35 Fun Things to do in Broken Hill

Broken Hill in the far west of New South Wales is Australia’s oldest mining town and the first heritage listed town in Australia. And there are plenty of things to do in Broken Hill that cover everything from museums that commemorate the town’s mining history, to exploring the national parks that encompass the Barrier Ranges and Menindee Lakes and browsing the many art galleries that celebrate the outback landscape.

Featured Image: Line of Load Memorial © Destination NSW

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Things to do in Broken Hill NSW

Getting to Broken Hill

Broken Hill is a remote town, the nearest capital city is Adelaide which is 6 hours and 515kms away. The main road to Broken Hill from Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney is sealed. It is best to have your own car in Broken Hill as attractions like the Broken Hill Sculptures in The Living Desert, Silverton, the Pro Hart Gallery are spread out across the city.

  • Sydney to Broken Hill – 13 hours, 1150km
  • Melbourne to Broken Hill – 9 hours, 835km
  • Mildura to Broken Hill – 3 hours 10 minutes, 300km

There is a weekly train service from Sydney to Broken Hill. There is a direct bus service between Adelaide and Broken Hill. From Melbourne there is a bus service that runs via Bendigo. From Sydney the bus service runs via Orange and Dubbo.

Broken Hill FAQs

Is Broken Hill Worth Visiting?

Is Broken Hill worth visiting?

Broken Hill is a fascinating place to explore. There are over 20 art galleries to look through. There are lots of museums including the Sulphide Street Train Museum and the Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum and the abandoned mining town of Silverton is great fun to walk around, a drink at the Silverton Pub is a must.

Broken Hill has more than galleries and museum. The Living Desert State Park is a beautiful place that includes a fauna reserve and a great culture walk. But the highlight are the outback sculptures which look fantastic at sunset.

There is also a fantastic visitor experience at the Royal Flying Doctor service and the School of the Air (during term time).

How Many Days?

How many days do you need in Broken Hill?

You should allow up to a week for all the things to do in Broken Hill. There is a surprisingly large number of things to do and attractions in the town

Best Time to Visit?

Best time to visit Broken Hill

The best time to visit Broken Hill is from March to November. Over summer it gets very hot and walking around and exploring is uncomfortable – as there are the many flies. Some tour operators and art galleries have limited operating hours or are closed all together at the height of summer.

Broken Hill for Families

Is Broken Hill good for Families?

Our kids loved our trip to Broken Hill – it is such a unique place. Great family activities include a visit to the School of the Air and the Royal Flying Doctors. They loved looking through the Pro Hart Gallery, the Silver City Art Gallery and Mint and, if you have anyone in your family that like trains, the Sulphide Street Train Museum is a must.

They also liked the mining side of Broken Hill. The view from the top of the Line of Load was a winner and the visit to the Albert Kersten Mineral Museum started one of the kids off on their rock collecting hobby.

And counting the dips in the road on the way out to Silverton was a lot of fun too!

Did BHP Start in Broken Hill?

Did BHP start in Broken Hill

BHP is the world’s biggest mining company, and it made its start in Broken Hill. They no longer operate in Broken Hill but another company, Perilya, continue to mine the enormous silver/lead/zinc deposit.

Things to do in Broken Hill

From museums and galleries to heritage walks and outback desert hikes there is a huge list of things to do in Broken Hill and Silverton. Broken Hill has a rich and fascinating history built on the foundations of an enormous mineral discovery, so the imposing Line of Load Memorial is a fitting place to start a tour of Broken Hill’s attractions.

Line of Load Miners Memorial
Line of Load Miners Memorial

Line of Lode Miners Memorial

In a city built on the back of the miners who worked the enormous silver, zinc and lead resource discovered in Broken Hill, it seems appropriate that the Line of Lode Miners Memorial can be seen from almost wherever you are in the Silver City.

The striking memorial honours the over 800 people who died during the mine’s history. Every one of them is named along with their cause of death on a wall in the tunnel-like memorial. It is a sobering walk through the ark shaped monument as you read all the terrible ways the workers met their end.

The memorial has a couple of balconies that provide great views across the city, and it is a popular spot to be at sunset. There is also a café and gift shop at the site. Follow the brown signs in the middle of town to Federation Way that takes you to the memorial.

The Big Bench Broken Hill

The Big Bench

If you like ticking off ‘Big’ things, the Line of Load is also home to the Big Bench. In years gone by you could climb up and have a seat but it is chained off now – presumably to discourage people from sitting up there. This is one of several sculptures around Broken Hill, The Canoe in Argent Street is another well-known piece.

Junction Mine Broken Hill

Junction Mine

There is no shortage of mining History around Broken Hill, and the Junction Mine site is another example of it. If you can get here on your own, the site has a bit of atmosphere. The imposing headframe dominates, and the surrounding ore bin and concentration mill and water tanks create quite an eerie landscape.

There is no entry fee to the site which you will see signed near the start of Menindee Road. If you like a bit of photography, the old buildings and structures are a great place to be at sunset.

Broken Hill Musuems

Albert Kersten Mineral & Mining Museum

Albert Kersten Mineral & Mining Museum

This is an amazing place. Even if you have never considered yourself much of a rockhound, you will be dazzled by the collection of colourful and sparkling minerals and crystals on show here.

Not only does the GeoCentre walk you through the history of mining at Broken Hill with examples of exactly what they were getting out of the ground, there are also interactive displays, videos and row after row of dazzling crystals.

There is a video that shows what all the streets in Broken Hill are named after – keep an eye out for Cobalt, Beryl, Kaolin, Gypsum, Garnet, Zinc, Tin and Silver Streets to name just a few. There is also the amazing Silver Tree made from an 8.5 kg lump of silver, it is stunning!

Entry is by donation. It is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00am – 4.00pm

White's Living Mining Museum
White’s Living Mining Museum © Broken Hill City Council

Whites Mineral Art & Mining Museum

This amazing place and labour of love for its creator Kevin Bushy White was an eclectic mix of mining museum and art gallery featuring works done by Kevin and dolls made by his wife Betty. Kevin was a former miner and put his heart and soul into creating a place where visitors could get a firsthand insight into the life of a miner in Broken Hill.

Sadly, Kevin passed away at the end of 2021 and his art and mining museum is currently closed. It is worth keeping an eye out to see if someone steps in to continue his legacy.

Sulphide Street Museum

Sulphide Street Railway & Historical Museum

From the moment you bend down to buy your reasonably priced entry ticket through the small window in an original train station ticket booth, you enter a take a fascinating step back in time.

Housed in the original 1905 station, there is room after room of memorabilia from the early 1900s. There is the obligatory Tess Alfonsi mineral collection but the fire engines in the Ron Carter Transport Pavilion, a scale model of the Royal State Coach, antique medical equipment and sideshows from John Bros Joyland are fantastic.

But the highlight is the half a dozen or so trains and carriages you can walk through. There is everything from a 1951 W Class locomotive to the last Silver City Comet to run between Adelaide and Broken Hill. Walking through the various carriages is great fun, train enthusisats of all ages will love it.

Open 7 days a week from 10.00am to 3.00pm

Living Desert State Park

The Living Desert State Park is about 15 minutes from the centre of Broken Hill along Nine Mile Road, the same road you might take to get to the Pro Hart Gallery. There is an entry fee of $6 per person that you pay at a credit card pay wave bay at the entrance. You can camp here at the well set up Starview Campsite. There are four main attractions in the park:

The Living Desert, Broken Hill © Destination NSW
The Living Desert, Broken Hill © Destination NSW

Desert Sculptures

These 12 sandstone sculptures made by Australian and international artists are one of the most popular attractions in Broken Hill. Perched atop Sundown Hill, there is a short access friendly path that around them all. It’s a popular place at sunset so get there early for a park.

Read our full guide to the Desert Sculptures here

Living Desert State Park

John Simons Flora Sanctuary

Entry to this 1km trail is at the parks picnic and BBQ area. It’s an easy walk with a few undulations and has great views of the Barrier Ranges and is planted with a lots of semi-arid plant species. We failed to spot any animals here, even though we walked through early in the morning but there were lots of birds around and in spring you’d see lots of wildflowers. We saw a late flowering Sturt Desert Pea.

Cultural Walk

Cultural Walk Trail

This undulating 2.2km trail was the pick of the walks for us. The trail branches off from the Flora and Fauna Trail and includes several points of interest including story poles, Aboriginal Yapara, a quartz quarry and a mine site. If you don’t mind the steep climb, there is a great lookout too. We saw wallaroos here and eagles overhead, it’s a great short walk.

Sundown Trail (

Sundown Trail

This trail is part of the Living Desert State Park but in a completely different area. Take the road out to Tibooburra and after about 10km look for the sign to the Sundown Trail. From the main road it is a 2km drive along a dirt road to the carpark.

The trail is a 2.8km return walk that takes you up a rugged valley to the top of the plateau, it is rough going but spectacular. The trail up through the gully glistens with shiny mica, kites and falcons soar overhead and wallaroos sit in the shade. There is no charge to access this part of the park. Probably avoid it on a hot day, but it is worth checking out.

Broken Hill Art Galleries

Broken Hill Art Galleries

While Pro Hart might be one of the best known artists in Broken Hill, his gallery is just the start as there are more than 20 art galleries across Broken Hill and Silverton. Some to put on your list include the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, the Jack Absalom Gallery and Howard Steer Art.

There are several galleries at Silverton including the John Dynon Gallery and Cowz Art Gallery. Best check opening hours for all the different galleries as the vary quite a bit, and some require entry by donation, others are free to have a look around.

Pro Hart Gallery
Pro Hart Gallery

Pro Hart Gallery

Pro Hart was a Broken Hill local and one of Australia’s best known artists. He’s known equally for his vivid paintings of life in the outback, his beloved collection of Rolls Royce cars and the unforgettable TV ad where he creates a dragonfly out of food and wine on a stainproof carpet.

From the Rolls Royce cars as you walk in to the two level gallery and art studio exhibit you get a great sense of Pro Hart and his work. You even get to take a seat and watch his 3 TV commercials including one that was never released. There is a gift shop, prints and original art for sale.

Entry is by a $5 tap and go ‘donation’. The Pro Hart Gallery is open daily from 10.00 – 4.00.

Silver City Mint & Gallery

Silver City Mint & Art Centre

One more gallery that deserves an individual mention is the Silver City Mint and Art Centre. It showcases everything from art and jewellery to metal sculptures, giftware and locally made chocolates and fudge.

The main area is free to walk through but you will need to a small amount to see the gallery’s main feature – The Big Picture by local artist Peter Anderson. The Big Picture is a landscape painted on canvas 100m long and 12m high. It is worth the few dollars to see the panoramic view it depicts that features many local sights from Menindee Lakes to the Mundi Mundi Plains and the Living Desert. It really is an amazing sight!

Broken Hill Street Art
Broken Hill Street Art

Broken Hill Street Art

It is not surprising that with such a rich art and sculpture heritage that the art has spilt out from the galleries on to the buildings around Broken Hill. As you drive around the city, keep and eye out on the sides and fronts of buildings and bridges and wall for colourful murals. Beryl Street is a good place to start, there are a series of murals along here.

Broken Hill Walks

Described as a living museum and listed as Australia’s first heritage town, It’s not surprising that there are a several walks around Broken Hill. You can’t drive down a street or laneway and not an old sandstone building or random shop with faded advertising from a by gone era. Here are three walks for history buffs.

Catholic Church

Broken Hill Heritage Walk Tour

This guided tour leaves daily from outside the visitor centre at 10.00am. You do need to book at the Visitor Information Centre for the tour, cost is just a donation and for that a volunteer leads you on a 2 hour walk past some of Broken Hills most iconic buildings. The tours run March to November.

Broken Hill Heritage Self-Guided Walk

If you miss the guided tour you can do the lap of the historical precinct on your own. The circuit does a block of Argent, Delamore, Blend and Bromide Streets covering nearly 50 historic buildings.

Along the way you’ll see no fewer than 12 hotels including the Astor, Palace and former Peters Hotel, Trade Hall, the Band Hall, the Customs Building, Masonic Club and much more. If you do the walk on your own you get the chance to stop at a few galleries and coffee shops along the way.

Broken Hill Historic Walk

The Heroes, Larrikins & Visionaries Walk

It is surprisingly difficult to find much information on this short but interesting walk. It runs for about 1.5km along Argent Street between the Broken Hill Railway Station west to a spot known as Billy Goat Hill.

Along the way are plaques commemorating a couple of dozen of Broken Hills most colourful, famous and significant characters form artists and actors to Broken Hill’s first female blacksmith. Early Australian actor Chips Rafferty lived near the Billy Goat Hill end of the trail. Follow the plaques from outside the visitor centre.

Broken Hill Cemetary

Broken Hill Cemetery Walk

While not everyone’s cup of tea, strolling through a cemetery can give a fascinating insight into a places History. Broken Hill has a big cemetery which you can wander through on your own or, better still, there are 2.5 hour tours offered by Away Tours Broken Hill. Their guides know where exactly where to go and can take you to the resting place of some significant Broken Hills and Australian identities.

More Things to do in Broken Hill

Driving tour of Broken Hill

Silver Trail Driving Tour

If you didn’t bring your walking shoes you can drive around over 100 of Broken Hill’s heritage sights on the self-guided Silver Trail Driving Tour. The drive covers about 40km and takes 2 – 3 hours depending on how long you stop at different locations. Some buildings are privately owned so you need to admire them from the outside, but there are galleries and museums you might want to walk through.

You will want a map of the drive which you can get form the Broken Hill Visitor Information Centre on Bromide Street. It not only has a list of the 118 stops, but directions on how to get from one stop to the next. The tour gives you a comprehensive history of the town’s mining and social history.

Bells Milk Bar
Bells Milk Bar

Bells Milk Bar & Museum

Put your glad rags on and join me hon’ at Australia’s oldest continually operated milk bar. Bell’s Milk Bar and Museum is all about milkshakes, chrome trimmed counters and cool tunes from the 50s and 60s. There is a huge menu of milkshakes and spider flavours, who can resist a lime or Kola spider? And there are a couple of dozen milkshake flavours too. The syrups and cordials are made in store.

After you have a cool drink, you can check out the museum side of the Milk Bar. It not only showcases milk bar memorabilia but the rooms at the rear of Bell’s Milk Bar are decked out in period décor that would have been the height of fashion in your parents or grandparents living room.

Bell’s Milk Bar is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 5.30.

The Palace Hotel Broken Hill

Palace Hotel

Built in 1889 as a coffee house then becoming a pub in 1892, the Palace Hotel is one of Broken Hill’s most iconic buildings. You are bound to have seen pictures of its façade with the Line on Load in the background. As impressive as it looks from the outside, you have to go in. The interior is covered in amazing murals, they all feature water in some way to make the pub feel like an oasis in the desert. It is a fantastic place for a meal or drink.

Broken Hill Royal Flying Doctor Service

Royal Flying Doctor Service

Providing medical services to an area bigger than Europe, The Royal Flying Doctor Service is literally the life blood of the outback. The RFDS base at Broken Hill gives visitors a fantastic immersive experience at the Bruce Langford Visitor Centre. There is an interactive museum, you get to go into the hanger, see the planes, there is a short movie, and you can go on a guided tour. This is a great activity for everyone, our kids loved the tour and there are plenty of insights into he RFDS for history buffs.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service are located at the Broken Hill Airport. The Visitor Centre is open 7 days a week, 9-5 Monday to Friday and 10-4 Saturday and Sunday. There is an entry cost, but you know it is going to a good cause.

School of the Air

Like the Royal Flying Doctor Service, The School of the Air is another service born out of size of the outback and how remote some homes and stations are. During term time, visitors can watch school of the air sessions and chat to the teachers. Due to Covid, the tourist sessions are currently not available but keep an eye on The School of the Air Broken Hill and Hay website for updates on this situation.

Outback Astronomy, Broken Hil
Outback Astronomy, Broken Hill © Destination NSW

Explore the Night Sky on an Astronomy Tour

With virtually no light pollution and big skies, Broken Hill is the perfect place to do some star gazing. For a better understanding of what you are looking at, an evening with the team from Outback Astronomy is an amazing experience. What you’ll see will depend on the time of year so so this is the kind of experience you can do over and over.

The experience uses telescopes, binoculars and the naked eye and includes commentary done through a personal mp3 device.  Different events run depending on what is happening in the heavens.

JP Morgan Lookout

Joe Keenan Lookout

This is another spot in Broken Hill where you get views across the town and of the Line of Load. Joe Keenan played an important role in developing Broken Hill’s Trade Union Movement. The small park has some interpretive signage and a picnic area. It is just a few minutes out of town, tucked in behing the Broken Hill Public School.

Stuart Park
Stuart Park Titanic Memorial

Sturt Park & Titanic Memorial

Sturt Park is beautiful patch of garden between Beryl Street and Wolfram Street. It has an old rotunda, a spectacular Morton Bay Fig tree and some lovely rose gardens. It is also home to a memorial for the band that played to the end as the Titanic sank.

It might seem an odd memorial to have in Broken Hill. There were no family connections to the band on the Titanic however, at the time, the city had a thriving band culture. The monument was largely paid for by the city’s four bands and three of the bands played at the monuments unveiling.

Visit Historic Silverton

Before there was a mine in Broken Hill, there was a mining boom in Silverton. 30 minutes northwest of Broken Hill, today Silverton is a collection of old buildings and ruins, but it is a captivating place and you can easily spend half a day looking around.

We have put together a full guide of things to do in Silverton. Here are a few highlights.

Daydream Mine

Explore the Daydream Mine

On your way out to Silverton it is worth taking the turn off to the old Day Dream Mine. From the turn off it is about a 15km drive on a dirt road which is suitable for 2WDs. The best way to see and experience this remote and eerie old mine site is on one of the tours.

Tours run daily at 10.00am and 11.30am with extra tours in school holidays. Go underground (or you can stay on the surface) and get an insight into this former town and the of life of the miners. After you have had a look around, make sure you stay for Scones and a Devonshire tea.

Mad Max Museum

Mad Max Museum

The film Mad Max 2 was filmed around Silverton and fans of the movie can see all sorts of Mad Max memorabilia including some of the crazy cars here.

John Dynon Gallery

Visit Silverton Art Galleries

Cowz Art Gallery, Silverton Photography Gallery, Beyond 39 Dips and John Dynon’s Gallery are all worth looking through. We especially liked John Dynon’s iconic emus and the cool landscapes at Cowz Gallery but there is amazing art in all of them.

Silverton Hotel

Have a Drink at the Silverton Hotel

This pub in the middle of nowhere has featured in several movies including The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Mission Impossible 2 and Razorback and has been visited by all kinds of celebrities. At what has to be one of the most photographed pubs in Australia – they serve a pretty good beer and lunch too!

Silverton Old School

Silverton’s Heritage Building Walk

Both the shorter Town Walk (1 hour) or longer Silverton Heritage Walking Trail (2 hours) are a great way to take in the town’s history. See the old butcher’s shop, Silverton School, Silverton Gaol and the Silverton Public School as you wonder around. Tours are available at the School and Gaol.

Mundi Mundi Lookout

Mundi Mundi Lookout

If you have made it out to Silverton, it is worth driving for another 6km beyond the town to the Mundi Mundi Lookout. There is not a lot here, the car park is right on the main road but the view across the Mundi Mundi Plain is spectacular. Looking west, it is an amazing spot to for a sunset or to watch storms roll in.

Umberumberka Reservoir

Umberumberka Reservoir

And if you get to Mundi Mundi Lookout, drive down the hill for another 5 minutes and look for the turnoff to the Umberumberka Reservoir. What you see here will depend on the season, for our visit, it was brimming with water and a fantastic sight. Well worth the look since you are in the neighbourhood.

Read More: 10 Things to Know About Mundi Mundi Lookout

Day Trips from Broken Hill

If you are in Broken Hill for a few days, there are a few distant attractions that you can get to in a day. Of course, if you have the time, you can appreciate them a bit more if you can stay there for a night or two.

Lake Menindee
Lake Menindee © Broken Hill City Council

Menindee Lakes – Kinchega National Park

Whether in drought or flood, the Menindee Lakes and Kinchega National Park are a great place to look around. The lakes are a haven for bird life and with Menindee being the first town on the Darling River there is lots of history to take in. The Darling River Drive gives you a good overview of the area’s history.

At just under 100km form Broken Hill, visiting Menindee, the lakes and Kinchega National Park is a great daytrip, but it is also a fantastic place to camp for a few nights. As well as having abit more time to see the sights, the lakes also turn on a stunning sunset.

Rock Art, Mootwingee National Park
Aboriginal Rock Art, Mootwingee National Park © Destination NSW

Mutawintji National Park

Explore the Bynguano Ranges and immerse yourself in thousands of years of indigenous culture at Mutawintji National Park. Different walking trails take through dramatic gorges and refreshing rock pools.

Best visit here any time other than summer because it gets very hot.  You can also camp at Mutawintji National Park at the Homestead Creek Campground and there is a Visitor Centre at the park too. Mutawintji National Park is 2 hours 45 minutes from Broken Hill.

Bimbowrie Conservation Park

2 hours west of Broken Hill, Bimbowrie Conservation Park is managed by South Australia’s Dept of the Environment. It has a few old buildings scattered over what used to be a working station. It is now a great spot for bird watchers. Across the different habitats in the park, over 100 different bird species have been spotted.

Broken Hill Outback Resort
Broken Hill Outback Resort

Broken Hill Accommodation

  • Broken Hill Tourist Park – Self Contained Cabins, Swimming Pool, Air Conditioning, Playground, BBQ, Guest Laundry, On-site Kiosk
  • Broken Hill Outback Resort – 15km from town in outback setting. Renovated Studio or Family Rooms with AC, Fridge, Microwave, Private Deck with BBQ. Restaurant and Bar on Site
  • Emaroo Cottages – 2 or 3br private self contained cottages with BBQ, AC, Outdoor Entertaining Area, 5 min drive to Broken Hill
  • Lotte’s Cottage – 3br Self Contained Cottage 5 minutes walk to Broken Hill Village. Private courtyard, BBQ, outdoor entertaining, AC.

Find the Best Caravan Parks & Camping in Broken Hill

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Things to do in Broken Hill
Things to do in Broken Hill
Things to do in Broken Hill
Things to do in Broken Hill
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