Broken Hill – Radium Hill and environs..
Trip Diary from Phillip and Linda Favaloro
Day 1 Thursday 12th July 2018
We left Cherrybrook and fuelled up at Caltex Berkshire Park. Travelled the Bell’s Line of Road to Lithgow and onto Bathurst and Orange. The next stop was Parkes for more fuel and arrived at Condobolin about 6:30. Stayed at the Railway Motel for the night. Ninety-five dollars a night and we had a good feed in the attached restaurant / hotel.
Day 2 Friday 13th July 2018
Wanting to get into the dirt I was looking to follow the railway line and spoke to our host for guidance. We travelled to Euabalong West. Still on the black top. At Euabalong West, I looked at the service track (along the railway line) and was not sure if we could use it so we went up to Mount Hope and Yathong Nature Reserve and then back down to Roto. We were warned about the wild life. Kangaroo after kangaroo, emus, goats, sheep a few cows and even a pair of foxes. I am glad the emu stopped as he looked into Linda’s window. We wondered what was going through his mind. From Roto we travelled to Ivanhoe, following the railway line and stopped for a coffee. He had no cups and was getting them tomorrow and so Linda got her coffee in a polystyrene cup for $2.50 instead of $4.50 Linda felt generous and gave him $3.00. Funny thing we heard the same story in Broken Hill about the cups. It was dirt road from Ivanhoe to Menindee and near Menindee the sun was setting. Driving to Broken Hill you could seethe glow on the horizon. We arrived at our apartment on Oxide Street at about 6: 30, unpacked and had dinner at Alfresco’s.
Day 3 Saturday 14th July 2018
After the trip we decided to have a sleep-in, before painting the town blue. Our first stop was to find the local markets at Sturt Park. All the usual items and a very interesting gentleman with his rock collection. As I came out of the Information Centre I noticed the Kelly’s getting into their vehicle and went over and greeted them and arranged to contact each other that night. Linda and I did the city walk matching the places to the map. The locals were very helpful as we had puzzled looks trying to work out what we should be looking at.
Day 4 Sunday 15th July 2018
We met the Kellys at the information centre about 9.30am. From here we went to the Line of Lode Café for coffee. Checked out the Bell Soda museum and the nearby antique stores. Great stuff. Our next stop was the mineral outcrop at the Junction Mine and then onto Regmatite – Rocky Hill, another rock outcrop at the corner of Jones and Cummins Streets. Lunch was at the Joe Keenan Lookout. What a view. Robert wanted to find the site of Nine Mile Mine and we travelled out on the Silverton Road but could not find the site. Fourteen Km out we stopped to turn around not before checking out the local rocks and finding a couple of washers, a nut and a pair of pliers. We met up for dinner at to the Musicians Club for a bake dinner and extras $14 meal.
Day 5 Monday 16th July 2018
We joined up with the Kellys and Ron Paton (who by now had arrived), and explored the Railway Museum. This took you back in time. They also have a mineral room and hospital room. I was still looking, Ron went off to do his own thing and the others went for coffee. Rob still wanted to find Nine Mile Mine. This time we went out on the Nine Mile Road past the Living Desert State Park sculptures. We kept going straight but the country side did not reveal what we were looking for and turned around only to discover Nine Mile Road had made a sharp turn off the main road. Back on Nine Mile Road we had a couple of guesses where the mine could have been. We ended up back on at the Silver City Hwy near a burnt-out gallery. Linda had purchased the Broken Hill book earlier and led us on the driving tour of the city. There were buildings, churches, local residents, parks and much more to see. Rob and Jackie left early as they needed to get food for dinner. We carried on but it was getting late and missed the ‘Block 10 Lockout’. Ron and ourselves picked up the Flowers at Broken Hill Railway Station and drove them back to the Ibis Styles Hotel.
Day 6 Tuesday 17th July 2018
After meeting everyone at the Information Centre we all headed off to the Royal Flying Doctor base then on to ‘Bells’ (famous milk bar) for a soda. The Junction Mine was our next stop. The trickiest photo to take was the inside of the Wheel house but Rob managed to get one. Everyone went their own way after the mine. We went to find Block 10 Lookout and have lunch. This was the site of the Block 10 concentration mill. There were some old vehicles nearby and I spoke to the owner. After that we went to the Silver City Mint & Art centre. Here we saw jewellery, the Big Picture and more art, some information on opal polishing and Linda purchased some Broken Hill chocolate. Our next stop on the to do list were the sculptures at the Living Desert State Park. Our idea was to see them at sunset. There are 12 sandstone sculptures that look out over the outback. We missed exploring the flora and fauna sanctuary. Just ran out of time.
Day 7 Wednesday 18th July 2018
Met at the Information Centre and then proceeded to Tikalina Station where we met the Drummonds and had morning tea. Before we left, we checked for fruit as we were going to South Australia. Jenny counted road kill. 100 killed between Broken Hill and Coburn on the South Australian Border.
We purchased groceries to say thank you to the owners of the property for letting us wander through the Radium Hill museum which was located on their property.
Then travelling back to Coburn to have lunch before we proceeded back to Broken Hill where everyone went their own way. We went back to the Silver Mint Museum to watch the DVD about the Mine Fields and life in Broken Hill before now. Then explored more of the town and had coffee in the Astra Hotelwhich was very pleasant. Then went back to our apartment to get ready for dinner at the Musicians Club as it was parmigiana night special. Decision time for tomorrows trip, Silverton or Fowlers Gap Research Centre. We were going to Silverton
Day 8 Thursday 19th July 2018
We met the Flower’s and Ron at the Information Centre before travelling out to Day Dream mine for the underground tour.
Went on to Silverton and cruised around the streets before lunch at the town council chambers. After lunch we visited the Goal Museum. We spent hours looking at all the different rooms.
The others went back and we were going to Mundi Mundi for the sunset. As we were too early we went out to Broken Hill Dam (Umberumberka Reservoir). The dam was dry. The red soil looked damp, a dark red colour not the dusty red of the country side. There is a closed of section with green grass and table and chairs. We then went back to Mundi Mundi for the sunset. We parked with the other vehicles and enjoyed the sunset. I set up the Andoer camera on the bull bar and videoed the event. Dinner was again at the Musicians Club.
Day 9 Friday 20th July 2018
Well our time in Broken Hill was at an end and it was time to start travelling back to Cherrybrook, but not before stopping at White Cliffs. The Kellys were also going to White Cliffs but via Wilcannia. I wanted to be adventurous and go via Mutawintji Nature Reserve, more dirt road and some corrugations. The park had a camping area and we checked out the old hotel ruins before turning around to continue our trip to White Cliffs. We found the Kellys in the White Cliffs caravan park, they had arrived 20 minutes earlier. We did the tourist thing and drove around the town stopping at the lookout and mine sites. Linda purchased some jewellery for Jessica’s (our daughter) birthday. It was getting late and time to leave. I figured Linda had had enough dirt for one trip and decided to leave Paroo Darling Nature Reserve for another trip. We took the Opal Miners Way to Wilcannia. It was just after 5pm and I wanted to be closer to home. Cobar here we come. Linda was on nature watch and we arrived in Cobar just after 8pm. We had stopped for one kangaroo who would not get off the road. Then there were the ones who told their mates it was also safe to cross. The Kellys had told us about a cheaper motel. The motel we looked at had a sign to see reception on the other side of the road. So we did. There was a luxury section and the usual. We went to the restaurant for a sea food platter before turning in.
Day 10 Saturday 21st July 2018
We filled up before our last leg home and stopped for a few quick pictures. Definitely need to come back to Cobar and see the area. The next major towns were Nyngan and Dubbo. We had lunch at Dubbo and refuelled. It was ‘crunch time’, “which way to go home, Mudgee or Wellington?” A quick call, and we found out the Lineys (other TRAX members) were at a birthday party, so Wellington got the nod. We made a few stops along the way. Coffee at Nyngan. Checked out the ‘Big Bogan’ and visited the St Marks Anglian OP shop.
Stopped for a rest and closed my eyes at a closed reviver site at Molong. An antique & collectables shop. Pity this was not open. Awesome junk. Arrived home about 10pm.