The most famous Hotel of course, is The Palace Hotel which was featured in the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert from 1994. Perhaps the most interesting part of the hotel is the unique painting of the walls within. Worth a visit for a look-see and for the great selection of Fossey’s Gin which you can enjoy with a great meal at their restaurant.

Broken Hill itself is a fairly typical country town, however surrounding it are plenty of sights to see and our first stop was the Line of Lode Memorial to the Miners who have lost their lives in the mines. Sitting high on a mountain of dirt and rubble that was created with the earth removed from the mines, the memorial is a striking bit of architecture with a brown rustic finish that contrasts well with the blue sky above it.

Line Of Lode Miner's Memorial

A short drive outside of Broken Hill, is the Living Desert and Sculptures, a which in essence is a collection of stone sculptures atop a small hill. This small hill provides panoramic views of the surrounding area, and is a sensational place to sit and watch the sun sink slowly as it casts golden sunlight on the sculptures.

You do not know where to look as the sculptures take on an incredibly orange hue from the setting sun, and then the sunset itself is just amazing. In the end I decide the silhouetted sculpture with the setting sun behind it was the best result I could get as I worked around the other visitors to the site.

Living Desert and Sculptures
Living Desert and Sculptures

The other must see while visiting Broken Hill is the Menindee Lakes, which is a series of lakes along the Darling River about 110km outside Broken Hill itself. Depending on where you decide to look, you may find an empty lake or a water filled lake with dead trees emerging from the water, that in late afternoon create the most amazing sight. I ended up shooting a huge number of images here, as well as drone footage which looks spectacular.

Menindee Lakes
Menindee Lakes

After leaving Broken Hill, we drove through Willcania and then Bourke, both of which are scary little towns with our motel in Bourke having locked gates between 8:30PM and 6:30Am, plus electric fences around it’s perimeter. Doesn’t exactly make you feel safe! Our next big stop however was a wonderful town called Narrabri, where we once again used AirBNB for our accommodation and were luck enough once again to be just on the edge of the main business district and the best Hotel in the Outback, the Tourist Hotel. If you are in the area be sure to stay here and eat here. After an extensive upgrade by the new owners it is a truly beautiful Hotel and the food is excellent.

Narrabri has a few other sights to see, one of which was the Sandstone caves in the Pilliga National Park. The caves are about an hours drive out of town, and then a 1.7km walking track takes you past some incredible sandstone caves, some with Aboriginal Carvings. These caves are well worth a visit and the walk is very easy.

Pilliga-National-Park-Sandstone-Caves
Sandstone caves in the Pilliga National Park

The other National Park in the area of Narrabri, is the Mount Kaputar National Park, featuring Sawn Rocks. Sawn Rocks are one of Australia’s best examples of a rock formation called ‘organ-piping’ – because they look like a wall of giant organ pipes. They are a fascinating reminder of Mount Kaputar’s volcanic past.

To be honest photos here are kind of limited to “looking up” at the rock wall, but for me, it was a great opportunity to get the drone out and view the rocks from up high, which was quite amazing!

Sawn Rocks in the Mount Kaputar National Park

From Narrabri, we headed for Orange, a fantastic country town with great food and a close proximity to Bathurst. After taking care of some other business in Orange, we then headed for Sydney which is about a three hour drive, depending on traffic.

The Roadtrip to Broken Hill was a great opportunity for more photography of this countries amazingly diverse landscapes and gave me a chance to exercise both the DJI  Mavic Mini drone (Check out the Menindee Lakes video below!) and the Sony A7R Mk2 which after being locked down for so long, was a real treat.

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