Day Dream Mine and Silverton

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March 30th 2022
Published: March 30th 2022
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The AirBnB we are staying in is actually the front unit of a pair of units. The bedroom we are sleeping in must adjoin a bedroom in Unit 2, the occupants of which like to wake to the sound of heavy metal music. Fortunately we have already been awake on each of the last three mornings when their heavy metal ‘alarm’ has started blaring through the wall.

Today we went sightseeing in Silverton. Silverton is about 25 kilometres from Broken Hill on a road interspersed with (lots of) dips and floodways! At first it was hard to tell the difference between a dip and a floodway but, eventually, we noted that the floodways seemed to have flatter bottoms AND they were the ones with the flood markers! What was consistent was the amount of red dirt washed over the road at the dips and floodways by the flash flooding two weeks ago.

At the 20 kilometre mark we turned onto the Historic Day Dream Mine’s 13 kilometre driveway as we had booked ourselves in for the 10.00am tour. We arrived at about 9.20am and we were far from the first ones there! We were bemused to find a couple of horses waiting on the verandah to greet us.

After checking in and signing an indemnity waiver, our guide, the grandson of a miner, took us on the surface tour pointing out various points of interest. After the surface tour it was time for us to don our miner’s helmets for the underground component. Phew, it was a tight fit underground with many steep inclines to be negotiated. Definitely not for the faint hearted or physically infirm! Of course it was a walk in the park compared with the conditions that the original miners experienced in 1882 when the mine was opened.

From the mine we continued into Silverton where we had a choice of lunching at the Silverton Bakery or the Silverton Hotel. Not wanting a heavy lunch we opted for the bakery where we ate very good pies and sausage rolls in the ‘original outback’.

After lunch we finally managed a photo of the hotel without cars parked right out the front. Obviously not all tourists are photographers because we are constantly frustrated by other people who have parked their vehicles in the closest possible spot rather than leave historic facades available for uncluttered photography!! I mean who wants a photo of a 136-year-old pub with an SUV in front of it?

Next we walked up to the Mad Max 2 Museum. So much memorabilia packed into this little museum. There are photos and souvenirs all over all of the walls … and the ceiling. You have to swivel your head all over the place to spot all its treasures. It was very weird rocking up to this quintessentially Australian museum to find it is run by a Mad Max obsessed Yorkshireman. I don’t think that we would move halfway across the world because of a movie, but we are inspired to watch the movies again when we arrive home!

After a few photos of other historic Silverton buildings it was off to the Mundi Mundi Lookout. Following the recent rain I don’t think it was quite as barren as it usually is. Looking out west from the edge of the Barrier Ranges, there was a definite tinge of green on the plains below.

Steve’s Maltese mate at the TIC had recommended another lookout to be found on the ‘long’ Silverton Heritage Walking Trail. At a walking time of approximately two hours we weren’t really up for the whole circuit, but we thought we might be able to park on the side of the road nearby and just walk to the lookout and back. As we drove back to Silverton, we needed to keep an eye out for a something that looked like a walking trail between the ruin of Charles Carl’s Hut and the turn off for the tip!! Aha, we managed to find it. The white painted rocks marking the trail helped. Braving a plague of grasshoppers along the track we made it to the top of a small rise for a different perspective on the town, the Barrier Ranges … and the wind farm!!

As we returned to Broken Hill we stopped to photograph the SILVERTON sign. We couldn’t/didn’t take a photo on the way into town because there were two SUVs parked right in front of it! With no other cars in sight this afternoon we were able to take our unspoiled photos.

Back in Broken Hill we purchased food and fuel for the next few days. The MU-X was low on fuel so that was an expensive top up! The Riddiford Arboretum is opposite Woolies so we had a quick look there before calling it a day. The arboretum is dedicated to educating people about the types of plants that will grow well in Broken Hill’s harsh conditions. Parts of the garden were definitely an inspiration on what to plant, and there were a couple of great sculptures, but there was a very barren section in the middle that was quite disappointing.

We’re moving on again in the morning. We’ll be of to White Cliffs via the Mutawintji National Park.

Steps for the day: 12,408 (8.37km)

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