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Broken Hill in the Outback of New South Wales
The city of Broken Hill is as far west of New South Wales as you can go, with Adelaide being the closest capital city being 500 kms away. In 1883 a boundary rider working on a property named Charles Rasp discovered what he thought was tin. While it wasn’t tin that was discovered, it was silver, lead and ore which turned out to be the largest find of its kind in the world.
The Broken Hill Proprietary Company, which is now known as BHP Billiton, was founded in Broken Hill in 1885, and has since gone on to be the largest mining company in the world. With the mining boom the population in Broken Hill had risen to 21,000 people by 1891, and the town was the third largest in New South Wales. Although the mines have been largely depleted, there are still mines that do operate in the town and are viable when the price of metals remains high. Tour operators operate out of Broken Hill, taking tourists out to the old mines where they can explore the days gone by.
In recent years Broken Hill has become well known for its art, with its stunning landscapes and ever changing scenery many artists have setup in Broken Hill and now call it home. One such gallery is the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery which shows exhibitions from major cultural institutions, as well as exhibitions from local artists. Also a must visit is the sculpture symposium, with 12 sandstone sculptures by artists from around the world highlight the skyline within the Living Desert Reserve. The area is also popular with film makers, with films such as Mad Max 2 and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert shot there.
There is also much to see in the surrounding area of Broken Hill. Silverton is 25kms from Broken Hill and has many historic old buildings, and for Mad Max fans has a replica car parked out the front of the pub. The town of Menindee is around 110 kms from Broken Hill and sits on the banks of the Darling River. Menindee is also surrounded by the Menindee Lakes, and the Broken Hill locals love to go there for a spot of fishing, water sports, or simply to watch the stunning sunsets over the lakes.