I’m travelling with my 84 year old Dad and we have a whole weeks worth of adventures around the far west corner of NSW planned.
Our journey started in Sydney, leaving home at 5:00am to catch our 6:18am Outback Explorer train from Central Railway station making several stops at country towns on the way before our arrival in Broken Hill.
The train trip is a 13 hour journey, so we packed a few ‘keep us busy activities’ like books and some crochet for me a project that has already been on two recent road trips so who knows I may even finish it- the journey is 1164 kilometres from home.
Almost 10 years ago, we took Dad and my Mum on the Ghan with a wonderful group of friends.
That trip goes from Darwin in the Northern Territory to Adelaide in South Australia, (or the reverse depending on your journey) for 3 days and 2 nights.Train travel is such an amazing way to see the country, watching the Australian bush and animals as you wiz on by.
We can’t stop looking out the window, and see so many beautiful big sky scenes passing through several country towns, seeing amazing flora and fauna like kangaroos, wallabies and amazing Aussie birds- galahs, king parrots, magpies and cockatoos.
The wild goats are quite plentiful and apparently have created a big market for their meat and live trade overseas. we also saw a few emus….. The train driver tooted at all the road junctions and when animals were on the track, we did hit a couple of animals (the crunch sound was hectic).
My grandfather was born in Broken Hill, met my Grand mother in Adelaide and they moved to North Manly, not far from where we live now.
We’ve got a list of must do activities, from both friends with family in Broken Hill and Sydney friends who have been up on the train themselves so we are quite prepared.
We also have the street name of where my Grandfather grew up, it’s a long street in Broken Hill, and my sister was recently in Broken Hill and couldn’t find it, so perhaps we will just have a wonder and and ponder life back in the early 1900’s when he was a child.
The biggest challenge is luggage. It’s mid winter, clothes are bulky so with both the train and our return journey being a small plane, keeping luggage to a minimum is a must….. With all my camera gear I’m fully loaded!
A friend recommended spending the first night at the pub across the road from the railway station in Broken Hill- The Palace Hotel, home to “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”and it did not disappoint, amazing artwork all through the hotel, we didn’t arrive until 7:30pm at night, a yummy meal and bed was all we needed, how beautiful is the balcony though!
We are now is a cute little Boho Cottage in Beryl Street close to the main area and walking distance for Brekki and Dinner no cooking on this trip!
The weather in outback NSW is going to be between 3 degrees most mornings up to 26 degrees mid week. It will be mostly around 17 degrees so we’ve packed all the layers.
In fact everything feels bigger stronger heavier out here. The rain arrived and it was very loud on our tin roof and created a mini flood as the water ran into the gully across the road, the wind has been crazy and the sun when shining just beautiful.
I did discover that this historic town has its own app with all the little towns around documented and according to @destinationbrokenhill app, the town is a living breathing time capsule.
A heritage city filled with modern art along with mining and movie memorabilia at several key towns and memorials and an old fashioned milk bar- Bells where we enjoyed an ice cream lime soda, and we reminisced of my Mum and Auntie enjoying these from my childhood, while my cousins and I had an ice cream cone. I always wanted a soda!
I’m so excited to be travelling with my Dad making memories and listening to him reminiscing about train travel in his youth to the Blue Mountains. We have a car for the week, and have ventured out a couple of times and just had chill afternoons.
The Living Desert and sculpture Park isn’t too far away and although we almost hit an emu on the way there, we enjoyed seeing the artworks and the stunning bush flowers including the Sturt Desert Peas.
Stephen’s Creek, is out on the Silver City Highway towards Tibooburra. We stumbled across it and it was so beautiful I had to stop and take a photo.
When it rains as I said it really rains, and this dry creek gully, is wide and flows into the local reservoir.
Later we went to see Pro Harts art Gallery- which makes more sense out here.
Famous for his carpet dragon fly art, after visiting his gallery and doing a heritage walk in town, we realise a lot of his portrait images are from the lunch room break rooms in the mines where he also worked! He didn’t play cards, just sat and drew the crib crew!
Pro Hart also painted Stephen’s Creek – I’m in good company thinking it was a special spot….
Honestly we are only half way through our week here and seen so much! Anyone who said a week is too long here hasn’t been to see the guys at the local visitors information centre.
I love chatting to the locals when in a country town, they know where to send you and are happy to share.
All the incredible mining sites, memorials and memorabilia it’s hard to get your head around, being under ground for that long, with heavy equipment … Respect for these miners..
stay tuned for more adventures
Mrs Wong xx