Drive to Broken Hill
Driving to Broken Hill from any of the major capitals can be thought of a long drive from the city to the Silver City, but there are wonderful adventures for those that want it. Broken Hill is considered the capital of the outback and the gateway to the interior of this great country but any trip out has plenty of options to experience the wonderful attractions and experiences though Outback NSW.
To some, driving to Broken Hill from any of the major capitals can be thought of a long drive, but there are wonderful adventures along one of the many Outback NSW touring routes. There are some great 'road less travelled' routes, especially when driving to Broken Hill from Sydney.
Broken Hill is regarded as the capital of Outback NSW and the gateway to the greater Australian outback; as such, the drive to Broken Hill can be an adventure in itself.
One of the best Outback NSW touring routes would have to be the the iconic Darling River Run, and while Broken Hill is not actually on the Darling River (Menindee and the Darling is about one hour drive away), it is an integral part of this great touring route and can be encompassed on any drive to Broken Hill from one of our Capitals.
Driving Sydney to Broken Hill
Driving to Broken Hill from Sydney, or to Sydney from Broken Hill, is a wonderful way to experience some of the best features of not only outback NSW but also offers alternatives via the Alpine regions of NSW, the Murray Riverland along the border of NSW and Victoria, the iconic Murray River towns of Echuca (Port of Echuca) and Swan Hill, the wonderful Wine region of the Hunter Valley, and the iconic Darling River.
It is just a matter of how much time you have and how big an adventure you want to have!
Hunter Valley - The Kamillaroi - Darling River
Sydney <> The Hunter Valley <> The Kamilaroi Highway <> Bourke <> The Darling River (Run) <> Broken Hill:
Distance: 1,566km (approx)
When it comes to incorporating some of the best that NSW has to offer into an Outback tour between Sydney and Broken Hill then this route certainly has it all.
Heading north from Sydney to the Central Coast and Newcastle, the route then heads west via the New England Highway to the famous wine area of the Hunter Valley, then continues north west to the Kamilaroi Highway which guides the traveler though the very scenic New England area and on to Narrabri, Walgett, Brewarrina and the iconic outback town of Bourke.
This route follows the Darling River along one of NSW’s great driving adventures, the Darling River Run, with the option of either the western or eastern side of the Darling River through Louth, Tilpa, and Wilcannia. From Wilcannia, the route leaves the Darling River and heads westward along the Barrier Highway to Broken Hill.
Blue Mountains - Barrier Highway
Sydney <> The Blue Moutains <> Bathurst <> Orange <> Parkes <> Nyngan <> Cobar <> Wilcannia <> Broken Hill:
Distance: 1,166km (approx)
Many times, the most direct route for a tour is not always the most pleasing, but not so in this case, as the drive west from Sydney to Broken Hill takes in the world famous Blue Mountains, including Echo Point, the Three Sisters, and Wentworth Falls. Well worth a day of two for those who have not experience this Australian icon.
From the Blue Mountains, the journey continues through the NSW western slopes and past the ‘The Dish’ at Parkes (the radio telescope integral to the missions to the moon in the late 1960's and made famous in the movie by the same name. From Parkes, the route heads to Nyngan to join the Barrier Highway for the run to west to Broken Hill via Cobar and Wilcannia.
The Riverina - Murray River
Sydney <> Goulburn <> Wagga Wagga <>Hay <> Mildura <> Wentworth <> Broken Hill:
Distance: 1,309km (approx)
Despite the start being a highway run along the Hume to Wagga Wagga, the drive from Sydney to Broken Hill via the Riverina is full of country and outback experiences once off the highway as the touring experience gains momentum by joining the Sturt Highway and passing through the eastern Riverina plains (Narrandera and Hay) before continuing westward to Euston where the highway meets the Murray River. The highlight of this sector is visiting the confluence of the Muuray and Darling rivers at Wentworth.
From Wentworth, it is a pleasant run north along the Silver City Highway to Broken Hill.
Mt Koscuisko - Murray River
Sydney <> Canberra <> Alpine Way <>Tom Groggin <> Albury <> Echuca <> <> Swan Hill <> Mildura <> Wentworth <> Broken Hill:
Distance: 1,663km (approx)
For the real adventurer, the route via Mount Kosciuszko and the Alpine Region of Australia, this by far the best touring route to Broken Hill for those that have a few days and provides a great opportunity to learn about the Murray Darling Basin. This epic touring route will take you across through the mountains past the alpine resort of Thredbo, past the iconic Tom Groggin Station and the upper most (road) navigable section of the Upper Murray River, into Albury via Lake Hume before following the path of the Murray River through river towns like Echuca and onto Wentworth where the Murray and Darling rivers meet.
From Wentworth, it is a nice run north to Broken Hill via the Silver City Highway.
Melbourne to Broken Hill
Driving to Broken Hill from Melbourne, or to Melbourne from Broken Hill, is a wonderful drive across the Murray/Darling Riverland area and through the vast Mallee area of north-west Victoria. The are several options open to the traveller; straight along the Calder Freeway (as the crow flies), up through the southern Riverina via The Long Paddock, or down along the Great Ocean Road, across Cape Otway to the Twelve Apostles, then north through the Halls Gap and The Grampians and onto to Mildura, Wentworth and then Broken Hill.
Surf Coast - Great Ocean Road - The Grampians
The Great Ocean Road <> Shipwreck Coast (12 Apostles) <> The Grampians <> Mildura/Wentworth <> Broken Hill:
Distance: 1,205km (approx)
The Great Ocean Road is regarded by many as the greatest coastal drive in Australia, and one of the Top 10 in the world.
Taking in Surf Coast highlights including Torquay, Bells Beach, Anglesea, Lorne, Apollo Bay before traversing Cape Otway and onto the magnificent Twelve Apostles, Port Campbell and then Warrnambool. From the spectacular Shipwreck Coast it is a beautiful drive northward though the dramatically changing Victorian landscape to The Grampians NP and the spectacular Halls Gap.
From The Grampians, it is a pleasant drive up to the fruit growing region of Sunraysia (around Mildura) and then following the Murray downstream to its junction with the Darling River at Wentworth.
From the Murray Darling confluence at Wentworth, the run up the Silver City Highway finishes the journey at Broken Hill or alternatively via Lake Mungo or straight up the Darling River to Menindee then across to the Silver City.
The Long Paddock
Melbourne <> The Northern Highway <> Echuca <> Deniliquin <> Hay <> Ivanhoe <> Wilcannia <>Broken Hill:
Distance: 1,076km (approx)
The Long Paddock is a great iconic touring route that takes in the Murray River at Echuca (a wonderful stopover), before joining the start of the Cobb Highway at Moama and running up through Mathoura, Deniliquin, Wanganella, Booroorban, Hay, Booligal, Ivanhoe Wilcannia. The route then joins the Barrier Highway at Wilcannia for the run westwards to Broken Hill.
Echuca is one of those destinations that everyone should put on their list of places to experience. The Port of Echuca is Australia’s paddleboat capital and one of the best places to experience the Murray River. The history of the river and its contribution to opening up the pastoral country has been beautifully preserved and showcases the majestic nature of this region. A wonderful way to start (or finish) a journey along The Long Paddock.
The Calder Highway
Melbourne <> Macedon <> Kynton <> Bendigo <> Charlton <> Mildura <> Broken Hill:
Distance: 837km (approx)
Although the route from Melbourne to Broken Hill via the Calder Highway is the direct, the route allows the traveller to experience a pleasant drive though the Western Districts of Victoria, up though the Mallee, onto Mildura then following the Murray westward to Wentworth (where the Murray and Darling Rivers Meet) before joining the Silver City Highway for the drive north to Broken Hill or alternatively via Lake Mungo or straight up the Darling River to Menindee then across to the Silver City.
Driving Brisbane to Broken Hill
Driving to Broken Hill from Brisbane, or to Brisbane from Broken Hill, offers two primary touring routes either via the Corner Country or along the Darling River and the iconic Darling River Run touring route.
Both routes include Toowoomba and the Darling Downs before splitting off on their respected paths and can encompass some wonderful side-trips including Lighting Ridge, Sturt National Park and any of the several Corner Country explorer routes.
Toowoomba <> The Darling Downs <> St George <>Sturt National Park <> Milparinka <> Broken Hill:
Distance: 1,698km (approx)
A grand tour (1,700km) of Southern Queensland and the Corner Country, the route heads west from Brisbane towards Toowoomba and across the Great Dividing Range, through the Darling Downs and onto iconic Dalby, St George and Cunnamulla via the Balonne Highway.
Crossing the Mitchell Highway at Cunnamulla, continuing west along the Development Road to Eulo (and the Mud Springs) through Thargomindah to the remote town (well pub) of Noccundra.
From Noccundra, it is a 180km (approx) drive south to the NSW-Queensland border (Warri Warri Gate) and into the amazing Sturt National Park. (OUTBACK DRIVING.. caution and preparation required)
Continuing south through Tibooburra (can divert here for Cameron Corner to the west) and onto Milparinka (a ‘must-see’ experience for Depot Glen, Poole’s Cairn and Poole’s Grave).
From Milparinka, it is a nice run (sealed/gravel -50/50) down the Silver City Highway to Broken Hill.
Toowoomba <> Goondiwindi <> Moree <> Walgett <> Brewarrina <> Bourke <> Darling River Run <> Wilcannia <> Broken Hill:
Distance: 925km (approx)
The route from Brisbane to Broken Hill via the Darling River, includes Warwick before continuing along the southern section of the Darling Downs and across to Goondiwindi, south to Moree then following the Gwydir and Barwon Rivers to Walgett and Brewarrina.
Soon after ‘Bre’, the Barwon River is joined by the Bokhara and Culgoa rivers from the north and the Bogan from the east to form the Darling River which runs into Bourke.
Down the Darling (The Darling River Run) from Bourke, the route follows the Darling River to the south west along what is known as the Darling River Run through the iconic outback towns of Louth, past Trilby Station (great stopover), Tilpa, and Wilcannia.
From Wilcannia, the drive can either be straight across to Broken Hill along the Barrier Highway or continuing along the Darling River Run to Menindee (the Menindee Lakes and Kinchega National Park) and then leaving the ‘Run’ and taking the sealed road to Broken Hill.
Driving Adelaide to Broken Hill
Being the closest city to Broken Hill, Adelaide’s proximity to the Silver City provides the traveller with several great touring options between the Silver City and the City of Churches’ that also can include some of the wonderful attractions around Adelaide... particularly the world famous wine regions of the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and the Adelaide Hills.
Another option follows the path from Murray Bridge (just north of Lake Alexandrina) up through the Murraylands and Riverland regions before crossing over into Victoria then NSW.
From Wentworth, three great options present themselves… straight up the Silver City Highway or, the road less travelled, over to Lake Mungo (Mungo NP) and then across to Pooncarie and Menindee (along the Darling River) before taking the sealed road into Broken Hill.
Gawler <> Burra <> Barrier Highway <> Broken Hill:
Distance: 510km (approx)
Not much more direct than this… but that is not always a bad thing, especially when you consider the area around Adelaide that this route covers.
To the east of the where the Barrier Highway starts/finishes in Adelaide is the Barossa Valley which is one of Australia’s premier wine growing regions.
Not far from the Barossa Valley, and on the other side of the highway is the Clare Valley… which is regarded as one of Australia’s most beautiful wine regions.
Not a bad start/finish for the Adelaide-Broken Hill tour.
Barossa Valley - Sturt Highway
Adelaide <> Barossa Valley <> Mildura <> Broken Hill:
Distance: 351km (approx)
The Sturt Highway route is a little 'limited' by comparison as the route only travels through the Barossa Valley. With only one, and probably the best, wine regions to pass through; this route is complimented by crossing the Murray near Blanchetown and rejoining it at Waikerie and Renmark before crossing it near Curlwaa.
Travelling downstream a little, the route follows the Murray down to the Darling River at Wentworth where the tow rivers meet.
From Wentworth or Mildura there are three choices; straight up the Silver City Highway, up the Darling River along a great Outback tour that is know as the Darling River Run, or via the awe-inspiring Lake Mungo in Mungo National Park. (The Darling River Run and Lake Mungo require driving on unsealed roads).
The last two options also take in the wonderful Menindee Lakes and Kinchega National Park.
Adelaide <> Murray Bridge <> Murraylands <> Riverlands <> Mildura
Distance: 417km (approx)
The Murraylands and Riverland option passes through Murray Bridge (a great stopover place and the largest SA town on the Murray River) and heads north to Loxton and meets up with the Sturt Highway and joining the Barossa <> Sturt route described above.