It’s been dubbed the ‘the capital of the outback’, but the more you learn about this remote town in the state’s far west, the more Broken Hill defies such a simple description. Built atop the richest tin and lead deposit ever discovered, mining has always been the area’s dominant industry and a defining part of its culture. The town is littered with both current operations and long-defunct pits dating back hundreds of years, and a towering slagheap in the town centre is crowned by the striking Line of Lode Lookout and Memorial (pictured), chronicling the scores of miners who have lost their lives beneath Broken Hill over the years. The mining boom may have given birth to this oddball outpost, but today it’s tourism draws are a checkerboard of contrasts. Immortalised in the movie classic Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the town is firmly embedded in Australia’s LGBTQIA+ lore, with the annual Broken Heel Festival attracting thousands of devotees of Down Under drag from all over the country. There is also a thriving art scene, established by the late, great Aussie artist Pro Hart and the Living Desert sculpture park.
Where to stay: There are several hotels in town, but outback accommodation, like the Broken Hill Outback Resort, offers a more up-close-and-personal encounter with Broken Hill's awe-inspiring desert.
Getting there: It’s an epic 12-hour road trip if you aim to drive here from Sydney, or a 2.5-hour flight.