Road trip: Blue Mountains to Broken Hill

Sunrise Broken Hill Credit Destination NSW mOBILE Sunrise Broken Hill Credit Destination NSW

Trip Summary 
Duration: 3 days
Distance: 1449km

Family – Adventure– Food and drink – Sightseeing 
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Strum the Big Playable GuitarLondon Bridge Arch – Dog on the Tuckerbox –
Mundi Mundi Lookout

These communities have been impacted by bushfire, drought and lockdown restrictions. Please check the status of roads and places you plan to visit before setting off.

Starting from the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, journey to Broken Hill in Outback NSW to discover friendly towns and fascinating history, while visiting unforgettable attractions along the way, including The Big Merino and The Big Playable Guitar, and the Mundi Mundi Plains.

Before you embark on your journey, check the my nrma app for your nearest and cheapest fuel. There are plenty of fuel stations to choose from.

Hero image credit: Destination NSW

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Day 1: Blue Mountains to Queanbeyan

3 hrs 15 mins | 294km

Stop 1: Take a selfie with the Big Merino
From the Blue Mountains, take the M31 to Sydney Road in Boxers Creek for a straightforward journey to Goulburn, where you'll be greeted by Rambo. No, we're not talking about Sylvester Stallone's character from the multi-million movie franchise, but instead a 15.2m concrete model of a ram, named Rambo, of course. Built in 1985, the three-storey structure celebrates the region's wool industry and houses an exhibition and gift shop. You can also climb the stairs to look out of Rambo's eyes. 


Stop 2: Lunch in Goulburn
Declared Australia’s first inland city in 1863, Goulburn is more than a centre for fine merino wool, having evolved it’s agricultural roots into a must visit regional hub. The city is brimming with everything from trendy eateries, cellar doors and festival events, to colonial grandeur and intriguing history and heritage. Operating since 1940 and offering a wide array of old-style Australian fare, Paragon Café is  a popular choice with locals and travelers alike. Or, for magnificent views of the beautiful Belmore Park, the charming Fireside Inn is located in the town’s historic precinct.


Stop 3: Step back in time at Queanbeyan
Head west on Lot Street towards Cork Street for a 30 minute drive south towards Queanbeyan. A gateway to the Snowy Mountains and the nation's capital, this charming country town can often be overlooked. But with its historical buildings, patrols heritage, and positioning between the Molonglo and Queanbeyan rivers, Qeanbeyan has its own distinct personality deserving of exploration.
After almost a full day cooped up in the car, the self-guided Queanbeyan Heritage Walk is perfect for stretching restless legs while discovering significant sites from the 1800s that have shaped the area to what it is today. If you'd prefer to stretch out in the sun, the Queen Elizabeth Park II is the ideal place to relax on the bank of the the Queanbeyan River while watching the kids try and dodge the jet streams in the wet-play area. The park also hosts a market every Sunday where stall offerings include homemade honey, artisan breads, local wine and in-season produce, as well as crafts, jewellery and candles. Before jumping back in the car, drop in to the Riverbank of Queanbeyan Cafe for a little treat from their all day 'Snack Menu'. 
Queanbeyan River - Photo Credit_Brian Yap
Queanbeyan River (Photo credit: Brian Yap)
Stop 4: See a geological wonder at Googong
Located just 10km from the Queanbeyan district via Old Cooma Road, the Googong Foreshores is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. Bird-watching, bushwalking, mountain-bike riding, sailing, fishing and picnicking are popular activities with locals and visitors alike. Be sure to visit the Googong Dam and the London Bridge Arch -- a natural limestone wonder formed thousands of years ago. 
Stop 5: Rest in Queanbeyan
Stay close to the action at the Golden Age Motor Inn in Queenbeyan, with some of Canberra's best attractions only a twenty minutes away, including Parliament house and the Australian War Memorial. Included in your stay is free wi-fi, a restaurant, room service and a bar.  All rooms offer a 42-inch flat-screen TV with cable channels and air conditioning as well. For a more affordable option, Canberra Avenue Villas provide self-contained Single, Double and Twin Room villas. 

Day 2: Queanbeyan to Hay

Stop 1: Breakfast in Jugiong 
Renowned for its coffee, fresh local food, pantry items, and excellent service, the Long Track Pantry is a country food, retail store, café, and cooking school in the riverside village of Jugiong in Southern NSW. Offering a menu focused on local, seasonal produce, grab a seat outside and enjoy free range eggs in the sunshine, before browsing the store, and perhaps purchasing a handmade relishes, preserves, chutneys, jams and marmalades to take home.  
Long Track Pantry Jugiong - Credit Destination NSW
Long Track Pantry, Jugiong, NSW (Photo credit: Destination NSW)
Stop 2: Visit a monument at Snake Gully 
Slowdown 10 minutes before you pass through Gundagai -- a picturesque country town in the beautiful Riverina in southwest NSW, to pat the Dog on the Tuckerbox monument and recite a line or two of the famous bush poem.
Stop 3: Visit the Botanic Gardens at Wagga Wagga

Perched on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, vibrant, cosmopolitan and welcoming Wagga Wagga is the largest regional city in NSW and truly the heart of the Riverina region. If you’re looking to keep the kids entertained, head to the Botanic Gardens where within its 22 acres you’ll find a mini zoo, a free flight aviary, children’s adventure playground and a rainforest section, and a free downloadable Botanic Gardens Adventure app-based tour. There’s even a miniature railway that operates the first Sunday of every month.

Botanic Gardens, Wagga Wagga
Stop 4: Strum the Big Playable Guitar in Narrandera
An hour’s drive along from Wagga Wagga, on the junction of the Newell and Stuart highways, lies the picturesque Narrandera. Head for the Visitor Information Centre to try your hand strumming Narrandera’s Big Playable Guitar -- a plywood structure measuring the length of 5.8m and 2.02m in width, the bass guitar took 300 hours to complete and held a Guinness Book of Records title for the World’s Largest Playable Guitar between 1991-2000. 
Stop 5: Spot a koala bear  
Stretch sleepy legs while experiencing the excitement of spotting a koala in its natural habitat at Narrandera Flora and Fauna Reserve. Nicknamed the Koala Reserve by locals, koalas were reintroduced into Narradera from Queensland and Victoria in the 1970s, after the local population were hunted into extinction across the region in the early 1900s for the fur trade. Today the reserve is home to more than 200 koalas, and makes for a great place for walking and cycling. 
Koala Bear
Stop 6: See sunset and stay at Hay
Further along the Murrimbidgee River lies the charming country town of Hay. Check into The Convent Boutique Accommodations and Café – a beautifully restored building home to unique and spacious accommodation, including The Chapel, The Music Room, The Pool Room and The Woodshed Studio, all complete with swimming pool and deck access, and café on premises, before ordering a takeaway from Hay Fish Shop and heading for the Hay Sunset Viewing Area. Hay is surrounded by the vast open grasslands of the One Tree Plains, one of the flattest places on earth, and it’s here you’ll be treated to spectacular uninterrupted 360-views of vivid sunset colours giving way to jaw-dropping star-filled sky. 

Day 3: Hay to Broken Hill 

Stop 1: Breakfast in Balranald
Continue your journey on to Balranald, a heritage town in The Murray region, and the gateway to World-Heritage listed Mungo National Park, the wetlands of Yanga National Park, and no less than five rivers. Order a bacon and egg roll with your coffee at the Discovery Café, before exploring the Discovery Centre, which includes an interactive playground, a skate park, and historical buildings such as The Museum and Old Gaol.
Old Balranald Gaol Balranald Credit Destination NSW
Old Balranald Gaol, Balranald (Photo credit: Destination NSW)
Stop 2: Ride a steamboat in Mildura

Take off on a nineteenth century paddle steamer cruise or captain your own houseboat, making the occasional stop on sandy river beaches to experience the bliss of river life.

Stop 3: Discover the charm of Broken Hill

Take the Broken Hill Heritage Walk Tour to discover the charm, character and history of Australia’s first-heritage listed. The two-hour volunteer guided tour of the CBD will take you past heritage buildings, historic mining landmarks and a plethora of shops, restaurants and cafes. Don’t forget to visit one of the many galleries and museums, including Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, the oldest regional gallery in NSW, and the Albert Kersten Mining and Mineral Museum where you can see artifacts and thousands of specimens from the city’s mining history, including a 42kg silver nugget.


Stop 4: Order a soda spider at Bells 
A 1950s Australian Milk Bar that doubles as a museum, Bells Milk Bar pays homage to Australia’s Milk Bar and café culture. Don’t leave Broken Hill without ordering one of their famous sodas, spiders or milkshakes. 
1950s decor inside Bells Milk Bar Broken Hill Photo credit Destination NSW
Inside Bells Milk Bar, Broken Hill (Photo credit: Destination NSW)
Stop 5: Visit the Miner’s Memorial 
Poised arrestingly on top of waste rock surrounded by exquisite views, the Line of Lode Miner’s Memorial celebrates the life and work of more than 800 miners who lost their lives in the mines of Broken Hill. 
The Line of Lode Memorial in Broken Hill commemorates the lives lost in Broken Hills mining Credit
The Line of Lode Memorial, Broken Hill (Photo credit: Destination NSW)
Stop 6: Stand at the edge of the world in Silverton

North of Broken Hill lies the town of Silverton. Head to Mundi Mundi Lookout for expansive views of the Mundi Mundi Plains. The wide and flat space looks endless and gives the feeling that you might be at the edge of the world. While you’re in town, pay a visit to Mad Max Museum, a tribute to Mad Max 2 which was filmed in the area, or get an insight into the harsh realities of mining a century ago by taking an underground tour through a former silver mine at Historic Daydream Mine

Sunset at Mundi Mundi Lookout (Cropped) - Credit Alan - Flickr -
Sunset at Mundi Mundi Lookout (Photo credit: Alan, Flikr)
Stop 7: Sleep in the Priscilla Suite
Standing prominently on a corner in the heart of Silver City, you might think the Palace Hotel looks somewhat familiar. You’ll likely recognize the venue as one of the stopovers from iconic movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The interior is as exuberant as the movie with walls adorned in water-themed renaissance-inspired and fantasy Australian landscape murals, the aim of which is to make the hotel feel like ‘an oasis in the outback’. There’s a room to suit every type of budget, from deluxe ensuites to dormitories. You can even book to stay in the Priscilla Suite, the room where the characters of the movie stayed.


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