Driving to Broken Hill

Outback NSW Touring Routes

Driving to Broken Hill from any of the major capitals can be thought of a long drive to the Silver City, but there are wonderful adventures along one of the many Outback NSW touring routes.

Broken Hill is regarded as the capital of outback NSW and the gateway to the greater Australian outback; as such, the drive to Broken Hill can be an adventure in itself.

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One of the best Outback NSW touring routes would have to be the the iconic Darling River Run, and while Broken Hill is not actually on the Darling River (Menindee and the Darling is about one hour drive away), it is an integral part of this great touring route and can be encompassed on any drive to Broken Hill from one of our Capitals.


Driving Routes


Driving Sydney to Broken Hill

Driving to Broken Hill from Sydney, or to Sydney from Broken Hill, is a wonderful way to experience some of the best features of not only outback NSW but also offers alternatives via the Alpine regions of NSW, the Murray Riverland along the border of NSW and Victoria, the iconic Murray River towns of Echuca (Port of Echuca) and Swan Hill, the wonderful Wine region of the Hunter Valley, and the iconic Darling River.

It is just a matter of how much time you have and how big an adventure you want to have!


Hunter Valley - The Kamillaroi - Darling River

Sydney <> The Hunter Valley <> The Kamilaroi Highway <> Bourke <> The Darling River (Run) <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 1,566km (approx)

When it comes to incorporating some of the best that NSW has to offer into an Outback tour between Sydney and Broken Hill then this route certainly has it all.

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Heading north from Sydney to the Central Coast and Newcastle, the route then heads west via the New England Highway to the famous wine area of the Hunter Valley, then continues north west  to the Kamilaroi Highway which guides the traveler though the very scenic New England area and on to Narrabri, Walgett, Brewarrina and the iconic outback town of Bourke.

This route follows the Darling River along one of NSW’s great driving adventures, the Darling River Run, with the option of either the western or eastern side of the Darling River through Louth, Tilpa, and Wilcannia. From Wilcannia, the route leaves the Darling River and heads westward along the Barrier Highway to Broken Hill.

Side Trip/s (Blue line on map)

Lightning Ridge Loop

Brewarrina <> Lightning Ridge <> The Grawin <> Narren Lake Reserve <> Walgett:

Distance: 335km (approx)

A highly recommended side-route (or destination for another trip) as Lightning Ridge is one of those ‘must-see’ destinations and is the home of the beautiful Black Opal.

Not far from the Ridge is the original opal fields known collectively as the Grawin and is like the wild frontier in comparison to Lightning Ridge.

From the Grawin, it is unsealed past Lake Narren and onto Walgett.


Corner Explorer

Bourke <> Wanaaring <> Tibooburra <> Milparinka <> Packsaddle <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 750km (approx)

An epic side-trip to experience the real outback and the majesty of the Corner Country and its frontier towns of Tibooburra and Milparinka with the opportunity to visit Cameron Corner (where NSW, QLD and SA meet) and the largest National Park in NSW, Sturt National Park.


White Cliffs Loop

Wilcannia <> White Cliffs <> Mutawintji NP <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 365km (approx)

A great way to break up the last section of the Barrier Highway between Wilcannia and Broken Hill taking in the opal town of White Cliffs before heading through a bit of back-country to experience Mutawintji National Park before reaching the Barrier Highway and then south to Broken Hill.


Lake Mungo (Mungo NP)

Mildura <> Lake Mungo <> Pooncarie <> Menindee <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 435km (approx)

As an alternative (and a mighty fine one at that), instead of taking the Silver City Highway is the route via Lake Mungo (Mungo National Park) taking the road form Mildura to Lake Mungo then across to Pooncarie and on to Menindee and then Broken Hill.

Mungo National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring indigenous sites in Australia.



Blue Mountains - Barrier Highway

Sydney <> The Blue Moutains <> Bathurst <> Orange <> Parkes <> Nyngan <> Cobar <> Wilcannia <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 1,166km (approx)

Many times, the most direct route for a tour is not always the most pleasing, but not so in this case, as the drive west from Sydney to Broken Hill takes in the world famous Blue Mountains, including Echo Point, the Three Sisters, and Wentworth Falls. Well worth a day of two for those who have not experience this Australian icon.

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From the Blue Mountains, the journey continues through the NSW western slopes and past the  ‘The Dish’ at Parkes (the radio telescope integral to the missions to the moon in the late 1960's and made famous in the movie by the same name. From Parkes, the route heads to Nyngan to join the Barrier Highway for the run to west to Broken Hill via Cobar and Wilcannia.

Side Trip/s (Blue line on map)

White Cliffs Loop

Wilcannia <> White Cliffs <> Mutawintji NP <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 365km (approx)

A great way to break up the last section of the Barrier Highway between Wilcannia and Broken Hill taking in the opal town of White Cliffs before heading through a bit of back-country to experience Mutawintji National Park before reaching the Barrier Highway and then south to Broken Hill.


Lake Mungo (Mungo NP)

Mildura <> Lake Mungo <> Pooncarie <> Menindee <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 435km (approx)

As an alternative (and a mighty fine one at that), instead of taking the Silver City Highway is the route via Lake Mungo (Mungo National Park) taking the road form Mildura to Lake Mungo then across to Pooncarie and on to Menindee and then Broken Hill.

Mungo National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring indigenous sites in Australia.



The Riverina - Murray River

Sydney <> Goulburn <> Wagga Wagga <>Hay <> Mildura <> Wentworth <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 1,309km (approx)

Despite the start being a highway run along the Hume to Wagga Wagga, the drive from Sydney to Broken Hill via the Riverina is full of country and outback experiences once off the highway as the touring experience gains momentum by joining the Sturt Highway and passing through the eastern Riverina plains (Narrandera and Hay) before continuing westward to Euston where the highway meets the Murray River. The highlight of this sector is visiting the confluence of the Muuray and Darling rivers at Wentworth.

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From Wentworth, it is a pleasant run north along the Silver City Highway to Broken Hill.

Side Trip/s (Blue line on map)


White Cliffs Loop

Wilcannia <> White Cliffs <> Mutawintji NP <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 365km (approx)

A great way to break up the last section of the Barrier Highway between Wilcannia and Broken Hill taking in the opal town of White Cliffs before heading through a bit of back-country to experience Mutawintji National Park before reaching the Barrier Highway and then south to Broken Hill.


Lake Mungo (Mungo NP)

Mildura <> Lake Mungo <> Pooncarie <> Menindee <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 435km (approx)

As an alternative (and a mighty fine one at that), instead of taking the Silver City Highway is the route via Lake Mungo (Mungo National Park) taking the road form Mildura to Lake Mungo then across to Pooncarie and on to Menindee and then Broken Hill.

Mungo National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring indigenous sites in Australia.



Mt Koscuisko - Murray River

Sydney <> Canberra <> Alpine Way <>Tom Groggin <> Albury <> Echuca <> <> Swan Hill <> Mildura <> Wentworth <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 1,663km (approx)

For the real adventurer, this by far the best touring route to Broken Hill for those that have a few days and provides a great oportunity to learn about the Murray Darling Basin. This epic touring route will take you across through the mountains past the alpine resort of Thredbo, past the iconic Tom Groggin Station and the upper most (road) navigable section of the Murray River, into Albury via Lake Hume before following the path of the Murray River through river towns like Echuca and onto Wentworth where the Murray and Darling rivers meet.

From Wentworth, it is a nice run north to Broken Hill via the Silver City Highway.

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Side Trip/s (Blue line on map)


White Cliffs Loop

Wilcannia <> White Cliffs <> Mutawintji NP <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 365km (approx)

A great way to break up the last section of the Barrier Highway between Wilcannia and Broken Hill taking in the opal town of White Cliffs before heading through a bit of back-country to experience Mutawintji National Park before reaching the Barrier Highway and then south to Broken Hill.


Lake Mungo (Mungo NP)

Mildura <> Lake Mungo <> Pooncarie <> Menindee <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 435km (approx)

As an alternative (and a mighty fine one at that), instead of taking the Silver City Highway is the route via Lake Mungo (Mungo National Park) taking the road form Mildura to Lake Mungo then across to Pooncarie and on to Menindee and then Broken Hill.

Mungo National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring indigenous sites in Australia.




Melbourne to Broken Hill

Driving to Broken Hill from Melbourne, or to Melbourne from Broken Hill, is a wonderful drive across the Murray/Darling Riverland area and through the vast Mallee area of north-west Victoria. The are several options open to the traveller; straight along the Calder Freeway (as the crow flies), up through the southern Riverina via The Long Paddock, or down along the Great Ocean Road, across Cape Otway to the Twelve Apostles, then north through the Grampians NP and onto to Mildura, Wentworth and then Broken Hill.


Surf Coast - Great Ocean Road - The Grampians

The Great Ocean Road <> Shipwreck Coast (12 Apostles) <> The Grampians <> Mildura/Wentworth <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 1,205km (approx)

By far the best route (if time permits) is the tour covering the Great Ocean Road, Cape Otway, the Grampians, Victoria’s Western Districts, and the Murray Riverland.

The Great Ocean Road is regarded by many as the greatest coastal drive in Australia, and one of the Top 10 in the world.

Taking in Torquay, Bells Beach, Anglesea, Lorne, Apollo Bay before traversing Cape Otway and onto the magnificent 12 Apostles, Port Campbell and then Warrnambool. From the spectacular Shipwreck Coast it is a beautiful drive northward though the dramatically changing Victorian landscape to The Grampians NP and the spectacular Halls Gap.

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From The Grampians, it is a pleasant drive up to the fruit growing region of Sunraysia (around Mildura) and then following the Murray downstream to its junction with the Darling River at Wentworth.

From the Murray Darling confluence at Wentworth, the run up the Silver City Highway finishes the journey at Broken Hill or alternatively via Lake Mungo or straight up the Darling River to Menindee then across to the Silver City.

Side Trip/s (Blue line on map)


White Cliffs Loop

Wilcannia <> White Cliffs <> Mutawintji NP <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 365km (approx)

A great way to break up the last section of the Barrier Highway between Wilcannia and Broken Hill taking in the opal town of White Cliffs before heading through a bit of back-country to experience Mutawintji National Park before reaching the Barrier Highway and then south to Broken Hill.


Lake Mungo (Mungo NP)

Mildura <> Lake Mungo <> Pooncarie <> Menindee <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 435km (approx)

As an alternative (and a mighty fine one at that), instead of taking the Silver City Highway is the route via Lake Mungo (Mungo National Park) taking the road form Mildura to Lake Mungo then across to Pooncarie and on to Menindee and then Broken Hill.

Mungo National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring indigenous sites in Australia.



The Long Paddock

Melbourne <> The Northern Highway <> Echuca <> Deniliquin <> Hay <> Ivanhoe <> Wilcannia <>Broken Hill:

Distance: 1,076km (approx)

The Long Paddock is a great iconic touring route that takes in the Murray River at Echuca (a wonderful stopover), before joining the start of the Cobb Highway at Moama and running up through Mathoura, Deniliquin, Wanganella, Booroorban, Hay, Booligal, Ivanhoe Wilcannia. The route then joins the Barrier Highway at Wilcannia for the run westwards to Broken Hill.

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Echuca is one of those destinations that everyone should put on their list of places to experience. The Port of Echuca is Australia’s paddleboat capital and one of the best places to experience the Murray River. The history of the river and its contribution to opening up the pastoral country has been beautifully preserved and showcases the majestic nature of this region. A wonderful way to start (or finish) a journey along The Long Paddock.

Side Trip/s (Blue line on map)


White Cliffs Loop

Wilcannia <> White Cliffs <> Mutawintji NP <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 365km (approx)

A great way to break up the last section of the Barrier Highway between Wilcannia and Broken Hill taking in the opal town of White Cliffs before heading through a bit of back-country to experience Mutawintji National Park before reaching the Barrier Highway and then south to Broken Hill.




The Calder Highway

Melbourne <> Macedon <> Kynton <> Bendigo <> Charlton <> Mildura <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 837km (approx)

Although the route from Melbourne to Broken Hill via the Calder Highway is the direct, the route allows the traveller to experience a pleasant drive though the Western Districts of Victoria, up though the Mallee, onto Mildura then following the Murray westward to Wentworth (where the Murray and Darling Rivers Meet) before joining the Silver City Highway for the drive north to Broken Hill or alternatively via Lake Mungo or straight up the Darling River to Menindee then across to the Silver City.

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Side Trip/s (Blue line on map)


White Cliffs Loop

Wilcannia <> White Cliffs <> Mutawintji NP <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 365km (approx)

A great way to break up the last section of the Barrier Highway between Wilcannia and Broken Hill taking in the opal town of White Cliffs before heading through a bit of back-country to experience Mutawintji National Park before reaching the Barrier Highway and then south to Broken Hill.


Lake Mungo (Mungo NP)

Mildura <> Lake Mungo <> Pooncarie <> Menindee <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 435km (approx)

As an alternative (and a mighty fine one at that), instead of taking the Silver City Highway is the route via Lake Mungo (Mungo National Park) taking the road form Mildura to Lake Mungo then across to Pooncarie and on to Menindee and then Broken Hill.

Mungo National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring indigenous sites in Australia.




Driving Brisbane to Broken Hill

Driving to Broken Hill from Brisbane, or to Brisbane from Broken Hill, offers two primary touring routes either via the Corner Country or along the Darling River and the iconic Darling River Run touring route.

Both routes include Toowoomba and the Darling Downs before splitting off on their respected paths and can encompass some wonderful side-trips including Lighting Ridge, Sturt National Park and any of the several Corner Country explorer routes.


Corner Country

Toowoomba <> The Darling Downs <> St George <>Sturt National Park <> Milparinka <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 1,698km (approx)

A grand tour (1,700km) of Southern Queensland and the Corner Country of Outback NSW, the route heads west from Brisbane towards Toowoomba and across the Great Dividing Range, through the Darling Downs and onto iconic Dalby, St George and Cunnamulla via the Balonne Highway.

Crossing the Mitchell Highway at Cunnamulla, continuing west along the Development Road to Eulo (and the Mud Springs) through Thargomindah to the remote town (well pub) of Noccundra.

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From Noccundra, it is a 180km (approx) drive south to the NSW-Queensland border (Warri Warri Gate) and into the amazing Sturt National Park. (OUTBACK DRIVING.. caution and preparation required)

Continuing south through Tibooburra (can divert here for Cameron Corner to the west) and onto Milparinka (a ‘must-see’ experience for Depot Glen, Poole’s Cairn and Poole’s Grave).

From Milparinka, it is a nice run (sealed/gravel -50/50) down the Silver City Highway to Broken Hill.

Side Trip/s (Blue line on map)


Corner Explorer

Bourke <> Wanaaring <> Tibooburra <> Milparinka <> Packsaddle <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 750km (approx)

An epic side-trip to experience the real outback and the majesty of the Corner Country and its frontier towns of Tibooburra and Milparinka with the opportunity to visit Cameron Corner (where NSW, QLD and SA meet) and the largest National Park in NSW, Sturt National Park.


White Cliffs Loop

Wilcannia <> White Cliffs <> Mutawintji NP <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 365km (approx)

A great way to break up the last section of the Barrier Highway between Wilcannia and Broken Hill taking in the opal town of White Cliffs before heading through a bit of back-country to experience Mutawintji National Park before reaching the Barrier Highway and then south to Broken Hill.




The Darling

Toowoomba <> Goondiwindi <> Moree <> Walgett <> Brewarrina <> Bourke <> Darling River Run <> Wilcannia <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 925km (approx)

The route from Brisbane to Broken Hill via the Darling River, includes Warwick before continuing along the southern section of the Darling Downs and across to Goondiwindi, south to Moree then following the Gwydir and Barwon Rivers to Walgett and Brewarrina.

Soon after ‘Bre’, the Barwon River is joined by the Bokhara and Culgoa rivers from the north and the Bogan from the east to form the Darling River which runs into Bourke.

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Down the Darling (The Darling River Run) from Bourke, the route follows the Darling River to the south west along what is known as the Darling River Run through the iconic outback towns of Louth, past Trilby Station (great stopover), Tilpa, and Wilcannia.

From Wilcannia, the drive can either be straight across to Broken Hill along the Barrier Highway or continuing along the Darling River Run to Menindee (the Menindee Lakes and Kinchega National Park) and then leaving the ‘Run’ and taking the sealed road to Broken Hill.

Side Trip/s (Blue line on map)

Lightning Ridge Loop

Brewarrina <> Lightning Ridge <> The Grawin <> Narren Lake Reserve <> Walgett:

Distance: 335km (approx)

A highly recommended side-route (or destination for another trip) as Lightning Ridge is one of those ‘must-see’ destinations and is the home of the beautiful Black Opal.

Not far from the Ridge is the original opal fields known collectively as the Grawin and is like the wild frontier in comparison to Lightning Ridge.

From the Grawin, it is unsealed past Lake Narren and onto Walgett.


Corner Explorer

Bourke <> Wanaaring <> Tibooburra <> Milparinka <> Packsaddle <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 750km (approx)

An epic side-trip to experience the real outback and the majesty of the Corner Country and its frontier towns of Tibooburra and Milparinka with the opportunity to visit Cameron Corner (where NSW, QLD and SA meet) and the largest National Park in NSW, Sturt National Park.


White Cliffs Loop

Wilcannia <> White Cliffs <> Mutawintji NP <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 365km (approx)

A great way to break up the last section of the Barrier Highway between Wilcannia and Broken Hill taking in the opal town of White Cliffs before heading through a bit of back-country to experience Mutawintji National Park before reaching the Barrier Highway and then south to Broken Hill.





Driving Adelaide to Broken Hill

Being the closest city to Broken Hill, Adelaide’s proximity to the Silver City provides the traveller with several great touring options between the Silver City and the City of Churches’ that also can include some of the wonderful attractions around Adelaide... particularly the world famous wine regions of the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and the Adelaide Hills.

Another option follows the path from Murray Bridge (just north of Lake Alexandrina) up through the Murraylands and Riverland regions before crossing over into Victoria then NSW.

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From Wentworth, three great options present themselves… straight up the Silver City Highway or, the road less travelled, over to Lake Mungo (Mungo NP) and then across to Pooncarie and Menindee (along the Darling River) before taking the sealed road into Broken Hill.


Barrier Highway

Gawler <> Burra <> Barrier Highway <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 510km (approx)

Not much more direct than this… but that is not always a bad thing, especially when you consider the area around Adelaide that this route covers.

To the east of the where the Barrier Highway starts/finishes in Adelaide is the Barossa Valley which is one of Australia’s premier wine growing regions.

Not far from the Barossa Valley, and on the other side of the highway is the Clare Valley… which is regarded as one of Australia’s most beautiful wine regions.

Not a bad start/finish for the Adelaide-Broken Hill tour.


Barossa Valley - Sturt Highway

Adelaide <> Barossa Valley <> Mildura <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 351km (approx)

The Sturt Highway route is a little 'limited' by comparison as the route only travels through the Barossa Valley. With only one, and probably the best, wine regions to pass through; this route is complimented by crossing the Murray near Blanchetown and rejoining it at Waikerie and Renmark before crossing it near Curlwaa.

Travelling downstream a little, the route follows the Murray down to the Darling River at Wentworth where the tow rivers meet.

From Wentworth or Mildura there are three choices; straight up the Silver City Highway, up the Darling River along a great Outback tour that is know as the Darling River Run, or via the awe-inspiring Lake Mungo in Mungo National Park. (The Darling River Run and Lake Mungo require driving on unsealed roads).

The last two options also take in the wonderful Menindee Lakes and Kinchega National Park.

Side Trip/s (Blue line on map)

Lake Mungo (Mungo NP)

Mildura <> Lake Mungo <> Pooncarie <> Menindee <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 435km (approx)

As an alternative (and a mighty fine one at that), instead of taking the Silver City Highway is the route via Lake Mungo (Mungo National Park) taking the road form Mildura to Lake Mungo then across to Pooncarie and on to Menindee and then Broken Hill.

Mungo National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring indigenous sites in Australia.



Murraylands

Adelaide <> Murray Bridge <> Murraylands <> Riverlands <> Mildura

Distance: 417km (approx)

The Murraylands and Riverland option passes through Murray Bridge (a great stopover place and the largest SA town on the Murray River) and heads north to Loxton and meets up with the Sturt Highway and joining the Barossa <> Sturt route described above.

Side Trip/s (Blue line on map)

Lake Mungo (Mungo NP)

Mildura <> Lake Mungo <> Pooncarie <> Menindee <> Broken Hill:

Distance: 435km (approx)

As an alternative (and a mighty fine one at that), instead of taking the Silver City Highway is the route via Lake Mungo (Mungo National Park) taking the road form Mildura to Lake Mungo then across to Pooncarie and on to Menindee and then Broken Hill.

Mungo National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring indigenous sites in Australia.