Day 5 -12th April

There was some sort of reunion in the big hall at the Park and boy they had loud music until well after midnight and then they all started yahooing for a long time after. I put on the Jon Gabriel mp3, 3 times so we should be skinner now, hee hee.

We were up at 6am to get some sunrise shots, it was rather cool. We whizzed into Silverton and headed straight for the Silverton Hotel to get some pics with just the mad max car but there was a troopy parked next to it and other cars along the side. There is a building next to it that is made out of tin with a windmill so not an original building but gee it came up nice with the early morning light. The hotel looks a treat too, all glowing nicely orange pity about the cars. We headed back up to the Peter Brown gallery where we could see the morning sun lighting up the cars and building with a nice orange glow. Unfortunately there were a lot of shadows, so afternoon light is better on them. We will try again tomorrow morning for the Silverton Hotel.

New Dawn Silverton Hotel

There are many ruins around Silverton one was in the middle of the local cafe and another building. Oh the local cafe had a sign up saying entry was free, maybe it’s a go at the galleries for charging entry.

The current population of Silverton is 60, at its peak in the mining days it reached 6000 at the end of 1885. As BH larger mines were established Silverton fell into decline. Many of Silverton’s buildings were transported to BH, this is why only a few on the original building survive and why they are so spread out, with buildings plucked from here and there and moved into BH.

This arvo we went to Silverton Cemetery, it was quiet moving see all the old graves where people died so young in the harsh conditions of early times. The cemetery is on 42 acres and it seems as if people were buried according to their religion as there were different groups and well spread out. It appears they are keeping the cemetery of today fenced off from the older cemetery.

We then took a run out to Mundi Mundi lookout where you look over the Mundi Mundi plains; this is where Mad Max 2 was filmed. It’s flat red dirt with only a few toughs of grass. 8km out of town is the Umberumberka Reservoir the water was clearer than we expected and looked very inviting for a dip, with the hot sun beating down on us, but alas no swimming is allowed. This reservoir was built to provide water to BH.


We have had a nice rest this arvo and we also pulled off the vent behind the back of the fridge on the outside of the van so Chris could get access up underneath a shelf that is there to allow air flow for the fridge. We could see where they had used silicone but they had left gaps where the dust had got in, so Chris sealed all that up. We also took the plunge and sealed the back window, we did it in a way that we can unsealed it (we hope) we went get home and sort it all out properly. This is the window we had trouble with water getting in. We have a lot of dirt road ahead from Cooper Pedy along the Oodnadatta track etc. We really didn’t want that dust in the van again.

The reunion people are still here in fact there seems to be more, tonight we will put the Gabriel CD in the player that just keeps on playing, we will be wasted away by morning.

We have had the genie on this arvo charging up batteries, not noisy as all, in fact Chris thinks we should run it all night and let the hum put us to sleep and drown out the noise from the reunion. We put it on last night to cook the veggies in the micro and it was wonderful and quick.

We plan to go back into Silverton for tonight’s sunset. We will hook the van up tonight, ready to head out for a sunrise. The sunset was a bit of a flop.

Day 4 – 11th April

Our night spot was quieter than we thought it would be, might be the main rd into Broken Hill but it’s a quiet road.

The first 100km into BH is so flat and only little bushes for vegetation. We saw a Wedge Tail eagle twice, both times very close to the road eating road kill. One flew off only a meter above the ground. Also saw some more emus. Now the full on driving is done the cameras will come out and be handy to grab. The last 20km into BH was hillier. As you come into town you pass Junction Mine. Also old miner’s cottages line the street as you enter the main area very tiny and all very close together.

The town itself it build right next to a mine, as you drive down the main street and look up side streets you look up them to see these great mounds of dirt quite strange. The rest of the shops are in the other direction.

We called into the info centre which was very busy and didn’t have a lot. Found out what we wanted to know and left. We got gas, not too badly priced here 68.9 cents. We then found the local Woolworths and got our fruit and veggies as you are not allowed to bring them into the area as it is a fruit fly zone. BH and areas are on South Australia’s time 30min behind us.

After filling the fridge we headed out to Silverton home of Mad Max 2 and a number of other movies and TV adds. We are staying at Penrose Park the only place you can stay, it’s on 65 acres of mostly dust and trees bit like a decent size road side stop. There are 4 toilet blocks and 1 shower block, you can spread out and choose where you want to camp. We are too far away from the amenities so will use our own at $9 each it’s a bit steep for what you get but we have little choice, we are booked in for 2 nights. It was established in 1937 as a recreation area for the region miners and their families.

We have had a drive around Silverton, very strange town, things are very spread apart. The buildings are mostly made of stone with a lot of history; several of them have been turned into art galleries. We called into the Peter Brown Gallery, the one with the V Dub beetle cars, all painted up with emus. His limited prints were very unique but expensive at $195 framed. We didn’t realise at first they charge you a gold coin to enter, we had a quick look and left while she was serving someone, else. The next gallery we went to go in had a big milk urn at the front door saying the same thing. We thought this was a bit much, shops don’t charge you to enter so they can sell you something. So we didn’t go in and didn’t bother with any more art galleries.

Silverton Gallery

We stopped at the Silverton Hotel with a replica of the Mad Max 2 car out the front, as Chris said it’s an old bomb. The hotel was interesting with lots of photos of cast of movie crews and actors also of any actor that has ever visited the place. Of course lots of pics of Mad Max 2 and Mel Gibson.

Silverton Emu Bug


About 5.30pm our time we went back into Silverton, the clouds were looking good for a great sunset. First we dropped in at a coin carver place where the guy carved out the back of coins only leaving the emblems, takes about 3 to 4 hours work really nice but very expensive at $175. We then took some pics of the Methodist church that was originally a Presbyterian church but the Methodist had a greater following and when the Methodist church blew down in a storm the Presbyterian Church sold them theirs. It was a really nice building. We then went back to the beetle gallery place and took some shots there, all this before the sun set, when the sun did set the sky was pretty good. The lighting on the buildings was great giving much better light than earlier in the day.

Church at Silverton


We had planned a trip this April/May 09 up to Far North Qld but alas the FNQ wet season had other ideas,with most of the areas we were heading to flooded. Poor Karumba is likely to be isolated for at least 8 weeks.

Bedourie and Birdsville are also flooded due to the floods up north moving south. As the saying goes all clouds have a Silver lining, not sure about all but this one does. Flood waters from Birdsville are moving down into the rivers that fill Lake Eyre. Note sure when this event is likely to happen again so we are taking advantage of the situation and going to head South to Lake Eyre.



Our trip south will also take us through, Bourke, which I might add is currently in flood and a disaster area. (early Feb) Bourke is on the Darling River, which flows into the Menindee Lakes and then into the Murray River, another Silver lining. Then from Bourke to Broken Hill, Silverton, Menindee Lakes, through to SA and onto Lake Eyre. After Lake Eyre up the Oodnadatta Track, up to Oodnadatta, across to Cooper Pedy. We decided to reverse this, went to Cooper Pedy first, and then up to Oodnadatta etc, then back down the Murray River region with a tour along the Murray River. It is sure to be a fun filled trip.


Chris has been flat out doing renovations in the van, putting in the back area of the van a cupboard/bench area that will house a washing machine, Waeco Freezer as well as other bits and pieces. Getting it all ready for our big trip of 5 ½ weeks.