Broken Hill is a significant mining town in the far west of New South Wales. As the sign so rightly points out, visitors to this magic town are welcome.
It’s not just the town of Broken Hill that attracts tourists. The surrounding communities do too, for example Silvereton, where the original Mad Max movie was filmed and Tibooburra, the most isolated and far western town in New South Wales, tucked away right in the corner of three states, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.
We don’t visit Tibooburra when we are on the bikes as the many many miles of dirt road out to the village is totally unsuitable to our road bikes. There are two great pubs there though, the Family and the Tibooburra Hotel. Well worth a visit, that’s for sure.
For many years now a group of us have made a biannual ride to Broken Hill. From my place, if I ride directly to The Hill it’s shade over 2200 kms or roughly around 1,300 miles return. Of course, once we all get going we rarely take the shortest route so sometimes we travel over twice those distances.
Not everyone in ‘Big Al’s Mob’ ride Harleys so there’s always a bit of competition in the performance stakes. Most of the bike out perform my Harley in every respect except two, presence and comfort. As you get on a bit, presence is vital for the ego and comfort is vital for the bum and the back.
‘Big Al’s Mob’ is made up of mature age riders and those of us who have never raced bikes in competition are in the minority. It seems to me that the older we riders get, the faster we were!
Big Al’s rides to the Hill are organised to give the most fun and these days the rides are by invitation only. Fortunately for me, I’m stolen the OK list.
Our visit to The Hill included a number of must dos.
Firstly the Broken Hill Musicians Club. Great beer, great food, great entertainment and only a short walk from our favourite motel in town.
Secondly, The Day Dream Mine, on the way to Silverton.
Thirdly, Silverton itself and one of the Mad Max movie locations.
Forthly, the Sculptures just out of The Hill.
Fifthly, generally having fun at the end of each day’s ride.
As this is the last of the five by fives for me, I thought enough of the words and a few more images from our trips to The Hill. The images aren’t in chronological or significance order. I just selected them at random to give you a taste of the fun we have.
Big Al is in the photograph but values his anonymity
While we were having coffee at a small town en route to The Hill I noticed this bloke staring at us and using a note pad. As we went to leave, he surprised me by introducing himself and giving me the following sketch of our little band.
I framed it when I got home and it now hangs proudly here in my office. The other three amigos only got duplicate copies.
The young lady is named Laurie. She is an identity on Radio 2BH Broken Hill. We have got to know her over the years and now when she knows we are on our way, she plays’ The Boys Are Back in Town’ on her program and broadcasts a nice welcoming promo for our visit.
One final image, just for a bit of self promotion and exhibiting my egotistical approach:
What a hoot this 5×5 has been. Now it’s all done and dusted I’m sorry to have to let go of the reigns and hand over.
I’ve asked Greg Long to take up the job and I hope he can spare the time. Greg is a fascinating bloke who possesses great computer skills and is an artist to boot. I’m looking forward to seeing more of his images and great writing. Fingers crossed.
Hoo roo and thanks for reading and looking for the last five days.