We got a self drive tour map from the information centre and proceeded to do the self drive tour of Broken Hill. The highlights were:
1.Kimtare Reserve at the beginning of the drive. This is an interesting insight into the mining culture; the head from the Kimtare Mine is worth a good look.
2.Joe Keenan Park is a good overview of the mines and explanation of the lode and the building of the mines in the mid 1880’s
3.White Rocks Reserve, where the “Turks” came unstuck in the First World War.
4.North Mine Head, this was an ideal opportunity to climb all over an abandoned mine site. We watch here as some poor guy turned up to take photographs, and this really is a great spot for that. As he climb around the building and equipment the other part of his party sat in the car and constantly honked the horn to get him back into the car, I assume to do the rest of the trail.
Filled with great old pubs, churches and residences from the Broken Hill heyday this is a great self drive. All the sights were clearly marked and written up well, with explanations of the sights significance and their history.
Sunset at the Living Desert
We drove out-of-town to the Living Desert for about six kilometres. This site is famous as it is where a number of international sculptors, cut sculptures out of “Floating:” rock in a festival staged in 1993. The sculptures are just great.
There is an option to get a key and drive to the top of the hill. We opted not to get a key and we walked up from a car park at the bottom of the hill. The well-marked path was wide but you still felt that you were walking through the desert. At one point the path goes over a small water hole. This water hole has some Aboriginal rock carvings around it.
Again well-marked, the path had good information placards all the way up to the top. There is a bigger walk around the valley that takes about two hours.
Apart from the walk and the sculptures, we were here to take photographs of the desert and the sculptures and the setting sun. So were the other thirty or so people who were up there. As the sun started to set from 7pm onwards people started to arrive and stake their claim to good spots to view and photograph this nightly event.
Tripods came out and were set-up all over the site. Ali had some ideas on the shots she wanted and had some interesting times trying to keep other people out of them. The light plays on the rock figures were certainly worth the effort. We stayed until the sun set and clambered back down to the car before we completely lost the light.