As we left Cockburn this morning we stopped for a quick photo of the border sign at the abandoned border gate as we drove into New South Wales.
Within the hour we arrived in Broken Hill viewing the very large solar plant just before the town. We think it might be the largest we have seen on the trip. At one of the first intersections we saw the sign for the historic town of Silverton so decided to head there first and then come back in to town later. The road was atrocious with many dips and floodways and we do not have any idea how you are supposed to travel at 90 km/ph. We found later that one of the art galleries is named Beyond 39 Dips and that says it all.
Silverton was the original town in this area for the discovery of silver and lead deposits in 1881 and the town was surveyed in 1883 when the population was 250. It peaked at 3000 by the end of 1885. In 1888 the Silverton Tramway Company opened for operation, linking the SA rail line to the newly found Broken Hill field via Silverton. Repeated requests to the NSW government to lay the line were denied, so Australia’s first privately owned rail company was formed. Even today the town of Broken Hill is on SA time and not NSW. The main road in to the town is bitumen but other roads are unsealed and today a Wind Farm sits on top of the hills in the distance.
Silverton quickly fell into decline when the larger mines at Broken Hill were established and the Municipal Council ceased operation in 1899. Now under the control of the NSW government, many buildings were moved to Broken Hill and only a few scattered ones remain today. The population of Silverton is now less than 60 but it is busy with tourism, mining history, art galleries and is popular for movie and television location with A Town like Alice and Mad Max 2 among many movies and commercials filmed here. There is even a Mad Max museum and many photo boards in the Silverton Hotel showing actors and scenes being filmed.
We parked the van easily and our first stop was the Horizon Gallery with some quirky characters outside and lovely art inside.
Across the road is a Cornish miners house and Glenn played up for the camera.
We then wandered up to the hotel for a softdrink and some photos including a different set up for live music on this stage.
Across the road is a very quirky art gallery but both the café and the bakery have now closed.
The Municipal chambers now has toilets and an under cover eating area at the back and the goal is a museum. Two lonely churches sit amongst the almost empty streets.
We had our morning coffee and headed back into town and located the tourist office for maps, brochures and directions to the racecourse where we are staying for $30 a night including power and water.
We had a storm pass through last night and more were predicted for today but we didn’t expect this dust storm which blew in before the first storm. It was so prominent that it even made the national news.
A second stronger and longer storm came in later and strong winds stayed with us all night.