Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Broken Hill NSW

So on Sunday 30th June we left Adelaide after stopping for church at Enfield and drove until we reached a small roadhouse at Terowie where we stayed as their only guests for the night - it closed at 9pm and the Indian guy who was looking after the fuel and food sales came knocking at our caravan door with a pie and pasty that he couldn't sell as they had been defrosted and heated and offered them to us - we gratefully accepted. (An aside - we have noticed on our trip that a lot of these out of the way road houses seem to be staffed by back packers or people of Asian descent, seems as though Aussies aren't interested in working at such isolated locations.) 

The next morning we took off for the NSW border to Broken Hill - interestingly Broken Hill keeps South Australian time and seems to have more of a connection with S.A, than it does to NSW. When we reached Broken Hill and as I was booking into the caravan park there, I went to get out my credit card folder to pay and it wasn't in my pocket, so I paid by cash and when we had set the van up on site we started to look for my credit card folder. We turned the car and van upside down and couldn't find it anywhere, so I made a phone call back to Terowie Road House (where I could last remember using it) to see if I had left it there, no it wasn't there. I called the last caravan park we went to and it wasn't there - next step was go to the bank and stop all the cards (what a job that would be), then I thought to make one last look in the car - I picked up my jacket, that I had thrown behind my seat, that I was wearing the previous night when I paid for fuel, and felt something hard in the pocket - it was the folder - wow that was a close call. God looks after his foolish children! 

So after that we went into town for a look see - it's not as big a place as I had always imagined, just a nice size, but filled with history going back to the 1800's, with plaques along the streets with pictures and explanations of building, places and people connected with that particular place. At the end of a street quite close to the main CBD there is a huge tailings heap and sitting on top of that is a restaurant and a memorial with the names and dates of all the workers killed whilst working the mines around Broken Hill, going way back, with the cause of death. Most simply say 'crushed' or 'fell down shaft', but some more descriptive ones say 'caught in a fly wheel', 'entombed in rock fall', fell into rock crusher' or 'killed by blasting'. We drove to the top of this tailings heap and took some photos of sunset over Broken Hill and the giant's chair was there also.
Broken Hill from Tailings Heap
Tailings heap at edge of town, with restaurant & Memorial on top
They have giants here in Broken Hill
On Tuesday we drove the six kilometres to the Sculptures of Broken Hill in the Living Desert Reserve, it costs $10 per car, but it is good for all day, so we went back at sunset to get some photos at that time too. There are nine or ten sculptures and you can read why they are there in the photo 'Self Explanation'. We spent a good hour or so there and then a bit less in the evening - took photos of them all but only included some of the best in this email.
Six kms west of Broken Hill
"Under the Jaguar Sun"
"Under the Jaguar Sun"
Different view in the setting sun
"Horse" - sad story
Georgian Horse & Wedge-Tail Eagle in background
Sculptures in setting sun with Broken Hill in distance
We then drove back to town and drove 25 kms out to Silverton, the original town that was set up when they first found the 'mother load' almost on the surface, which soon ran out and when deeper loads were found near Broken Hill the miners moved out of Silverton (many taking their homes with them) and it became almost a ghost town, but at its height it was a thriving metropolis with several pubs and churches, plus a Masonic hall, Town Hall and goal etc.
Silverton Catholic Church built 1886 - now restored
Silverton Miner's Cottage & me on Railway Scooter
Ruins, Catholic Church & Masonic Lodge at Silverton
The gaol is now an interesting museum filled with much memorabilia, some that makes me feel old as I remember my Mum using some of the utensils etc on display. About 25 movies or TV series have been filmed here and lots of TV commercials. There is a population of 60 odd (some very odd) people living here mainly for the tourist that flock here. A few kms further west is a lookout to nowhere. It's said that you are looking out at three days of nothing - it just shows how vast this country is.
From this lookout you can see for three days
We left Broken Hill on Wednesday 3rd July and several kms out on the Barrier Hwy to Cobar there is a small sign on the road that says - you are now entering NSW time zone put your clocks forward half an hour. So we are now back to NSW time. All along this highway we saw more emus than we saw anywhere else and goats everywhere - we couldn't make out if they were feral or not, but they weren't fenced, just running loose along the edges of the road - but they do seem to have more road sense than kangaroos because we didn't see any goat road-kill. The closer we get to the coast the worse the roads seem to get. 

We stopped at a roadside rest stop that night (went down to 4 deg) just before Cobar and arrived here at Narromine this afternoon. We had wanted to reach Dubbo, but Ruth's back has been playing up for a while now and she couldn't take much more, so we stopped here and here I am catching up with my updates. This just about wraps up our trip, tomorrow we are going to Ridgecrest Baptist Camp near Burrendong Dam to spend the week-end with Ps Chris and Lynette, leaving on Monday to get home late Monday or early Tuesday next week.