ilovebrokenhill.com , was first published on 8 December 2011 by Jane Deany. My blog is all about the famous outback Australian National Heritage Listed City named Broken Hill, located in the state of New South Wales. I first visited #BrokenHill in 2002 and have returned many times since then. ilovebrokenhill.com will help you discover what's great about this historic mining city, where in the mid 1880's the line of lode, a rich ore body of silver, lead and zinc was found. You will find stories about anything related to Broken Hill.

Sunday 25 December 2011

Christmas 2011 .. no, not at Broken Hill ...

Today is Christmas day, 2011, & I'm home in Melbourne & I just want to wish readers a happy Christmas, that is of course if you celebrate this feast, & I realise it's also the Jewish 'season' of Hanukkah, so happy Hanukkah if this is relevant to you.  Otherwise, simply season's greetings to you all & wishing you a happy holiday period.

I've just made some plans for a couple of trips to Broken Hill in the next few months which I'm excited about, as it's a little over two years since I was last there when I took some New Zealand friends (who now live in Melbourne) & they had a brief but fun time. I can't wait till I get back there & see what's been happening.

Anyhow, it's late, nearly Boxing Day, so I'll sign off, but I will be updating you very soon with lot's more info about the Hill.

Cheers, Jane D

Thursday 15 December 2011

2005 and I've returned to Broken Hill at last

Leaving early afternoon on 30 December 2005 for Mildura some 5.5-6 hours north west of Melbourne, I was excited to be going to Broken Hill again.  My travel companion and I left Mildura early on New Year’s eve, arriving at our destination about 11.30 am.  We gained half an hour as, 40kms south of Broken Hill, the time zone goes back 30 minutes as although Broken Hill is in NSW, it runs on South Australian (SA) 'Central time', as it’s fairly close to the SA border and it just makes more sense to do so.
Being a country city, most shops in the heart of town were closing between 12 noon and 1 pm.  (The shops in the newer shopping centre a few kms from the centre of town, we found out later on, were thankfully open longer, a little bit more typical of what bigger cities have).  We rushed around for an hour or so visiting as many shops, galleries and clubs as we could in that time.  A visit to the Broken Hill Visitor Information Centre was very helpful.

                                                                                       Must See
Broken Earth Cafe Restaurant
on top of Line of Lode
It was then up to the Line of Lode hilltop lookout where we stopped off for lunch at the Broken Earth Cafe Restaurant. The restaurant sits at the highest point of the Line of Lode - see note below - and therefore enjoys a fantastic view over the town in all directions.  It served and still serves a tasty and diverse range of food (and drinks-yes licensed) and also has some excellent art adorning the walls which is sometimes for sale. It is actually a striking and award winning piece of architecture and has a Visitor's Centre attached as well.

We followed this up by a visit to the adjacent, (accessed via the Visitor's Centre) impressive and touching Miner’s Memorial, which also sits on top of the Line of Lode, which is made up of in part, remnant mullock (skimp) dumps and appears as a hill that divides north and south Broken Hill and is part of the massive orebody that has proved to be one of the world's largest silver-zinc-lead mineral deposits.
Must See
Miner's Memorial
Art Scene
We took in some more galleries, including a brief visit to the famous Pro Hart Gallery which you have to pay to go into. They were about to close but luckily someone buying some art delayed the closure and I zipped around the 3 levels as fast as I could.  It was a fantastic personal collection which, unfortunately for visitors, has been significantly sold off after Pro died in 2006.  It is now a gallery primarily exhibiting Pro's own work.
Must See
We then did a little shopping for picnic supplies and headed a few kilometers out of town to go to the wonderful Living Desert Sculpture Symposium/Park to take in a fabulous sunset and view.  The sculptures are pretty impressive as well.  Oh, by the way it was about 42 degrees celsius, so just a 'tad' hot!  After taking lots of photos, we enjoyed some champagne and a yummy picnic.

Horse head sculpture

Club Scene
It was then back to our motel to freshen up and off to the Muso Club aka Broken Hill Musician's Club (one of a number of clubs in town) to see in the new year and to catch up with one of the local identity Steer brothers whom we’d met earlier in the day at his art gallery in town.  More about art later…  It was lots of fun at the club and we felt we could enjoy seeing in the new year twice – with the half hour interval between events due to the time zone variation adding an extra bit of fun to the night.  I don’t think many Melbournite’s go to Broken Hill for new year's eve, it was certainly a different and novel way of seeing in another year.

(Above, left and right) Sunset and several sculptures from the Living Desert Sculpture Symposium/Park

Cheers for now, Jane D

Thursday 8 December 2011

Broken Hill or bust .. 1st trip ... 2002

My New South Wales (NSW) road trip finally lead me to Broken Hill (BH/the Hill) – yeah!  It was Friday 8 November 2002 (Cup week back home in Melbourne and “Media Puzzle" (watch youtube video of the race here), ridden by Damien Oliver, had won the Melbourne Cup earlier in the week, just by the way, I love the name of that horse).  On the subject of races, Broken Hill has a famous St Patrick's Day race meeting every year, around the 17th of March.  I believe it's the highlight of the city's social calendar (or certainly one of them).
I had left the very small yet historic (wonderful old buildings) town of Wilcannia (NSW) (population in 2006 – 628, with 453 being indigenous people) earlier that day to get there.  Wilcannia is the second closest town to Broken Hill and is situated 190 kms due east.

The nearest town, some 110 ks south east is Menindee (population according to Wikipedia - @ 15 Aug 2011 “sign-posted population of 980”). Okay, that’s the geography lesson for now ;-) ).

Mine Head Frame at sunrise
Broken Hill
So I’d finally made it to this famous Australian outback city (population approx 20,000).  On my one free day to look around, I couldn’t help but notice how cheap the real estate was compared to Melbourne.  The cute miner’s cottages were priced around $30,000 to $50,000 AUD for something quite reasonable – don’t forget this is 2002.  You would probably pay ten times that for something similar back in Melbourne.  I was somehow besotted with this unique place (I must add that I have always been a sucker for real estate!).  I unfortunately couldn’t stick around on that trip but I knew I’d be back.
It took a while to get back there, as my next trip wasn’t until New Year’s Eve 2005-2006 (see separate post), and it was just for a long weekend – where I spent much of the time checking out the art scene which is really major.  But I’ve been back since then countless times.  For some reason this city has caught my attention and I want to share all that’s great about Broken Hill with anyone who’d like to visit my site to hear my perspective and I hope other readers views along the way as well.  I would love to hear your impressions if you’ve been there and I will try to help answer your questions about this wonderful city if you haven’t.

Cheers, Jane D