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?”
Broken Hill is located around 1 150km west of Sydney and 520km from Adelaide and is officially in the middle of Nowhere! Despite its remote location, the city does have a fascinating history (which I will share in a later post) and its other huge selling point is the depth and diversity of artistic talent.
When I am traveling overseas and I tell people that I live in rural New South Wales, they immediately assume that I come from Outback Australia.
Not by a long shot!
This is what Outback Australia really looks like…