An outback birthday! Up early to catch the dawn service in Broken Hill only to arrive as everyone is leaving… not to worry, we went on an exploratory walk and later found a breakfast spot that piled eggs and bacon high on the plate in true country style.
We decided to return for the ANZAC march at 11am which gave us time to head to the living desert sculptures. Wonderful stones carved by a variety of artists, set high on a hill overlooking Broken Hill: a view which confirmed that BH is very much in the middle of nowhere.
The march and service were really well done; lots of community groups involved, and a big turn out by the locals.
Next we headed to Silverton, the quintessential ghost town featured in Mad Max and a dozen other outback themed movies. What a great place. A wonderful mix of desolation, quirky touches, kitsch and a roaming donkey. Loved it!
Back to Broken Hill to visit the Pro Hart Gallery: really well done and a bit of a surprise. Didn’t know how many styles Pro actually explored, not just his outback themes. Jan loved his painted Rolls Royce. We even got a free Anzac biscuit when we arrived!
Another short drive found us at the Royal Flying Doctor Service headquarters. We had a personalized tour and were amazed at how little funding the service receives from the government- unbelievable for such an iconic life-saving Australian institution!
We also heard about Bell’s Milk Bar, a fantastic blast from Jan’s and my past: from an innocent time of Coke Floats, Spiders and one chocolate milkshake with two straws to share… how romantic can you get! The ice-cream soda with widgie blood sent Jan into misty-eyed nostalgia! And what is a widgie? You’d have to be a bodgie to know!
The day ended with dinner on top of the massive Line of Load Mine mullock heap that overlooks the town. Broken Earth restaurant and the Miner’s Memorial sit spectacularly above town, with spectacular views of Broken Hill itself and the fiery sunset that marked the end of a memorable birthday!