Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Broken Hill

After getting the car serviced in Walgett, we made plans for our excursion to Cameron Corner.  This involves nearly a thousand kilometres of dirt road and a couple of things concerned us, I.e. Breakdowns, tyres, dust, heat and FLIES.  I am almost convinced that the flies are more attracted to me because of my face moisturiser. However can't see myself not putting cream on my face in the mornings.

Before leaving Walgett we visited an Aboriginal fish trap in the Namoi River.  This site is recorded as the oldest man made structure on earth estimated to be 40,000 years old.

Bourke is one of the nicest outback towns we have stayed at.  There is so much history tied up in this little town and probably only outdone by Broken Hill.

Dr Fred Hollows is buried here and his headstone cannot be missed as you drive in the gate of the Bourke Cemetery. 


While here we stayed at the Mitchell Caravan Park as again the flies and heat drove us to use the air conditioning.  This is run by a young couple who for a small fee put on a meal each afternoon of the week at the camp kitchen.

 Our friends Peter and Maree Cottrell were heading back from WA and so we stayed a few more days in Bourke to catch up with them.  Always a great couple of days with these two.

After checking with the tyre place regarding our Tyers before starting our western run we were told not to do anything til we got back from Cameron Corner.  We got 80 klm out and did a tyre so turned round and back to Bourke.  This time Stuart wasn't running any risks and got a full set of tyres and a spare rim.  So on Friday it was Cameron Corner here we come - take two.

Bourke is very soon going to have an abitour.  Apparently predominately for an overseas goat carcus market.  For the first 20 Klms or so there were goats fenced in both sides of the road.  Interspersed along the way by family's of emus.  We even saw a mother and 4 half grown chicks, and this mother and a tribe of babies.
Now we can say we have been to the back of Bourke

 We got to Tibooburra after driving on a dirt and slightly corrugated road all day we had dislodged quite a bit of stuff inside the van.  It didn't take us long to realise that Cameron Corner could wait til next time and we headed in the opposite direction to Broken Hill.

My favourite Australian wild flower - Sturt's Desert Pea

Sawn Rock, a rock formation between Bingara and Narabri

Magnificent Wedge Tail Eagle we saw on the side of the roaed

It was almost like being on the Nullarbor the road was so flat and straight

Along the road between Tibooburra and Broken Hill off to the left was a huge salt lake.  We were apparently on the edge of the Lake Ayre Basin

Just across the road from the salt lake was a large body of water

Along one stretch of the highway we came across a runway, complete with air sock which can be seen halfway along the road to the right. 
Broken Hill is the hub of Western New South Wales with a population of about 18,400.  It is steeped in history, with silver and lead being found in close by Silverton in 1883.  In that same year a "Syndicate of seven" was formed when silver was discovered in Broken Hill and so BHP was formed and is now one of the worlds largest mining companies. The company began mining the massive ore body containing the worlds richest source of silver, lead and zinc.

Looking across the town of Broken HIll

Looking along the "Line of Load" which is what the mine site is called


Stuart on a big boy chair on the hill overlooking Broken Hill
We had a day out at Silverton (about 20 Klms from Broken Hill) and visited some of the old iconic places still standing;  like the Catholic Church,
The old pub which appears to let just about anything in for a coldie


The Mad Max Museum

 and lots of old iconic "Stuff"
 And lots of art and photo galleries.
Silverton was the scene of the only enemy attack on Australian soil in World War 1.  Just four months before the ANZACS fight the Turks in Gallipoli, a Silverton bound train was fired upon by 2 men in an icecream cart flying the Turkish flag.   Both men were killed in the fray.

"The Brushmen of the Bush"  was a group formed in 1973 of local artists who shared a love of painting and the Australian bush.  They consisted of Jack Absalom, Pro Hart, Hugh Shultz, Eric Minchin and a well known Mackay man John Pickup.  They exhibited their work for the next 25 years and during that time raised over a million dollars for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Besides them there are many other artists who call Broken Hill home and have set up Studios in the town.

This beautiful lady graced the entry to one of the many galleries in the area.  This was entitled "Born into this Landscape" Painted by Wendy Martin and is her artistic response to the situation which confronts women who have been diagnosed with cancer and live in isolated communities of outback Australia.
We visited a  few of them but one very memorable place was one that had a very unique painting.  This was painted by Peter Anderson.  It was a canvas which had to be bought in from Italy and was set in a circle 100 metres in circumference and 12 metres high.  As you walk into the centre of the circle on a raised platform there is about 3 metres of replicated bush land complete with trees, rocks, saltbush, red dirt, rocks, animals, snakes and birds from the base of the platform to the base of the painting.  The difficulty is seeing where three d bush ends and 2d painting begins.  We got the feeling that we were a bit like Alice and had dropped into the middle of Wonderland only this wonderland was the Australian bush.  Only once before have we seen something similar but not as spectacular and that was my n Also Ce Springs where a European by the name of Guth had painted a similar painting which was destroyed by fire in about the early eighties.
I realise this is a bit hard to imagine but this is the painting in its entirety.  Picture it as a round panorama with the bottom half as rocks, brush, animals trees etc and the top half as a painting.  I hope I have conveyed a little of the magnificence of this work. 
We also visited Pro Harts studio and Jack Absoloms studio and met Jack who are is now in his Eighties.  Neither artist had paintings for sale that reached within our budget but we still came away very happy with our purchase.

A visit to Broken Hill. Would not be complete without going to see the School of the Air and the Royal Flying Doctor.  At School tomorrow f the Air we sat in on a real lesson and watched the kids interact with their teacher  who was sitting in the room beside us via Internet and as it was the first lesson of the day a couple of the kids dos still had their jamas on.  The Flying Doctor service was started in 1928 and is synonymous with the man who started it Dr John Flynn.  It covers an area of over 80% of Australia and is the lifeline for the health and the difference between life and death for those families  who own and work on the remote stations of outback Australia. Transporting patients back to hospital of treating on the spot patients who have rolled their. While, been thrown from a horse or about to give birth.

Another must see apparently, are the 10 sculptures on a hill just out of town.  Each had a significant meaning but neither Stuart nor I understood what that meaning was.


This is the one that had all the cameras clicking

Sunsets in the west - beautiful

We did however stay til sunset to photograph the western sun setting as viewed through the eye of one of the sculptures.

After a week in Broken Hill we said goodby and headed back to Bourke via Cobar.

I think I mentioned goats earlier.  There were thousands of them both wild and farmed. From Broken Hill in the west to Bourke in the East and all places in between.

Christmas this year will be in Canberra and then we will start our long run from Mt Kosciusko in the east to all places west along the Mighty Murray River as west as possibly where it meets the sea. 

No comments:

Post a Comment