Tag Archives: Silver City Highway

Silver City Highway – Part 2

A few pics to fill in the space that lies between Mildura and Broken Hill

Approaching The Silver City Highway

Weed Spraying

Who’d o’ thought, way out here in the middle o’ nowhere? He stopped, asked me what I was doing. I said, shooting’ road kill. He didn’t flinch – I like the unquestioning, non-judgemental acceptance.

 We stood under the blazing sun chatting for half an hour: me getting some outback driving tips from him; and he telling me stories of bush politics, the need for weed spraying/roadside grading to keep the wildlife away from the road edges where any occasional rain runs off and collects, tempting the animals to tempt fate for a lovely fresh feed. $800 a kilo for the chemical spray, 3 kilos worth, lasts for about 9 months; and telling me how one of Australia’s most financially successful photographers, Ken Duncan, stayed on his farm a couple of decades ago to create a photo-essay. He was always with camera and up pre-dawn every day to catch the sunrise.


…but despite the weed spraying, it doesn’t always go to plan. In fact there was enough road kill out here to sink the proverbial ship.


…an extraordinarily beautiful and moving sight. What a striking resting pose.


…and here’s a beautiful live one to help balance the emu ledger and keep you squeamish folk on board 🙂


…but not so lucky this poor beautiful lizard. Is it a blue tongue? He looked fine from a cpl of metres away, and I almost expected him to lazily move on when I approached.


Rest area, complete with Christmas tinsel…but virtually no shade…

Christmas Rest Area

…and then more of this…


…but then this oasis nearly smack-bang between Mildura and Broken Hill. Lake Politah, a natural lake, a drinking hole for many forms of fauna – unfortunately including beautiful but feral goats.

Lake Politah

The goats and other fauna make it v difficult to re-establish the woodlands of Black Box Gum and native Cypress Pine that used to surround these parts until, YOU GUESSED IT, whitefellas cut nearly all of ’em down for various reasons. The pine is v slow growing and therefore a v hard wood, resistant to termites, so was a favoured building material. And I think it was the Black Box that was used to power the steam trains.

Despite the signs informing us folk of their fragility, even at the rest area, limbs had clearly been snapped off the pines. Probably for a campfire. Baggghhhh!

Flowering Gum. Yummmm! Lovely delicate fragrance…

Flowering Gum

Eucalyptus Bark Patterns

And more bark patterns, in the form of ‘Tree Graffiti‘ – always a fairly common sight in remote parts but have any of you, like me, noticed a growing trend in this form of graffiti in Melbourne? I have, but mostly tagging as opposed to legible names.

Nice to see that legendary American photographer, Edward Weston, made a trip here to the middle of nowhere and left his mark…and only last year. Amazing! 🙂

What Bird is That? Anyone? Anyone?

And just a little further up the road I rolled into the only ‘town’ to speak of b’w Mildura and BH.

Coombah Roadhouse

Actually, there’s no town at all to speak of. Just ‘June’s Place’, where you can get petrol, make a phone call at the Telstra phone-box (!), use the dunny (but ONLY if ya buy something), order from the ‘a la carte’ menu (‘mm, not totally sure that even I’d risk that, in fact I didn’t – I politely changed my original order to “nothing…I’m not actually feeling that hungry” (hygiene seemed to be slightly, just slightly, lacking).

Sorry, No Petrol

But, if you’re really lucky, you might get to chat to June, herself….

June & Son

I got the distinct feelin’ that ya don’t mess with June. It’s ‘June’s Place‘ after all.

June & Son

Heaps of these bearded fellas and sheilas about…

Feral Goats

It was a fiercely hot day and even the bitumen couldn’t hold it together…

Heat Exhaustion

Melting: Bitumen & Me

The melting bitumen and me. My boots began sticking to the road with each step! Felt like Coyote about to get caught in a creative Roadrunner trap.

On The Road

And then it began – the nightly piritechnico spectaculo! Incredible silent scenes…


Sunset Swirls


Moonrise & Lightning

And then night-proper descended…

Stare-Out Competition.

It’s difficult to drive, photograph and avoid fauna all at the same time! Stubborn Roo! Stubborn Hunter! We eventually came to a compromise and both have stories to tell our mates as a result.

Eventually I rolled into the ‘Welcome to Broken Hill’ roadside pullover where I decided to spend the night, just under that tree over there, past the burn-out skid-marks and burned out rubbish bin enclosure. And just next to the delightfully stark concrete table with its reassuring message…

Welcome to Broken Hill

Welcome to Broken Hill

‘Mm. Welcome to Broken Hill!

But I did wake to this. Not bad for ZERO dollars a night.

Room with a View

Images and text Copyright Hunter G, 2012 and available for sale.


Silver City Highway

About to hit the road….and FINALLY leave Victoria! It’s been nice to move slowly (I recently heard a a refreshing Radio National interview about the slow life as documented in Travels with Epicurus) but I’m gettin’ antsy, like the feisty bull-ants that maraud around my campsite each evening at dusk and go on the attack when I stomp beside them.

So I’m off tomorrow at the break of day (or maybe even tonight depending on how many coffees I imbibe while updating this blog) to hit the Silver City Highway and begin the move into the outback.

Marauding troops jamming the entrance to their abode at the base of a eucalyptus.


I love The Silver City (Broken Hill) – famous for hosting Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, at The Palace Hotel (out of business the last two times I was there but fortunately reopened) with its wonderful murals and wide verahdahs.

I’ve been to the Silver City several times and will happily return endlessly. Its big wide streets, old hotels and great mix of art, industry and landscape give it plenty of pulling power.

See you down the highway. Bye for now, Hunter G

Images and text Copyright Hunter G, 2012 and available for sale.