Part Two: Mildura to Broken Hill
Saturday, and day two of our Broken Hill or Bust roadtrip….. bright, beautiful sunshine and a warm day ahead… body clocks totally off kilter from the early start the day before, we were all up by 6am again .. had a leisurely breakfast in our motel room and then headed into town … checked out a few shops.. morning tea at Gloria Jeans and then down to the wharf for our paddle steamer cruise we missed the day before.
We were cruising on the Rothbury for two hours up river, past loads of other paddlesteamers moored along the banks… through Lock 11 and back. Refreshments on board (short person was happy).. souvenirs available (short person very happy) going through the lock was interesting (but slow lol) had never seen one in operation before and it was quite quirky to see the boat rise and fall with the lock workings….
While we enjoyed our cruise two hours on a slow moving boat is as bad as six hours in a car.. it would have been much more enjoyable at a one hour cruise.. but still fun.. we were back in Mildura by 1pm, in the car and on the road and off to Broken Hill..
Broken Hill is the birthplace of BHP Biliton and is an isolated mining city in the far west of outback NSW, and holds the distinction of being Australia’s longest lived mining city. It sits almost on the border of South Australia (and goes on SA timezone) and sits in the Barrier Ranges, astride the Barrier Highway to South Australia and Silver City Highway to Victoria and is 844kms from Melbourne, 500kms from Adelaide and 1100 kms from Sydney. We had chosen spring to visit as its average temperatures in summer are well over 40c (104F)
The road in is good, and had a surprising amount of traffic on it for something that appeared so isolated, not bumper to bumper, but we passed many cars travelling in both directions. We did stop about half way for a quick cuppa and biscuit (from the thermos and our supplies as there was not ONE town between Mildura and Broken Hill). Stop was brief as the flies out there will pick you up and carry you away!
Mobile reception is almost non existant once you leave Mildura, and we didnt get service back until we were about 6kms out of town, so the passing cars was very reassuring (however as it felt like Wolf Creek country we we hopeful if we broke down we wouldnt be helped by John Jarret)
We made good time and arrived in Broken Hill around 4pm… #1 sister had started feeling ill on the drive so after we met our lovely hostess from Jaden Cottages at our new home, short person and I unloaded the car and settled in while she showered and rested on the couch.
Our new accom was a three bedroom house with lovely little back yard, well set out kitchen with supplies and very comfy beds….however as the couch resting wasn’t helping, and all doctors in Broken Hill seem to close at midday so we added Broken Hill Hospital Emergency Dept to our ‘must see’ places. We waited about an hour in the waiting room before they took her through to a hospital trolley for treatment (not too bad considering) but they only had one doctor on and were totally slammed with an emergency case wired up to equipment looking like supercomputer and were keeping them alive and stable while they waited for transfer via Royal Flying Doctor Service to a major city.
Short person and I left her there and returned home to wait it out. She was treated via an IV for pain, they ran blood tests and returned home around midnight via a cab (all patients discharged out of hours are sent home via a taxi paid through medicare.. what a fab idea!). Loaded up with lots of pills we tucked her into bed and settled down for night.. tomorrow we were off to Silverton.