The last time (2013) I visited Menindee Lakes the lakes were full, and had been for some time. We spent two nights camped there, once in Menindee, the other beside the delightful Lake Pamamaroo.
I specifically went there to shoot sunrises and sunsets and, though, they weren't the greatest, they still were very pretty as I hope my pictures can show you.
It pays to check out your spot in advance so you get the best vantage point
Fondest memory: I shan't forget the morning when a full moon was setting on one horizon and the sun was rising on the opposite. With my hands almost frozen and wielding my tripod and camera it was physically challenging but rewarding in photography terms.
To hear the sound of birds and other animals rushing off in the dim light of the pre-dawn is a bit special and to see the bush in a different light makes it all worthwhile.
I might also direct you to the last picture which highlights the difference between what the camera sees and what your eyes see. With the benefit of a long exposure it appears as though it's midday but it was taken about half an hour before the sun rose. Interesting.
Mention the name "Ando" in Broken Hill to a local and everyone knows of whom you speak. Peter Anderson used to have a gallery elsewhere in Broken Hill and I vividly recall his colourful flower and bird paintings, so impressive were they. But that was seven years ago. Things change.
Ando started the premier gallery in Broken Hill, but then left the town but his legacy remains. It's fair to suggest it's one of the must-sees in this city.
The feature is the largest acrylic painting on canvas in the world, measuring 12m x 100m.
It allowed Ando to evoke the broad scope of the outback in a 360 degree panorama of bush colours. To view the piece you walk into the room and, in the middle of the room on the walkway, you just soak it all up. Very impressive. Entry is by token purchased at the front counter.
WIthin the other sections of the gallery you will find more of his works but you'll find a lot more of other people's efforts as well.
Fondest memory: The quality of works here is what I remember. It's not limited to outback scenes either though it is fair to suggest they predominate.
The colours and brushwork along with some of the other crafts (and chocolate and fudge) leave one very impressed.
You can find all this and the Silver City Mint at 66 Chloride Street, Broken Hill or, if you want to Email, try firstname.lastname@example.org
The Outback areas of Australia are great places to see Parrots.
Parrots love seed, and out near Broken Hill, where silos are located, the Galahs are around usually on the ground eating the seed.
As we were heading to South Australia, there was a big group of Galahs sitting on the phone lines, so keep and eye out for Parrots if you haven't seen them before.
They are a lovey pink and grey Parrot.
We are driving a long stretch of fairly boring road towards Adelaide, so what is there for the passenger to do?
The driver is busily concentrating on the road, so how about counting Emus?
This is what I usually do, as unlike the Kangaroos that are mainly out and about at dawn and dusk, Emus can be found any time of the day.
In this type of area, they blend in with the landscape fairly well, but once you have your eye in, I'm sure you will find more.
We saw quite a few, and with chicks because of the good season, they had been breeding.
Outback Australia, and one bush you will see by the 1000's, that's a Blue/Green colour, is Saltbush.
Salt bushes are extremely tolerant of salt content in the ground, so you will find them in and around salt lakes. They like the harsh conditions to grow in, and Sheep happen to like them too, which is good for the farmer. In the harsh conditions, not much else will grow, so the Farmer now is planting salt bush as fodder. Meat from Sheep grazing on Salt bush is high in Vitamin E, and is a leaner meat than regular lamb.
Favorite thing: I have only been to Broken Hill once, but I must admit that the weather was absolutely perfect last weekend. It was around 22c and sunny, with a gentle and cooling wind. I'd imagine that if you went in January or February the average temperature would be closer to 40c...so try not to go in the summer.
I had seen them eslewhere but Broken Hill certainly excels in them. I'm talking about the historical signs on the pavement. They are very informative and make a visit so much more worthwhile.
Fondest memory: Simply walking along Argent, arguably the Hill's most historic street, and relating to the architecture on show, how fire changed the facades and how people of note had their influence on what we see today was, for me, a pleasure.
The Lions/Rotary Park has a few historical remnants of the mines with interesting descriptive boards to enlighten you.
This was the head for the principal mine (Central) from 1945 to 1984 and, in pic 2, you have one of the compressors in the power station that used to blow air into the number one shaft at the North Mine to power compressed air drills
Fondest memory: "Fondest Memory" is not an apt term for this but unforgettable would do it. In the line of lode, over 800 miners have died during the extraction of ore. It's easy to look at the slag heap and forget just what a toll on human life there has been extracting the ore.
In 1902 Thomas Jordan and Leopold Campbell were at the 500 foot level in the Central Mine when they were lost in a rock fall. Their bodies have never been recovered. For the technically minded it was a Bellis and Morcom lubrication unit.
At the Lions/Rotary Park in Blende Street opposite the Tourist Information Centre, there is much to see, not the least of which are some recent sculptural additions, including the unmistakeable style of Pro Hart (see pic one) while the bright effort in the second picture is in dramatic contrast.
There are also mining remnants, the most prominent being the Kintore Shaft poppet head, plus child's playthings. Worth a look.
Make sure you visit the Sculpture Park (also known as the "Living Desert and Sculpture Symposium")...it's about 9 kms out of Broken Hill and definitely worth a visit. Sunset or sunrise (which is less busy) makes the sculptures even more beautiful. :)
In this photo the sculpture on the left is Bajo El Sol Jaguar (Under the Jaguar Sun) and the one on the right is Angels of the Sun and Moon.
It takes about 15-20 minutes to walk to the sculptures from the car park or you can borrow a key from the Visitor Information Centre for a small deposit.
Entry is free. (No dogs are allowed in the grounds)
Without mining, Broken Hill would not exist. Recently they've discovered more minerals than originally thought and it appears as though Broken Hill will again have mining as a major component of its survival.
As such, miners' cottages form a large part of the architecture and, while not so historical or interesting as European homes, they do have a charm of their own and, with the artistic community taking over many of them, they are guaranteed preservation.
Fondest memory: Just wandering around the streets, though to be avoided around midday in summer, you can come across many quaint examples of the genre, such as shown here.
This is a building high up on the hill in town (you can't miss it)...it has a list of all the miners to die in the local mines over the years...it was interesting but sad to read of all the deaths in those mines.
There is also a cafe/souvenir shop/information centre inside the main building...
Phone: 08 80886000
The town is a nice place with lots of art galleries and things to do... The people are very friendly and there are plenty of good cafes, pubs, restaurants also so don't worry about being fed well. :)
The people of Broken Hill love to acknowledge that they have had some big Hollywood movies made there and some famous artists living there, and rightly so I guess for such a remote town... :)
A small part of the movie "Priscilla" was filmed there and if you have seen the movie and visit you will instantly recognise it. ;) A very 'different' hotel for sure.
If you have had enough looking around the town for a while, why not stop in the bar downstairs for a drink too...
This is especially for fans of the old TV show "The Flying Doctors"... ;)
You will find the Royal Flying Doctor Service base at the Airport in Broken Hill...there is also a small tourist information centre there and an old plane (perhaps even from the TV show) out the front.
Open seven days a week. Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday & Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm.
Phone: 08 80801777