27 Feb 2014 Road-tripping: Silver City Highway in Australia
Road trips are like a good nights sleep – they foster a sense of freedom and possibility. Gather a carefully curated selection of travel buddies, songs and snacks and you have formed the foundations of an adventure full of a million memories and laughs.
Choosing a destination can be tricky. Do you swim in the ocean? Climb a mountain? Taste wine from a plethora of wineries? They are certainly typical road trip destinations in Australia, all of which are wonderful. But there is one particular road trip that provides inspiration to-the-max and instills a desire to live life to the up most. It is a journey to the desolate land known as the Australian Outback.
A road trip to the Outback is an opportunity to encounter vast plains, brilliant red soils, wild flora and fauna and warmth from constant beams of sun. This space is a far cry from the lives of most Australians, 90% of whom live on the coast of Australia in built-up urban environments. The sparsely populated area of central Australia is a welcome environment when juxtaposed to the hustle of city life. The Outback presents a rich history and breathing space.
The Silver City Highway travels north through the Outback and is approximately 679 km long. The road was built to connect the mining town, Broken Hill (known as the Silver City), with areas to the north and south. It runs through the middle of NSW from the edge of the Victorian border to Queensland and is the wide-reaching road for a journey with friends.
It’s the 297km drive from Mildura (on the boarder of Victoria and New South Wales) and Broken Hill that is a true vision of sparse beauty and inspiration. The ground surrounding the road is a rustic red and filled with little shrubs known as Casuarina, which have a silver glisten to them. The surrounding plains are vast and met by a shimmering blue sky.
There are only one or two petrol stops on the stretch of road, which means there is plenty of nature and space to seduce you. Wild goats feed in sporadic parts of the strait and if you are lucky enough you will spy emus dashing across the land, kangaroos having a nap in the shade and wedge tailed eagles with their enormous wingspan on the hunt for dinner.
A good music playlist is essential for the three-hour drive along the Silver City Highway. A must-do activity is to pull over on the side of the road, leave the passenger doors open, blast an upbeat song and dance on the red soil like no one is watching, because they aren’t. The feeling of freedom, joy, elation, possibility and connection with the land in that very dancing moment is something of marvel.
Of course there are loads of activities to partake in at either end of the Mildura to Broken Hill section of the Silver City Highway.
At the Mildura end of the road in Buronga you will find Australia’s oldest inland Botanic Gardens with an impressive 1600 rose bush garden. Just down the road from the gardens you will find Orange World. You can take a tour of the citrus farm, have your photo taken with a giant orange or grab a freshly squeezed glass of juice for as little as $2 AUD.
When you arrive in Broken Hill, and are tired out from singing and dancing, the perfect resting place for dinner and a drink at The Palace Hotel. The Palace is a quirky pub with detailed murals painted all over the walls by Indigenous artist Gordon Wayne. Along with enjoying the quality pub food it’s also exciting to know that scenes from the iconic Australian film Adventures of Pricilla Queen of the Desert were filmed there.
A visit to Broken Hill would not be complete without a trip to the Living Desert Sculptures. Take some wine and cheese and sit on top of the hill overlooking Broken Hill as the sunsets. It’s a feeling of blissful freedom.
Road tripping is the ultimate time of indulgence and is a reminder that colour and movement makes for true adventure – no regrets.
About the Author: Anna Hickey is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. Anna has a love of food, words and travel. She likes to explore and create, especially in the kitchen where she makes and blogs about healthy recipes.
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