Broken Hill’s lifestyle offers everything you could wish for, including atmospheric places to wine and dine, to shop for fashion and to snap up unique souvenirs.
Grand and bustling Argent Street is Broken Hill’s main thoroughfare lined with an array of shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants. Many of them are housed in heritage buildings, as are the city’s regional institutions like the RSL. By day, enjoy great coffee in al fresco cafés and watch the world go by. By night, settle into the social scene of the city; meet friendly locals at the bar of a traditional hotel, sing karaoke or join a jam session with local musicians.
The street is as impressive today as it was when there was little else to Broken Hill other than Argent Street. The spacious width was originally to help bullock trains turn. As Broken Hill developed, Argent Street was one of the routes used for years by the city’s steam trams. The trams are gone and Argent Street works even better as a showcase for the comprehensive range of boutiques, cafes, restaurants and speciality shops.
Visit a lesser known but equally charming precinct on the ‘south side’ of the city. Not far from Broken Hill’s new film studio is Patton Village – a delightful little row of shops and services opposite a quiet park and family playground that early last century resonated with the stirring sounds of Broken Hill’s Highland and brass bands.
Patton Street was one of the city’s most active commercial centres, alive with blacksmiths, boot-makers, fruiterers and even an undertaker. Many of the shops today are straight out of the 1950s, like Bells Milk Bar which has been making malted milks and soda spiders the traditional way since the turn of the century. Step in for a taste.
For indulgences outdoors, picnic in Broken Hill’s many parks and gardens.
A city favourite is Sturt Park, named in commemoration of the centenary of the inland explorations of Captain Charles Sturt in 1844-45. Near the park’s rotunda is a memorial to the heroic bandsmen on the Titanic who continued to play as the ship went down. The memorial was erected because of the strong feeling among Broken Hill’s own bandsmen. Sturt Park also has large grassed areas, a fenced adventure playground for children including gas barbecue, a covered picnic area with tables and chairs and a wonderful display of roses and flowers. Browse Broken Hill’s eclectic markets, like the bustling Community Markets that happen every second Saturday of the month at 200 Beryl Street. An array of goods are on sale, from fresh fruit and vegetables to gourmet meats, jams, pickles, cakes and biscuits, as well as Asian food, chocolates and sweets – even olive trees. Take your pick from souvenirs, toys, clothes, paintings, folk art and engraved glass while you enjoy a classic Aussie barbecue.