When visiting Outback Australia on the cusp of Summer, it pays to get outside early and then disappear inside under an air conditioner for the rest of the day.
That was our plan when we signed up for the Broken Hill Heritage Walk Tour.
A very good question and one I asked myself continually during our 17-hour visit.
White Cliffs, in Outback NSW, is located approximately 1 020km West of Sydney and 268km North East of Broken Hill. When we jumped in the car in Broken Hill to head towards our destination it was already 34°C and leapt to 38°C in three minutes and it was only 938am!
We were in for a long day…
It’s amazing what you can find in the desert.
A few scrubby bushes.
When you think of Outback Australia, you may think of wide open spaces, searing heat, endless miles of nothingness and dust. Lots of dust.
What may not immediately spring to mind is big hair, sparkly sequins and endless rainbows of feather boas.
That’s until you step through the front door of The Palace Hotel in Broken Hill.
Menindee? Where’s that? I hear you ask.
Head West out of Sydney. West over the Blue Mountains. West through Dubbo and past Cobar until you nearly drive into Wilcannia. So far you are a mere 960km from the Sydney Opera House.
Turn left on a dusty, bumpy dirt road and head south-west from Wilcannia and after about 160 dry, sandy kilometres, with any luck you will hit the tar again and be enjoying the bright lights of the thriving metropolis of Menindee. Population 551 (on a good day).
Your next question, “Why on Earth would you want to visit Menindee?”
In the past I have shared a number of blog posts highlighting the growing trend of installing sculptures in every town, street, park or wherever you darn well please. I love that outdoor sculptures break down any barriers that may exist between art and the general public. Perhaps it is art by stealth? Who cares? It encourages anyone and everyone to interact with the pieces and instantly, everyone’s an expert!
There are few places in Australia that ‘do’ outside sculpture like the small rural New South Wales town of Walcha.