“The Hill” (In search of the real gems)

Broken Hill
The Living Desert


Australia has many outback towns that are full of charm, old buildings, magnificent pubs or watering-holes, and of course, just as many characters to fill them.

There are also some hidden gems to be found, if you scratch the surface deep enough and spend the time to fossick around, talk to the locals who might be just willing to point you in the right direction.

And you can bet there is always some healthy and good natured banter at the coming together of the city and country folk, especially if it is over a cold beer.

An Outback Pub

Broken Hill, a frontier town on the far western border of New South Wales, is one place that will need little introduction to most Australian’s.  A town built on the back of silver and the hard toil of the men who worked the mines, and the women who supported them. It is the original home of the Big Australian, the Broken Hill Proprietary Company, or BHP as it later became known, and the nearby area of Silverton was the site of the Mad Max Movies starring Mel Gibson…

It also has a great pub, The Silverton Hotel!

It was with great anticipation that we drove The Landy into town a couple of weeks ago as it was the staging post for our travels into Mutawintji National Park.

Ancient Land
Mutawintji National Park – An Ancient Land

And speaking of characters, we were able to catch up with a local resident of The Hill, a man who oozed knowledge of the area and a passion for sharing it, over a cold beer of course!

Dave Beharre was aware of a love I have of Broken Hill and the Corner Country region.  Contacting me ahead of our visit, Dave offered information on places that we might find of interest, knowledge collected from the many years spent as a tour guide operating out of Broken Hill.

Outback Australia
The Old Cobb and Co Coach Route – Broken Hill to White Cliffs

TomO, an avid reader, was thrilled to be presented with some books on the area from Dave…

Such is the way of the people of Australia’s outback, a tough, no-nonsense people, embodied with a pioneering spirit and a heart of gold…

And talking about scratching the surface and finding a gem, we visited the Living Desert Reserve just outside of town and situated on a hill that provides majestic views over the harsh, but wonderfully beautiful countryside.

Country of the Wilyakkali People who traditionally occupied the lands around Broken Hill.

The Reserve is set on 2,400 hectares of land and has a number of walking trails that you can traverse. At its centre-piece, perched atop a hill, is a number of sculptures carved from sandstone rock, around 52 tonnes of it brought in from the MacCulloch Ranges, a range situated about 250 kilometres to the east of Broken Hill.

Broken Hill
Living Scultures

The sculptures were completed in 1993 by artists from around the world in collaboration with Australia’s first inhabitants, the aborigines.

The story of the bringing together of all these different people and cultures, sculpting by day and at night, dancing and singing by the glow of a warm fire under a sparkling outback sky, and in tongues native to their own lands, is one that portrays a spirit of human co-operation.

The sculptures include Nhatji – the Rainbow Serpent, Thomasina – the Water bird, the Bride, Motherhood, Moon Goddess, Tiwi Totems, and the Jaguar – Bajo El Sol Jaguar. 

The latter, a creation of an Aztec Sculptor from Mexico.

Diamantina National Park
An Endless Sky and Endless Horizon – Outback Australia

Broken Hill is more than an Outback Town, it is a living beauty, touched by sunrises whose rays reach out to breathe life into the land, and of sunsets that redden the parched, dusty ground with a brilliance that is hard to define, but awe-inspiring as the sun slips below a far-off western horizon…

 Above all else, “The Hill” is a town full of endearing people – they are the real gems that you will find there!

Photos: Baz, The Landy

36 thoughts on ““The Hill” (In search of the real gems)

  1. Beth October 14, 2013 / 7:06 am

    The last photo was my favorite… I’ve found that luck plays into my photos more often than not. I can’t control the weather. I can’t plan cloud formations. I just have to be in the right place when God decides to show up. And have my camera with me. 🙂


    • Baz - The Landy October 14, 2013 / 7:26 am

      Oh yes, I lucked out with that one, in fact it was taken a long way from Broken Hill, at Diamantina National Park


  2. freebutfun October 14, 2013 / 3:32 am

    We went among others there to see the sun set on our honey moon. It looked amazing when the sun hit the sculptures. And I liked Broken Hill and Silverton Hotel too!


    • Baz - The Landy October 14, 2013 / 6:50 am

      It is a magnificent spot to visit, and enjoy!


  3. Kayla_Joy October 9, 2013 / 4:13 pm

    All of the photos in your recent blog posts are stunning! Making me real keen for a visit to your lovely country.


      • Kayla_Joy October 9, 2013 / 5:46 pm

        All the more reason to check it out 😀


  4. greenmackenzie October 6, 2013 / 6:41 pm

    Looks like a really character-filled place, and the colours are spectacular.


  5. nutsfortreasure October 5, 2013 / 10:36 pm

    Gorgeous just gorgeous


    • Baz - The Landy October 14, 2013 / 7:44 am

      And the photo isn’t too bad either, hey 😉


      • nutsfortreasure October 14, 2013 / 7:49 am

        Always great shots in your posts 🙂


  6. Nory October 5, 2013 / 9:33 am

    Great blog Baz as I’ve always said ‘different eyes see different skies’ that last photo was awesome.


    • Baz - The Landy October 5, 2013 / 5:48 pm

      Thanks Graham….trust all is well for you both. We’ve been cleaning the TVAN and Vehicle today! And yes, love that photo, 2010 Diamantina Lakes (near the site of the old hotel) I’m sure you’ll know the spot. As an aside, my mate Bob bought the TVAN, and is ordering a 76 Series to go with it!

      Planning the Birdsville Track & Corner Country for April next year, so I’ll let you know some detail if you have an interest.

      Cheers, Baz


    • Baz - The Landy October 5, 2013 / 7:39 am

      Taken out Diamantina Lakes National Park in 2010. Take a look at it on google, a fantastic place to visit, and I will be out that way again next year.

      You’d love it out there!

      Cheers, Baz 😉


    • Baz - The Landy October 5, 2013 / 5:51 pm

      You pair would love it out there, no border guards to take your wine! In fact, without writing an essay on Diamantina National Park (I could) it is spectacular on many levels. We try and pass through it as often as we can. Come on over and I’ll get you out there! 🙂


  7. Naomi Baltuck October 5, 2013 / 1:18 am

    Awesome adventures, stunning photos! Thanks for the follow. I look forward to following you too!


  8. tiny lessons blog October 5, 2013 / 12:31 am

    Amazing shots! I love your photos from the outback. Yet to visit…


    • Baz - The Landy October 5, 2013 / 5:53 pm

      I know, Janet was only saying the same about me this morning… Hang on, did you mean me or the photo? 😉


  9. Jim in IA October 4, 2013 / 10:37 pm

    I watched a public tv series in the spring about the geological history of Australia. It was quite fascinating and whetted my appetite for going someday. I live in the middle of the U.S. in the great state of Iowa. Most people fly over or drive through. That’s ok with me. If I ever get to your great country, I will have to look you up for advice on what to do…over a cold one of course. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping in at my blog today.


    • Baz - The Landy October 4, 2013 / 10:55 pm

      Call 1800-BAZ, I’ll put the beer on ice 😉


      • Jim in IA October 4, 2013 / 11:03 pm

        btw…make it a dark one


      • Baz - The Landy October 5, 2013 / 5:54 pm

        Well funny enough Jim, that is what we drink…so you’ll fit in!


  10. alessandro ciapanna October 4, 2013 / 6:42 pm

    What a trip! Wish i could go. For now, your blog is the next-best-thing. Thanks for sharing…


    • Baz - The Landy October 4, 2013 / 9:11 pm

      Thanks mate, glad you enjoy it! If you make it down here I’ll buy you a beer, just call 1800-BAZ


  11. barbara grandberg October 4, 2013 / 6:26 pm

    thanks again for sharing your beautiful country :}


    • Baz - The Landy October 4, 2013 / 9:12 pm

      Thanks BG… Trust you are running up a storm! 🙂


  12. The Guat October 4, 2013 / 2:57 pm

    I love these pictures, the first one especially. When I went to the Outback, I was only able to visit Uluru, but it was still a very amazing, uplifting and spiritual experience. Great shots.


    • Baz - The Landy October 4, 2013 / 3:14 pm

      Now here is the thing, for all the Outback Travelling we have done, we have never been to Uluru…

      Passed closed by numerous times, but usually on our way to and from somewhere. I am currently planning a trip to cross Australia’s Victoria Desert (1,300 kilometres) and return via the Great Central Road – that finishes at Uluru, so we will visit it this time!

      The Outback, you just got to love it, hey!


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