I am really excited about today’s guest post, graciously written by Brooke Schoenman of WhyGo Australia. Australia is a place to which I have always wanted to travel but never have. In her post, Brooke discusses a unique corner of the continent completely unfamiliar to me, but which only heightens my desire to travel to the Outback.
I took a trip in Australia this year that everyone I told the plan to responded by asking, “Why?” It seemed that nobody I spoke with, even the locals, had any real desire to make the rather long journey to the furthest outback area of New South Wales; to me, it was just more fuel to my fire.
The plan was to make it out to Broken Hill, a good 15 hour drive west of Sydney. As you can imagine, by not choosing one of the cheap flights in Australia to get there, it was a very long ride. However, I wouldn’t change that fact for anything. Part of the pleasure of travel in Australia is being able to experience the wide open spaces as each town gets smaller and further apart until finally, you come across Broken Hill.
After hours of nothingness, it is hard to imagine the bustling little oasis of Broken Hill to arise. It is full of cute little bed and breakfasts, old-style streets with pubs and cafes, amazing sunsets and loads of art. In fact, the oldest regional art gallery in New South Wales is located here, along with a long list of other art and photo galleries to peruse including:
- The Horizon Gallery
- The Pro Hart Gallery
- The Homestead Gallery
- White’s Mineral Art Gallery
- Bush and Beyond Gallery
- D’Art de Main Gallery
If that wasn’t enough, just outside of the town lies the Living Desert Reserve, which is basically like a park where you can explore what the desert has to offer. The main draw, however, to this park is the group of sculptures that lie on a hill overlooking the valley. The 12 sculptures there were completed by artists from all around the world in 1993 and have been left in Broken Hill so they could each tell a story to those that visit.
Silverton, as the name suggests, is an old mining town about a half hour drive from Broken Hill. The town is now known as a ghost town except for the few shops and buildings that are on the premises for tourists. Among these buildings sits three different art galleries, but the true claims to fame include the Silverton Cafe, the Silverton Hotel and The Coin Carvery.
The Silverton Cafe is a working cafe with not only delicious food and drink but also a rather large display of local antiques that tell the story of its mining past. The Silverton Hotel has had its 15 minutes of fame, which is marked by the parking of the Mad Max car out front. For a chat with a great bloke that fancies a bit of metal work, there’s The Coin Carvery just a couple minute walk across the dirt road.
Not many people would expect to find such a unique and cultured art oasis in such an obscure location, but a 15 hour drive into the outback of New South Wales is where this one sits. Trains regularly run the distance, but the easiest way to get around once there is definitely by renting a car.