If you love visiting places with amazing history and some added quirkiness as well then a visit to the historic village of Silverton in outback NSW, is a must. It is unlike any other place that we have been to. In fact a trip to Broken Hill would not be complete without a visit to Silverton.
Located just under 25 kilometres west of the mining town of Broken Hill, Silverton is an easy 20 minute drive from the ‘Hill.’
Established in 1885, Silverton was once a rich mining area with a population of over 3000. As Broken Hill’s larger mines became more established, Silverton began to decline. These days, there are very few buildings left in Silverton. Many of them were transported to Broken Hill due to the shortage of building supplies in the area at that time.
MAD MAX II MUSEUM
These days, Silverton is perhaps best known for being the location where the Australian cult classic Mad Max II was filmed. A few years ago, an enterprising fellow from the UK – Adrian, moved to Australia and set about acquiring as much memorabilia from this movie as he could.
The result is the Mad Max II Museum that you can visit today. The museum features loads of photographs taken during the filming. There are also many original and replica props from the movie set, including the cars. It is a definite must visit spot for anyone who loves this movie. It is a truly amazing collection.
The Silverton Hotel is the social hub of the village. Not to be outdone by the Mad Max Museum, the pub has been featured in it’s fair share of movies and commercials. The pub has featured in classic Aussie movies such as A Town Like Alice, Razorback and Wake in Fright.
It’s a very popular spot for lunch for the many tourists who flock to the area each season. We enjoyed a couple of cold beers along with a very tasty steak sandwich and one of their famous Hotdog’s with the Lot!
Make sure you take a wander out the back where you will find the remains of the original Silverton Hotel. Inside the pub itself, there is lots of other interesting memorabilia on the walls.
MUNDI MUNDI LOOKOUT
Just four kilometres out of town you will find the Mundi Mundi Lookout. On the drive out there, you may well recognise some of the scenery from Mad Max II.
The lookout gives you breath-taking 360 degree views of the desert below. And I’m told the sunset from there is nothing short of spectacular. If I had to choose one word to describe the view from there, I would pick vast!
The Silverton Gaol Museum is definitely worth a visit. The gaol was completed in 1889 to replace the original structure. The original gaol was often so overcrowded, that prisoners were chained to the peppercorn tree at the front.
Today it is one of the few intact historical buildings that remain in Silverton.
RELICS FROM THE PAST
One of the things I loved most about Silverton, were the amount of historic buildings and ruins that remain in the area. I loved wandering around and looking at them all.
Many of the main buildings have plaques on them that tell of their history. Others, you can only wonder as to what they were or who lived there.
Notable buildings worth looking at include:-
- The Silverton Tramway Station
- The Silverton School
- Municipal Chambers
- St Carthage Catholic Church, now a private residence.
I also loved some of the crumbling ruins. They are an interesting look into Silverton’s past.
Surprisingly, you will find a number of art galleries in Silverton, all with an eclectic collection of art work. Make sure you check out Beyond 39 Dips which is glass studio and gallery. It also doubles as the Visitor Information Centre and the quirky entrance will draw you in for sure.
For even more quirky artwork make sure you check out the John Dynon Gallery as well.
WHERE TO STAY
If you are planning on staying in Silverton you have the choice of either the Silverton Hotel or Penrose Park. The Silverton Hotel has some very tidy looking rooms at the rear, that had a lovely rustic look to them. Penrose Park is the local caravan park and there is plenty of room caravanners and campers. There are also a couple of bunkhouses and a large cottage.
We absolutely loved exploring historic Silverton. Once again it is somewhere that you could easily spend more time in. We are certainly looking forward to going back there again one day.