Anticipation and Preparation : Broken Hill…

There is a distinct change in how I think of travel. Maybe it is because I am getting older. Previously to go on a “holiday”, a couple of weeks to one destination, lounging beside a hotel pool or lazing on the beach, I would consider travel time wasted. All my previous travels I would plan as long distance adventures. Exploring, constantly on the move. The adrenaline rush of discovery and what is round the next corner. I would work purely to earn money to fuel my lust for travel.

st georg to jc 069_3072x2304


But since settling back home after years of travel, working with Jack  redesigning the garden and planting lots of new young shrubs and annuals to fill the gaps, joining clubs, becoming enmeshed in routine day by day. The thought of “taking off” is loosing some of its lustre. I want to be here to nurture and care for my baby plants.

blue tongue garden 051
My new and vulnerable native cottage garden. Recently filled with small native shrubs and annuals.

BUT there are still a few places I long to visit and Broken Hill has so far been missing from the long list of places I have been to. Now, I have decided, is the time to follow my dream of discovering this outback icon.  Find out why the whole city has been given heritage status. That is very special as it is the only city in Australia that has that honour. I’ve heard it is a magnet for artists and entrepreneurs, there are numerous galleries to explore, that the light is magic and the locals are friendly. But it is a long way away. Travel in Australia always involves lots of distance, this is a huge country.

Barkly Barkly Highway

I mulled over the options. Drive our car, hire a camper van, go by train, fly, Stay in motels or Airbnb, I Google distances, prices, things to see and do. The decisions are endless. Maybe not even go at all!!!

These thoughts have been tumbling around in my subconscious for months, trying to make my mind up. The first decision, of course, is will I go at all. I have to admit I am surprised at my indecision, maybe it is an age thing I’ve developed a cautious nature, maybe it is my Pisces character to dream and procrastinate, because in the past I would leap into travel with enthusiasm often with very little, or minimal planning.

Weatherwise the best time to visit the outback is spring or autumn so if I am to go it is time to make a commitment, spring is almost here…

I found the hardest decision was the length of the trip. So I decide to compromise. Not a long road trip as I would’ve chosen in the past.  But a quick visit. In fact I am going to do a “FIFO”. A very common term in the mining industry, referring to workers who leave their families in another part of Australia and Fly In to work a few weeks then Fly Out to spend down time with the family.

So, after much Google searching, the commitment is made. I have booked for us to fly to Adelaide on September 12, hire a car, do a 2 week road trip to Broken Hill, staying in Airbnb accommodation, then back to Adelaide and fly out to home.

Phew so different from our usual mode of travel. I have been pleasantly amusing myself with all the enjoyable research. The anticipation is building. But niggling at the back of my mind is the thought, will the reality be an anticlimax….


Cathy of “Wander Essence” is my inspiration for this post. She is a ball of energy and enthusiasm. Planning her trips meticulously. She sets goals way into the future and works toward them tirelessly. Her next huge adventure and commitment is the pilgrimage along the Camino Trail. She leaves at the end of the month and her detailed account of the preparation is in her latest post here.


  1. So exciting, Pauline. Even though I don’t like flying, getting on a plane always signals adventure. I often feel like asking for the kiddies’ colouring book because that’s how old I feel. With you and Jane travelling there, I am sure I will get itchy feet too. I hope you and Jack have a wonderful time, and just a little rain back home to keep your garden thriving..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have no real conception of the distances, Pauline. Roughly how long will drive time be from Adelaide? Mick’s not happy if he has to drive more than a couple of hours, and I can’t help him out as I don’t drive. Good for you, hon. It sounds like the kind of place you will enjoy, and in another few weeks you’ll have another heap of adventures to share. And still that lovely home waiting for you. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Distances over here are quite overwhelming. Adelaide to BH is just over 500km about 6 hours drive non stop. But I plan to stop about half way for a 2 day stop at a town called Mildura. We don’t like to drive for more than 3-4 hours, and we share the driving. And stop a lot for photo ops and generally exploring as we go along. Be lots of walks to share coming up soon 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Woohoo Pauline, good on you. I hope you and Jack have a wonderful adventure. May 2016 I went on the Indian Pacific Train Journey which did include an early morning stop at Broken Hill….freezing it was. I chose to visit Pro Hart Gallary…excellent . My next adventure starts September 1st (my birthday) I am heading to Cairns on the Spitit of Queensland. Plan to stay 4 nights and head back home again. Cheers Ally.,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charles Sturt the explorer put in his diary that the mountain formations appeared to be made of broken hills, he also called the mountain range “the Barrier Range” as they were difficult to cross. So when the pioneers arrived that’s what they called the town

      Liked by 1 person

      • In California, we really do have broken hills. Parts of such hills stay to the south while the other parts slowly move northward. The Santa Cruz Mountains on this side were all moved up here from pieces of Central America. My garden might be a piece of Honduras. You now, the name that the Natives assigned to the Grand Canyon was ‘Mountains Lying Down’.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. It sounds like a good plan, Pauline. We really liked Mildura too. Stefano Di Pieri’s restaurant is there (you might have seen his TV program ‘A Gondola on the Murray’), and we had a terrific meal though I’m a bit hesitant about recommending as I don’t know what you like. That being said, I guess I’ve recommended it for the whole world to see! It will be a bit warmer by the time you do your trip. It will be really interesting to read your views especially as I think you’ll be travelling on the Silver City Highway, which we didn’t get to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have not heard of that chef, will look it up. We tend toward vegetarian meals or fish. I’m starting to get excited and raring to go now. We had beautiful rain over the weekend, the garden is sparkling. Did you get any?


      • That restaurant probably won’t be suitable then, and it’s rather expensive, somewhere we’d go to as a treat. So exciting, Pauline! It rained all day and we had 28ml. The most we’ve for months and everything is soggy. The weeds have popped up overnight!! Out into the garden for me today.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Whoopee, good for you! I must say, I am with you on finding”I have to admit I am surprised at my indecision” – since my health took a serious downturn, I am much less decisive, take ages to prepare for trips, and no longer am the very independent being that I once was…..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Earlier today I looked on the map of Australia because I’ve heard of Broken Hill, perhaps from Meg and I wanted to check the distance. If you’d made it a road trip it would have added quite a few days wouldn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Isn’t it fun when you get that niggling idea in your mind that won’t let go? You seem indecisive about whether to go at all, since you’re so comfortable in your daily routine, yet that idea won’t let you go. You still have some wanderlust left in you and you won’t sit still until you’ve satisfied that urge! I like how you spent all that time researching and googling and trying to decide how to get there and finally jumping in and booking the trip. It sounds like a good way to go. How long is the flight to Adelaide? And then you have a 6 hour drive on top of that!

    Australia is like the U.S. in the huge distances between places. My husband just mentioned he wants to visit Chicago, IL, about a 10-hour 20-min drive nonstop. That’s the same distance we drove to Nashville, TN last year; I don’t think Mike much cared for that. He said if we go we’ll fly. But I can’t think about that now! I’ve got too much on my mind.

    Thanks for writing and sharing this. I’m excited for you, and I’m sure you’ll be more excited as the date approaches. I know sometimes it’s hard to pry ourselves out of our comfort zone, but you’ll love it in the end, with your adventurous spirit. 🙂 I’ll link this post to my next A&P post on September 28. 🙂


    • Yes got to satisfy that urge Cathy. The flight will be 2.5 hours non-stop so not too bad. I know I will love being on the road again once I’ve pried myself away from the comfort of home!

      Yes both our countries are a challenge in distances. I think of the pioneers and explorers when they travelled how long it would take them,we are lucky aren’t we?

      I imagine you will now be thinking of Chicago as you walk along….


  8. Sounds like a good trip Pauline. You didn’t consider the train up to Broken Hill then from Sydney or Adelaide? That’s how I got there. Train to Dubbo from Sydney and then by bus and the Outback Explorer train back. Just took a couple of 1/2 day tours out to Silverton and Menindee Lakes. It is an unusual town.

    I have always fancied taking the Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin, but it is not a cheap journey. I know what you mean about being indecisive. I still want to visit places, but haven’t got the energy it seems to do anything about getting there! If someone gave me tickets and accommodation bookings I’d be off like a shot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I did look at the train options Jude but quite a bit of hassle involved and train travel is pricey these days. That would’ve been a great trip you took. The Ghan is the only Aussie train I haven’t been on. Yes very expensive. The energy department is lacking a bit these days…. ☹️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds like a fabulous trip. I know what you mean about planning and indecision. I’ve got better at being organised as I’ve aged, but am probably less decisive. Looking forward to posts and photos of your adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I went there in August. The days were pleasantly warm and the nights were cool. It’s a fascinating place. I can rekate to the should I go or not dilemma but Broken Hill is worth the effort. Flying in is a good idea. The road from Cobar to Broken Hill is very long and the drive is very tiring. Driving ffrom Broken Hill to Adelaide is relatively easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Along with everyone else, I’m looking forward to hearing about the trip. We/I routinely make a 18-hour or so drive from Illinois to our cabin in Wyoming in the summer, doing the almost 1200 miles in two relatively easy days of 10, then 8 hours. I’ve driven on my own from our house to Philadelphia to visit our younger daughter, a 13-hour drive, but now I fly, as with the tolls, gas costs, etc., it’s probably about the same cost and I get almost two extra days with her. I enjoy driving, though, which not everyone does.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I actually love driving so it was quite a major decision to fly. I did the comparison costs and by the time you factor in accommodation, meals, petrol, extra time it is almost cheaper to fly and less wear and tear on ageing infrastructure, ours and the cars….

      Liked by 1 person

  12. It sounds like it’s going to be lots of fun. I understand how you’re feeling though. I love traveling, and think I was born under a wandering star, but the older I get the amount of I am comfortable away from home and my stuff gets shorter. I’m good for about 2 weeks now then I want to be home.

    Safe journey! I am looking forward to seeing this part of Australia from your viewfinder, and art.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I was younger I never thought I would get complacent/lazy and want to stay home more. yes 2-4 weeks is plenty long enough for me now too. I used to think that song “wandering star” was my theme tune….

      Liked by 1 person

I would love to hear from you, leave a comment and we can start a conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s