Broken Hill is Australia’s first heritage-listed city, thanks to its rich mining history that revolutionised both the nation’s economy and its labour rights from the late 1800’s. Mining success began in 1883, when the ‘Syndicate of Seven’ - a group of seven men from nearby Mt Gipps Station - discovered a mineral deposit beneath a ‘broken’ hill, which they believed had mining potential. Consequently, in 1885, the now-famous Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) was born. This same body of ore turned out to be the largest single source of lead, silver, and zinc ore ever discovered on earth, amounting to over $100 billion of wealth. Today, Broken Hill provides an intriguing and educational opportunity for visitors to explore.
The best place to get a good grasp on the influence mining has had on Broken Hill is the Line of Lode Miners Memorial. The Line of Lode itself is a 30m-high hill of rock and rubble, a byproduct of the Broken Hill mine that now looms over the city. Atop this hill lies the Miners Memorial, a poignant tribute to the men and women that have worked in the mines, and those that lost their lives. The names of all fallen miners appear on the walls of the monument, a sobering reminder of the dangers of the trade, particularly in the early days. The memorial also offers spectacular views of the city, with mining influence to be found almost everywhere you look.
If you’re looking for an immersive mining experience, Day Dream Mine should be at the top of your list. Experience what life was like for the early outback miners, as you descend through archaic tunnels and voids. Journeying through the mine is a stunning reminder of what life was like for these pioneers. The fascinating historical tour is followed by a hearty meal of Broken Hill’s iconic scones and tea. Day Dream Mine is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for friends, families, couples, and solo travellers alike.
To learn more about what exactly everyone was chasing out here, visit Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum. Also known as the GeoCentre, the Museum showcases Broken Hill’s vast mining history. It is home to an impressive 42kg silver nugget, and the iconic Silver Tree. Other features include the crystal theatre - a three screen video experience that details Broken Hill’s mining history - and the museum shop - full of tumbled stones and gemstone jewelleries. Explore some 2,000 unique artefacts at the GeoCentre, to gain firsthand insight on Broken Hill’s ancient minerals and specimens.
Whether you find yourself down a mineshaft, pondering around a museum or simply strolling through Broken Hill’s mineral-themed streets, exploring Broken Hill’s mining history is a truly unmissable event.