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Travel to Broken Hill

by juliewilliams Online Now Feb 7, 2003 at 5:19 AM

We are planning to drive from Sydney to Melbourne Via Broken Hill in January 2004, where should we look to get information on routes and accommodation. Has anyone done this trip either staying in hotels or hiring a camper van and does anyone know where the best place to get info on camper vans and the pitfalls and obviously one way hire. We are new to this game and have no idea where to start. Any help greatly appreciated

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11 Answers
  • iandsmith's Profile Photo

    Re: Travel to Broken Hill

    by iandsmith Online Now Feb 7, 2003 at 10:49 AM

    For you campervan/motorhome just go to Google and ask. If you want to consider an alternative there is somewhere in Kings Cross where tourists who have just finished their travels sell their campervans and, when you've finished, you can do the same but you've got no back up that way. Remember it's a long way and, once you get past places like Dubbo, there's not a lot to get excited about until you hit Broken Hill (see my page about that). I've actually been there three times and caught the train every time which is a wonderful experience but then you have the problem of getting down to Melbourne! I would strongly recommend that, when you've finished with Broken Hill that you head back towards Echuca at least and go down through the goldfields (Bendigo, Ballarat etc). Another alternative is to go down through the Grampians and thence to Warnambool and along the Great Ocean Road. You can see some of that in my Australia page if it helps. Cheers, Ian

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  • CandS's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Travel to Broken Hill

    by CandS Online Now Feb 7, 2003 at 12:39 PM

    I've been to Broken Hill also (highly recommend it!)...check out my page if you're interested. As for staying in hotels or camper van, I can't help you there...we stayed with friends on our trip. But Broken Hill is really a great place for a visit (dunno about living there though...haha)...make sure you go out to the sculptures on sunrise or sunset it's beautiful! Also, check out Delprats Mine if you get a chance...the guy that does the tour is great! If you're into art then you'll be in heaven too! Enjoy! I can't wait to check out your page after you've been...

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  • Re: Re: Travel to Broken Hill

    by 3littlepigs Online Now Feb 7, 2003 at 2:25 PM

    We drove from Sydney to Broken Hill last Easter, we then went on to Central Aust. so I can't comment on the rest of the trip to Melbourne although I am very keen to drive from Broken HIll down to Mildura and the Menindee Lakes area. All our family loves Broken Hill and can vouch for the comments posted above, although since I am a bit claustrophobic I was glad to have the excuse that one of the kids was too small to go down in the mine ; ) There are 2 clubs in town that do great dinners and would be a good place to meet some locals ( we liked the one near the railway station I can't remember the name) We went up to the sculpture park at sunset and it was magnificent, if it is a bit hot and you don't fancy a 30minute walk up a hill you can get a key to the gate and drive up to the top, then you can take a nice picnic with you and enjoy the sunset, there was a baby being baptised up there when we were there ( key from tourist bureau with a small charge and key deposit, book the key there are a limited number) Don't miss the "Ghost" town of Silverton which is now an Artists colony and where they filmed one of the mad max movies ( the galleries are wonderful ( yes - we spent our money!!) We went at Easter and had a great deal of trouble getting accomodation, I am not sure about January but it would be worth asking the tourist bureau people whether you need to book. One comment nobody has made yet is about the weather - January in the Outback is very hot, it can easily be 40 deg C or more every day. When we went at Easter it was in the high 30's every day. If you are not used to the heat it can be very draining - make sure that campervan has Airconditioning!!! (cont'd below - too long)

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  • Re: Re: Travel to Broken Hill

    by 3littlepigs Online Now Feb 7, 2003 at 2:26 PM

    a bit more from above!! We drove from Sydney in 2 days and arrived at about lunchtime the second day. We stopped for lunch in Dubbo the first day ( at the RSL a truly Australian Institution and a great place for a meal) Most people would stay overnight ( there would be at least 100 motels in Dubbo and a couple of Campgrounds find accomodation off the highways as the trucks rumble through all night) at least in Dubbo to visit the zoo and the Old Dubbo Gaol, but we have relatives there so have seen it all before. We travelled on to Cobar to stay overnight. Its about another 3 hour drive with some tiny towns in between. There is heaps of wildlife, especially with the drought, loads of Emus and Kangaroos all the way. There is a camping ground in Cobar which looked ok, we were looking for a cabin and they were booked out but there were plenty of sites still available. I am pretty sure the lady there only takes cash - no cards, it was the only place we found like that. We found a motel room though for only75 for the 5 of us which wsa the cheapest anywhere.We had fantastic takeaway pizza for dinner and there was a club and a pub that served meals as well, we liked Cobar very much just because it was a typical outback town with typically friendly country people definitely a good place to spend a night. From Cobar it is about 4 to 5 hours to BH. There is only one town in between, Wilcannia and at the risk of getting slammed by other posters we found the advice of not to stop there good advice. You can turn off at Wilcannia for White Cliffs the Opal mining town, it is about 70km of dirt road, I think if you are not going to any of the other opal mining towns it would be well worth a look.There is underground accomodation available, most people live underground because it is too hot to live on the top! From Wilcannia it is an easy couple of hours to BH. Oh dear still too long - see below!

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  • Re: Re: Travel to Broken Hill

    by 3littlepigs Online Now Feb 7, 2003 at 2:27 PM

    Here's the rest! A few general notes - It is a very good tar sealed road all the way. You can't take fruit or vegetables into BH, there is a Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone and it is manned and the officer will look through your car or van including your fridge and cooler box. If you are driving a car or camper you need to drive only in the bright daylight hours not at night or especially not at dawn or dusk. You will understand why when you see the amount of Roadkill out there, the wildlife come onto the roads at dawn and dusk and at night and you cannot see them, those animals can do you some serious damage. If you are going in January make sure you carry plenty of water for drinking and the car. It is really, really hot. I hope something here is of use, you will have a fantastic trip. ( If you think I can gabble on here - don't get me started on the Northern Territory, I could rave for hours)

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  • colin_bramso's Profile Photo

    Re: Travel to Broken Hill

    by colin_bramso Online Now Feb 7, 2003 at 11:19 PM

    Just continuing MOB's thought, I've driven a campervan around and I wouldn't do it again. It's far easier to drive a car, especially over the long distances, and it's far cheaper too, both hiring and fuel costs. Staying in motels or 'van sites is more comfortable too, and the total cost should be about the same as hiring the campervan. Just check out a few sites such as Britz, Avis, Budget, Thrifty etc and do the numbers.

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  • Re: Travel to Broken Hill

    by zig001 Online Now Feb 8, 2003 at 6:33 PM

    January last year we went from Melbourne through to Broken Hill on the way home. Took in Bendigo, Echuca, Robinvale, Mildura, Mungo National Park, Pooncarie and Broken Hill (thence generally north). Broken Hill has a very good tourist information centre, same as most places along the way. We stayed in caravan/camping grounds and also did some 'free camping'. All those roads are okay for any kind of vehicle. There were lots of historic sites and exhibits along the way, but I also like the arid lands nature and landscape. Distance we covered from Melbourne to Broken Hill was about 860 kms (a small part of our overall 16,000 km trip).

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  • Re: Re: Travel to Broken Hill

    by 3littlepigs Online Now Feb 9, 2003 at 3:35 PM

    Hi Craic- I have copied to my homepage and will pretty it up when I get a chance, I am supposed to be working not playing ; )

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  • Re: Travel to Broken Hill

    by 3littlepigs Online Now Feb 9, 2003 at 3:41 PM

    I think when you do the numbers the car and motel or pub or cabin in campground will come out cheaper than the camper, we have stayed in heaps of cabins in campgrounds and found them to be generally very good ( and airconditioned !!!) Renting a smallish car for a reasonable period of time can also be pretty cheap, You just need to watch the fine print on the rental contract ( also for campervans) as to whether you can take the vehicle on an unsealed road and what the insurance excess is, some of the companies try to charge about20 per day to reduce the excess from some outrageous figure like3000 to something more like500, you can get rental car excess insurance on your travel insurance policy heaps cheaper if you are renting for more than a few days.

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  • Re: Travel to Broken Hill

    by tully8 Online Now Feb 12, 2003 at 6:22 PM

    The nrma website has some good general info/maps http://www.mynrma.com.au I agree with the reader who suggested Cobar as a stopover site - there is a property out of town with Aboriginal cave paintings, if you are able to take your van on unsealed roads. Also a good museum, lots of mines (new and old). See Cobar website http://www.cobar.nsw.gov.au/ Most people take the Silver City Highway from Broken HIll to Mildura (if you do this, make sure the Mungo National Park is on your list), but another option is the Kidman Way, which heads south from Cobar - see their site http://www.kidmanway.org.au/ Have fun, and make sure you have a reliable vehicle if you'll be taking unsealed roads! Tully

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  • Re: Re: Travel to Broken Hill

    by tully8 Online Now Feb 12, 2003 at 6:25 PM

    PS, Go to the attractions section of the "About the Shire" segment, the Aboriginal paintings are at Mt Grenfell.

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