It’s a crazy long journey (65 hours to be exact) on the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth, so most people are going to want to get out and stretch their legs, and maybe even learn a thing or two about the town they have just arrived in. Broken Hill is the first stop off (an hour long) on the ride when going from Sydney to Perth, and I had to check it out so I could let others know a bit more about how it all went down.
First off, if you want to do a whistle stop tour, you will have to pay your carriage attendant or bar staff on the train the night before arrival so they know to book the tour buses for 7am. This particular tour runs for as much of the hour as possible and costs $24 for adults, $10 for kids.
When getting off the train, you walk to the end of the Broken Hill station to the bus stops and hand your receipt over to the driver. You will then be driven around in a fancy coach bus throughout the tiny and unique town of Broken Hill while the driver gives you a dialogue about what building are and a history of how the town was once a huge mining town with a disproportionate number of hotels (pubs). Now, a lot of those hotels have turned into art galleries.
The tour will take you up to the top of the hill overlooking Broken Hill where there is the Line of Lode Miner’s Memorial. You can take the perfect city shots from that point, followed by a sit on the Big Bench (one of Australia’s Big Things).
Depending on when your train arrives will decide how much you get to see. Is it a good idea to take the whistle stop tour? Absolutely. If you’ve never been to Broken Hill, it gives you a bit of insight while getting you out of the train. The time is limited, so if you went out on your own, you wouldn’t get to experience as much in the tour. Is $24 worth it? This is a tough one. I understand that they need to ensure a good price for the tour guides if there are only a minimum number of tour takers, but my tour had about 35 people. I think there should be some sort of discount if going in a large group, and if strapped for time.
>> Check out more of the Indian Pacific’s whistle stop tours