Category: Tagalong 20

Port Augusta

We’ve only ever driven straight through Port Augusta so it was good to finally have the opportunity to have a couple of nights stay at Discovery Park Port Augusta for a chance to stop and check it out.

We will continue to just drive through it in the future as it was fairly underwhelming.

Wilpena Pound

From Rawnsley Station we took a trip out to Wilpena Pound stopping off at Arkaroo Rock and then onto Wangarra lookout at Wilpena Pound (maplink).

Arkaroo Rock

It’s about an easy 2 hour return walk from the carpark to Arkaroo Rock through dusty scrub-land. This is a significant cultural site for the Adnyamathana (pronounced Ad-na-mut-ta) people. The art at Arkaroo Rock (Akurra Adnya) tells the story of the creation of Wilpena Pound. It’s a story from the Adnyamathana Dreamtime and is believed to be 5,000 years old.

Wangara Lookout (Wilpena Pound)

Back into the car for the next historic location. Leaving the car (and Merrisa) at the Wilpena Pound visitors centre I undertook a 7.8km round trip to check out historic Hills Homestead and 2 of the Wangara Lookouts over the Pound. It’s a pretty easy walk to the homestead but a pretty grueling uphill walk to the 1st and 2nd lookouts.

Having walked around the base of Uluru and Kings Canyon Rim Walk on our Half Lap trip in 2018, I must say that this walk was pretty disappointing for the effort put in to get there. The views from the 2 lookouts are basically the inside of the crater and I reckon the best views would probably be of the outsides of the crater.

Rawnsley Park Station

Our accommodation in Wilpena Pound was called Rawnsley Park Station. It was a dusty drive in but we ended up with a real outback style caravan park which looked out onto the Flinders Ranges with some really stunning views. (maplink)

We had 2 nights here and on the 2nd night the group booked into the Woolshed Restaurant located on the station. The food was spectacular with the main menu item being lamb which is sourced from the station itself.

Peterborough SA

After a 300km trip from Broken Hill we pulled into Peterborough (maplink) for an overnight stop at Peterborough Caravan Park. After doing a very quick set-up in the caravan park we took a short tour of the town.

Peterborough is a rare railway town where, because state governments could not agree on a standardised railway gauge, three railway gauges (broad – 5’3″, standard 4’8 1/2″ and narrow 3’6”) once met. The town became hugely important as a railway link between the iron ore mines at Broken Hill and the iron and steel processing at Port Pirie. At its height over one hundred trains a day were passing through the town. It is therefore hardly surprising that it has a museum in a railway carriage and its prime tourist attraction is the “Steamtown” Heritage Rail Centre & that’s about it.

We came across a cute monument to “Bob the Railway Dog” who was among 200 other dogs taken to the far north of South Australia to be used for exterminating rabbits. He ended up being taken in by a train guard and then travelled the rails for the rest of his life getting as far as Sydney & Melbourne.

The town rail museum has a carriage with a video running through the windows depicting what train travel would have been like for those travelling in the early 20th century.

Following a glorious sunrise on the next day, we all headed off to Rawnsley Station in Wilpena Pound passing some old pubs, railway stations and plenty of emus along the way.

Silverton

Silverton is an interesting little dot on the NSW map, founded in 1883, population of around 40 and is situated 25kms north-west of Broken Hill. Even if you’ve have never been here before you will recognise Silverton, as it has starred in countless films, television shows and commercials in all mediums.

Our group had lunch in the historic pub then fanned out to check the surrounding area.

Mad Max 2 Museum

We took the tour of the ramshackled museum which is a tribute to the 2nd Mad Max movie filmed in 1981. Lots of photos pay tribute to the filming locations (no photography was allowed), but the best part of visiting the museum is having a chat to the guy who runs it – fantastic knowledge of the movie and people involved in it.

Mundi Mundi Lookout

Located about 5.5kms from Silverton the view from the lookout (just the top of a hill) is one of the expansively flat Mundi Mundi plains. We understand that it’s spectacular at sunrise or sunset but I must say not all that enthralling in the middle of the day (when we were there). Checked out some of the old (beautiful) buildings on our return trip.

Broken Hill Line of Lode Miners Memorial

There’s a building which sits atop the large Broken Hill mullock heap that we could see from most places in town so we took the short trip up to check it out. It is called the Line of Lode Miners Memorial (maplink).

The Memorial is an icon for Broken Hill and the mining industry. It is also a symbolic and spiritual representation of the human tragedy of more than 800 deaths since mining commenced in Broken Hill in 1883. The Line of Lode is the ore body that bisects the town.

The actual memorial building is the rusted looking structure who internal panels list the names of miners who have lost their lives working in the local mines. These are represented by a red rose next to the miners names.

Pro Hart Museum

The Pro Hart Museum is based in Broken Hill (maplink). This is a gallery and tribute to the artist Pro Hart, boasting three floors of his colourful artworks. He was one of the outback artists who came from around Broken Hill and painted Australian scenes in the brilliant hues of the outback. This gallery is in the studio and home where Pro brought up his five children.

Some of his car collection and sculptures are at the entrance to the gallery. His hand-painted Rolls Royce is a must see. We picked up a great jigsaw puzzle called Home Brew Party and (yet another) gecko for our collection at home.

Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum

Behind the stone facade of the restored former Bond Store is another of Broken Hill’s must-see mining museums.

The Albert Kersten Mining & Minerals Museum displays information on how the world’s largest deposit of silver lead and zinc was formed here in Broken Hill.

It also houses a renowned collection of Broken Hill minerals.

The Museum is also home to the Silver Tree once owned by Charles Rasp, the boundary rider who pegged out the first Broken Hill mining lease with his partners. The 8.5 kilos of silver is an exquisite example of the renowned Adelaide silversmith, Henry Steiner.

Broken Hill Sculptures & Living Desert Sanctuary

We took the 28km drive (maplink) out from the Outback Resort to view the sculptures created in the Living Desert State Park. These sculptures range from plain (with a story) to rather exceptional. The visit is definitely one which should be undertaken when in Broken Hill.

The Sculptures comprise 12 sandstone artworks which highlight the skyline, all with a story to tell. Located on a majestic hilltop within the centre of the reserve, the sculptures were completed in 1993 by artists from around the world.

Broken Hill Outback Resort

Our Tagalong20 trip began with a 2 day road trip from our home in Melbourne traveling up the Calder Highway (869km – maplink). We stopped overnight at a free camp behind the Royal Hotel in Sea Lake (Vic), as long as we dined in the pub. After a great feed and very quiet night (only van in the carpark) we continued on to Broken Hill the next day.

Happy hour gathering

Arriving at the Broken Hill Outback Resort along with 16 other Bailey caravans it’s time to re-connect with friends from previous trips and meet new friends at the first happy hour. We gathered around and had a few drinks while the organising team provided the group with a briefing.

We then all participated in the welcoming dinner prepared by the team at the Outback Resort – nice tucker. We just had to battle the bloody flies!!!

The evening rounded out with a short, sharp dust storm and a splattering of rain; welcome to the unpredictable outback.