17 Best Things To Do In Broken Hill Australia: Outback Adventure

Going on a Broken Hill trip and want to know all the best things to do in Broken Hill, Australia? We have you covered! Below you will find our guide to all the best things to see in Broken Hill to plan your ultimate trip.

Broken Hill is somewhere that feels a long way from everywhere. This Outback town on the edge of NSW, not far from the Victorian and South Australian borders was our first taste of the Outback and we loved it!

Surprisingly full of attractions, this town of 17,000 people has a lot to offer tourists with quality things to do, some great food and solid accommodation choices. Add in the starkness of the surrounding desert and Broken Hill is a great place to head.

Broken Hill from Line of Lode Miners Memorial
Broken Hill from Line of Lode Miners Memorial

We visited Broken Hill as part of a journey from Melbourne to Coober Pedy and we were not disappointed. Visiting here and nearby Silverton was maybe the highlight of our trip. Broken Hill is such a unique place with its own look and a surprising amount of quality places to visit in Broken Hill and things to do. It’s a great place to explore.

Below, you will find everything you need to know about the best attractions in Broken Hill, some of the unusual things to do in Broken Hill NSW as well as all the best things to see and do in Broken Hill for your ultimate holiday!

Note: Broken Hill is not in the same time zone as NSW and, in fact, follows South Australia and Central Time when it comes to setting the clock. This means it is generally half an hour behind NSW and Victoria.

Top 17 Best Things To Do In Broken Hill Australia: Outback Adventure

Here are the best things to do around Broken Hill. Read through and select the ones that fit your interests and timeframe.

Broken Hill itself is mostly about mining and Outback and the attractions mostly revolve around this. Keep a lookout at the street names as you drive around town too – many are named after minerals found in the area!

Soak In The Amazing Views And Pay Respects At The Line Of Lode Miners Memorial

Broken Hill Line of Lode Miners Memorial
Line of Lode Miners Memorial

The first attraction among things to do Broken Hill that you should visit is the Line of Lode Miners Memorial. Located on the top of the main mining mullock heap in town, this memorial not only gives you a chance to pay respects to the many miners that have died here (800+), but there are also stunning views over the town.

Views from the Line of Lode Miners Memorial
Views from the Line of Lode Miners Memorial

The memorial itself has a list of the miners including how they died and when with flowers next to the name. After you walk through the memorial, there is an overhang that allows you to take in stunning views of the surrounding mining areas and the town.

Visit The JP Keenan Lookout

Views from the JP Keenan Lookout
Views from the JP Keenan Lookout

Located on one of the hills near the centre of Broken Hill, the JP Keenan Lookout is one of the top things to see in Broken Hill. While this lookout doesn’t have the same range as the Line of Lode above, it has views over the Line of Lode and the mullock heap it sits on as well as the town.

Between this and the Line of Lode Miners Memorial, you’ll get a great feel of the town.

Explore Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum/GeoCentre

Inside the Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum
Inside the Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum

If you are looking for free things to do in Broken Hill, you will love this museum! One of my top things to do in Broken Hill because it gives a great introduction to the town and its mining history, I recommend heading here next after the two lookouts.

The museum details the mineral history of Broken Hill. It starts with a 12-minute video about how the earth was formed leading into how the rich minerals came to be in Broken Hill. It’s very interesting and helped set the scene for other things we were learning in town.

A miner’s cottage set up in Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum
A miner’s cottage set up

There are many different minerals on display as well as a 42 kilogram silver nugget. Next door is a miner’s cottage set up how it would have been in Broken Hill’s earlier days as well as various equipment. It’s a great place to learn more about Broken Hill.

Entry is by optional donation.

Visit The Sulphide Street Railway & Historical Museum

Sulphide Street Railway & Historical Museum
Sulphide Street Railway & Historical Museum

The Sulphide Street Railway and Historical Museum is a worthwhile stop when exploring the 10 best things to do in Broken Hill. There is so much you can learn here!

Housed in the original 1905 station building and grounds, the Sulphide Street Railway and Historical Museum is home to the Silverton Tramway Company locomotives and there are a few different trains you can explore, most of which you can go inside.

Sulphide Street Railway & Historical Museum

There is also memorabilia related to this as well as the Broken Hill Migrant Heritage Museum, Hospital Museum, mineral collection and more. It can seem like quite an eclectic collection while walking through but it is very interesting, and this is a worthwhile place to see in Broken Hill.

Have A Look Inside The Palace Hotel

The Palace Hotel
The Palace Hotel

Often listed as one of the top 10 things to do in Broken Hill, you won’t want to miss a visit to this famous hotel. Best known for being featured in the movie, The Adventure of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, you have to at least take a peek in this hotel to see its stunning murals.

The murals decorate many walls and you need to make sure you make your way to the foyer staircase area where murals are seemingly everywhere. It’s quite unique.

Inside the Palace Hotel
Inside the Palace Hotel

You can also stay in this hotel or just come in for a drink or meal. There’s regular drag queen shows too if you want some extra fun Priscilla vibes.

We had dinner here and I, unfortunately, can’t recommend that. The service was crazy slow, the meal wasn’t good and the waitress tried to shortchange me. However, it is worth coming in to check out the murals.

See Wonderful Works Of Art In Pro Hart Gallery

Entry to the Pro Hart Gallery
Entry to the Pro Hart Gallery

This gallery is home to Kevin “Pro” Hart’s iconic work. Largely regarded as one of the Outback’s best painters, you can find three storeys of his work here as well as a re-creation of his study and a video about his work and life.

Check Out Impressive Art Collections At Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery

Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery

The oldest regional gallery in NSW, the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery is home to 1800 works which form its permanent collection. Highlights include Australian artists John Olsen, Rupert Bunny, George Lambert, Noel Counihan, Sidney Nolan and Arthur Streeton as well as Aboriginal artists such as Emily Kame Kngwarre and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri.

In addition to the permanent collection, there are temporary exhibitions by local and other Australian artists.

Housed in one of Broken Hill’s heritage buildings, the building itself is also a pleasure to visit.

Learn At The Royal Flying Doctor Outback Heritage Experience

Royal Flying Doctor Outback Heritage Experience
Royal Flying Doctor aircraft

Perhaps the premium attraction in Broken Hill, make sure you don’t miss the Royal Flying Doctor Outback Heritage Experience. Housed at the Broken Hill Airport, there is much to see, learn and be amazed at during your 1.5 hour tour of this visitor centre.

The tour consists of three short videos, a museum tour and then a tour of the old aircraft they have on display. The videos describe the work they do including one which tells the story from the perspective of a family who needed their help.

The main video also shares many examples of the great work they do and, even when you already understand what they do, the human faces make it truly touching and you realise just how important the Royal Flying Doctors are.

Part of the museum tour is a demonstration of an example call for help on the old radio equipment. It clearly illustrates how clever and vital the service is. The aircraft too are interesting as you can see the evolution that has taken place.

Royal Flying Doctor Outback Heritage Experience
Inside the Royal Flying Doctor Outback Heritage museum

The actual service here covers a huge 640,000 square kilometres and the tour also goes into details about the current services they run, the staff involved and how they get funding.

It’s a great way to learn and spend your time on your trip and this attraction should definitely be on your must visit Broken Hill list.

Note that a tour is the only way to visit this attraction and they run regularly. They were allowing people to enter at different stages of the tour (then doing the bits they missed on the next tour) so that there is never a long wait for the next one.

Tour The Day Dream Mine

Day Dream Mine
Day Dream Mine

To learn more about Broken Hill’s early mining history, I recommend a tour of the historic Day Dream Mine. This mine is located about 30 minutes outside of Broken Hill in Silverton, and operated from 1881.

You can do tours both above ground and underground. The underground tour takes about an hour and half and descends into the old mine. You’ll learn about the difficult life of early miners and the fascinating discoveries they made.

You can also have morning tea here complete with devonshire tea and scones. Note this is at an extra cost.

Go Scenic Driving Through Kinchega National Park

Kinchega National Park is an impressive national park located about a 1 hour and 45 minute drive from Broken Hill. This land is historically significant for indigenous Australians and there are several scenic routes you can follow here which highlight the diversity of the landscape.

A popular route is the River Drive which starts at Menindee Lake and follows the Darling River complete with historic trees and campsites. The historic Woolshed is also a must see.

You can plan your visit here.

Explore The Broken Hill Sculptures & Living Desert Sanctuary

Broken Hill Sculptures & Living Desert Sanctuary
Broken Hill Sculptures & Living Desert Sanctuary

A short drive outside of Broken Hill is another must see attraction – the Broken Hill Sculptures and Living Desert Sanctuary.

The Living Desert Sanctuary is a 2400ha reserve with walking trails, scenic views and some stunning sites to see. Within the sanctuary is the 180ha Flora and Fauna Sanctuary – this is a must see. Lined with an electric fence to protect the area from predators, there’s some stunning desert plants here as well as some Aboriginal cultural heritage to understand.

About a 1 kilometre walk from the Living Desert Sanctuary are the sculptures.

There are 12 sculptures to see, shaped by artists from around the world, each with their own story and background. We enjoyed seeing these large sandstone sculptures. It’s an interesting spot to explore and a particularly popular place to watch the sunset.

You can drive to the sculptures with your car or walk a 1 kilometre trail from the sanctuary.

Entry to the Sculptures and Living Desert Sanctuary was $6 per person when we visited.

See The Night Sky Like You Never Have Before

Broken Hill’s location in the desert makes it a great place to study the night skies. Outback Astronomy runs 1.5 hour sessions every night where you can learn about what is visible in the night sky along with the use of binoculars and telescopes.

We were very excited to do this tour but unfortunately it was a cloudy night on our final night so it was cancelled. The plus side was that we were told in the morning and a refund was easy to get (in case this happens to you). However, hopefully you will get the full experience!

I recommend you book ahead as it does sell out. Click here for more details.

Visit Silverton

Silverton
Silverton

Silverton is a former silver-mining town just 25 kilometres west of Broken Hill. It has a range of attractions that make it worth visiting on a half-day trip from Broken Hill, some of which are described in more detail below.

Once with a population of 3000 people, Silverton was at its peak in 1885 before the mines shut in 1889 and people left. It’s often described as a ghost town although it didn’t feel like that to us. It definitely is an atmospheric town and has hit the screen in films like Mad Max II (you can even visit a museum on this topic) and A Town Like Alice.

There’s a few museums to visit like the Silverton Gaol and Historical Museum, Silverton Schoolhouse Museum and the Mad Max II Museum all listed below. There’s also a couple of art galleries and the Mundi Mundi Lookout is a further 5 kilometres down the road.

Silverton Hotel
Silverton Hotel

A worthwhile stop to fuel up before heading back to Broken Hill is the Silverton Hotel. This pub has all day meals although warning, the flies can be annoying. I had a good chicken parma here.

I also enjoyed the drive here through the Outback as it can be easy to forget just what a desolate region you are in when enjoying the delights in Broken Hill. The road is fully sealed although you will need to go on gravel roads to visit all the attractions here (only for very short distances). There is not much here so you won’t get lost.

Learn More About Silverton At The Silverton Gaol And Historical Museum

Silverton Gaol And Historical Museum
Entry to the Silverton Gaol And Historical Museum

Located right on the entry into town, you can’t miss the Silverton Gaol and Historical Museum – the perfect place to learn more about Silverton.

This building was constructed in 1889 as an answer to Silverton’s previously overcrowded and dilapidated gaol. The site is now a museum with a surprisingly large collection of relics and information about all aspects of life in Silverton.

Most of the rooms have a dedicated theme and there are too many items to describe. We found the machinery and hospital room to be interesting, as well relics from when the building was a gaol.

Silverton Gaol And Historical Museum
Inside the Silverton Gaol And Historical Museum

This site is really quite expansive. When you think it will end it just keeps going on! We wish we had more time to explore more as there were some very diverse and interesting items to be found here.

Entry was $5 for adults and $2 for kids when we visited.

Visit The Silverton Schoolhouse Museum

Silverton Schoolhouse Museum
Silverton Schoolhouse Museum

Once a single room schoolhouse, this lovely historical building is now a museum with relics from the educational past. There are old textbooks, teaching apparatus and information on how schooling life was back in time, as well as the discipline methods used!

Many of the items are not from the too distant past (you may recognise some!).

This is a particularly great place to visit if you have school aged children with you as they can compare what it was like then to now.

Check Out The Mad Max 2 Museum

If you’re a movie buff or just want to see something different, check out the Mad Max 2 Museum. This iconic Australian movie was filmed around the Broken Hill/Silverton region and this museum includes memorabilia from the set, cars, costumes, photographs and unreleased footage.

There’s a lot of stuff jammed in here but if you’re a Mad Max 2 fan, I think it would definitely be worth it. It’s also interesting to learn the impact this film had on the region (and Australia).

Open most days between 10am – 4pm, although I recommend calling ahead if you’re visiting off peak season.

Wander Around Mutawintji National Park

Mutawintji National Park is a fabulous place for connecting with both the nature of the Outback and the indigenous culture of this region.

The park is about a 1 hour and 45 minute drive away from Silverton although it’s not one of the easiest places to get to with a long trip on unsealed roads (however they are 2WD friendly).

Once there, your visit will start at the visitors centre. There’s a few bush walks you can do like the Rockholes loop or the Gorge Walk to see the stunning gorge (both of these takes 2-3 hours return).

However, I highly recommend a guided aboriginal heritage walk. These guides know the land entirely and can guide you through ancient sacred sites as well rock artwork and engravings, complete with Dreamtime stories and legends. This is a fabulous experience and if you’re in the region, it’s not to be missed (note these tours can be pricey).

If you’re up for camping, this is also a great place to do it under the star-filled outback night sky with great camping facilities at the Homestead Creek campground.

Broken Hill Tourist Attractions Map

Best Place To Stay In Broken Hill

When it comes to where to stay in Broken Hill, there is a surprising amount of choice. No matter what your budget, your holiday style or who you are travelling with, you’ll easily find a great place to stay.

Below I’ve listed a few different places to consider including a budget, mid-range and more expensive option.

BEST – Broken Hill Outback Resort Review

Located just over 16 kilometres outside of Broken Hill city centre is the Broken Hill Outback Resort.

Offering fresh and modern accommodation surrounded by both grassland and desert, this is quite a find in the rugged Outback.

The resort offers both caravan parking and large cabins, each with a balcony and sleeping up to 4 people. There are options for families like the family suite with 2 single beds and a double bed. Some rooms have sofa beds and spa baths, all rooms have tea and coffee facilities and wifi is available throughout the property (although some cabins reported weak reception).

They offer a good restaurant with a buffet breakfast from 7am – 10am daily and an a la carte menu 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. They also have a public bar serving drinks in a heritage building which is popular with locals.

If you don’t mind being further out of town (it’s really only a 10 minute drive) then this is a lovely place to  base yourself whilst in Broken Hill.

Click here for the latest prices.

MID-RANGE –  Red Earth Motel Review

Located in a convenient location a quick walk from the town centre, Red Earth Motel is a great choice for people looking for quality, comfortable accommodation with some good facilities and apartment room types.

On site, there is a pool, BBQ area, guest laundry and wifi. We particularly enjoyed the pool which was a great way to cool off and relax after a day of sightseeing.

There are a range of studio and larger apartments up to a three bedroom option with its own laundry facilities. All options have air conditioning, Foxtel and at least a kitchenette.

We stayed in a studio apartment which had a separate bedroom area with a walk-in wardrobe and bathroom and a living/kitchenette area with a fridge, microwave and toaster. It was quiet, incredibly comfortable and well presented and we very much enjoyed our stay here.

Click here for the latest prices.

BUDGET – Broken Hill Tourist Park Review

The Broken Hill Tourist Park offers a surprising amount of comfort for a budget option. Here you’ll find free wifi throughout the park, a swimming pool, laundry facilities, a kids playground, shop, communal areas and more.

The tourist park is located just a 5 minute drive from the town centre and offers a range of accommodation and facilities depending on your needs.

Accommodation ranges from basic to very nice. There’s a range of chalets available from a basic studio to a modern two bedroom superior chalet (although note this isn’t the budget option). The two bedroom family suites are nice enough and affordable, and all rooms have TV’s, air conditioning and electric blankets.

There’s no restaurant onsite but each room has either a kitchenette or full kitchen and, as you’re only a 5 minute drive from town, there are options nearby. A comfortable and convenient place to base yourself in Broken Hill.

Click here for the latest prices.

How To Get To Broken Hill

Silver City Highway
Silver City Highway

It’s easy to get to Broken Hill by plane, bus, train or car.

If you have your own car, great! You are good to go. Broken Hill is accessible by road from Mildura, Sydney and Adelaide. The estimated road travel time from Sydney is around 13 hours, 9 hours from Melbourne and 5.75 hours from Adelaide.

You can also hire a car to get you there by clicking here.

Reaching Broken Hill on public transport from Sydney or Adelaide is quite easy, albeit long depending on how you travel.

There are regular flights available on Rex Airlines from Adelaide and Dubbo with connections to Sydney. There’s also the occasional flight to Mildura.

To see all the latest flights and prices, click here.

Train travel is possible with Countrylink from Sydney weekly as well as daily trains to Dubbo.  There are buses from Mildura and Adelaide. If you are travelling from Melbourne to Broken Hill, take a train to Mildura and then a bus from there.

If you are travelling from Mildura, you can read my full guide to this journey here.

If you are travelling to or from Port Augusta or Coober Pedy, you can read my full guide to this journey here.

Broken Hill With Kids

Sulphide Street Railway & Historical Museum Broken Hill

Broken Hill is a fabulous place to visit with kids. Most of the Broken Hill attractions on this list work well for families.

I visited here with my nine year old son and he particularly enjoyed the Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum/GeoCentre, the Sulphide Street Railway & Historical Museum and the Royal Flying Doctor Outback Heritage Experience. He was particularly excited for the Outback Astronomy tour so it’s a shame we never got to do that thanks to cloudy weather.

There are parks and playgrounds across town and my son also enjoyed going through rubble looking for minerals 🙂

Final Words

JP Keenan Lookout

Broken Hill is a fabulous and unique place to visit. I have travelled quite a lot of Australia by now and nowhere has been like Broken Hill. It has such picturesque surroundings, its obvious mining history and present and a top rate range of attractions.

It’s definitely become one of my favourite places to visit in Australia and deserves to be on your holiday list.

I hope you enjoyed this guide to the things to see and do in Broken Hill Australia. You can read more Australian travel guides here.