Dog-Friendly Broken Hill: Visiting with a Dog

One of the most unusual destinations in NSW, the Outback mining town of Broken Hill is an essential stop on an Outback road trip, not far from the South Australian border. Find out more about dog-friendly Broken Hill, from what to do with your dog to where to stay.

Dog-Friendly Broken Hill

Dog-Friendly Sightseeing in Broken Hill

I still haven’t had a chance to visit Broken Hill with my dog, although I have visited the city multiple times in the past “pre-dog”. When I do next visit, I’ve put together this list of dog-friendly places that I plan to visit…

#1 Take a Day Trip to Silverton

One of the most dog-friendly things to do in Broken Hill is to take a day trip to the nearby village of Silverton. This quirky spot was once the site of a silver mine, and after almost becoming a ghost town, is now host to a number of museums and galleries, many dog-friendly.

Don’t miss checking out the Mad Max 2 Museum, with costumes and vehicles from the movie on display and dogs welcome to join you inside. Well-behaved dogs are also allowed to join you in visiting many of the art galleries (just ask first), including the John Dynon Gallery, plus the Silverton Gaol and Historical Museum.

Silverton Art
Art galleries in Silverton

One of the best spots to enjoy a feed is the Silverton Hotel. Grab a table along the verandah to sit and dine with your dog by your side. Just note there is a resident dog, so your own dog should be friendly.

Silverton Hotel
A vehicle from Mad Max 2 outside the Silverton Hotel

Drive a further five minutes past Silverton to the Mundi Mundi Lookout, for great views of the landscapes where Mad Max 2 was shot. It’s particularly beautiful at sunset. Silverton itself is just a 20 minute drive from Broken Hill.

#2 Check Out More Outback Art

In addition to the galleries in Silverton, there’s also quite a few galleries located within Broken Hill itself, many that welcome dogs to join you when visiting.

One of the most popular spots to visit is the Pro Hart Art Gallery – I’ve visited this gallery multiple times before. Arguably the most iconic outback painter in Australia, Pro Hart’s gallery is a delightful spot to spend some time exploring his art, both sculptures and paintings, plus pick up something from the gift shop.

Another interesting spot to check out is The Big Picture, the “world’s largest acrylic painting on canvas by a single artist”. Located within the Silver City Mint & Art Centre in the centre of town, I haven’t visited myself but have heard reports that well-behaved dogs are welcome.

#3 Dwell on the Mining History of Broken Hill

The city of Broken Hill also exists due to its vast ore deposits, that are still being mined to this day. It’s hard to miss the signs of mining around town.

I recommend heading up to the Line of Lode Miners Memorial. As well as a memorial to those who have lost their lives over the years during mining, there are a number of displays of mining equipment. It’s also a great lookout point across the city.

Also onsite next to the carpark is the “Big Bench”. Previously you could sit on it for a selfie, but I’ve seen recent photos of it chained off.

#4 Explore More of Broken Hill’s History

Broken Hill proudly proclaims that it’s Australia first heritage listed city, and there’s more history to be explored, even if you just wander the streets and check out its old buildings and pubs.

I’ve heard reports that the Sulphide Street Railway & Historical Museum in the centre of Broken Hill allows dogs to join you. There’s plenty of old trains to check out, housed in the city’s original 1905 train station. Double check the rules when buying a ticket.

Another interesting spot to visit is the White Rocks Historical Site. Located on the edge of town, it was the site of a gun battle during WWI. There is no prohibition on dogs joining you.

#4 Visit the Menindee Lakes

Just over an hour’s east of Broken Hill lies the town of Menindee and the Menindee Lakes. These natural lakes can be a pretty spot to visit, although it depends greatly on the water level. During recent years of drought they largely dried up, but they reached full capacity in 2021, and still relatively full at the time of writing.

Note that while the road from Broken Hill to Menindee is fully sealed, there are a number of unsealed roads in the area, that are generally closed once there’s a decent fall of rain. However, there is currently a project to seal the road south of Menindee to Pooncarie, which should be completed in 2024 and greatly increase access throughout the area.

Are Dogs Allowed at the Living Desert and Sculptures?

One of the most spectacular spots to visit is the Living Desert and Sculptures. Part of the Living Desert State Park on the edge of Broken Hill, there are variety of sculptures located within the beautiful desert surrounds, which are particularly stunning to view late in the day.

Living Desert and Sculptures
Sculptures at the Living Desert and Sculptures

Unfortunately though, dogs are not permitted to join you at this attraction. There is a sign at the gate prohibiting dogs, although I’ve heard mixed reports whether dogs are permitted in vehicles in the carpark. (And obviously, be wary during the warmer parts of the year.) Allow at least 15-30 minutes to see the sculptures – perhaps take turns?

There is one part of the Living Desert State Park where dogs can join you – the Sundown Trail. Separately accessed off the road to Tibooburra and with free access, this 3km long return track is best experienced shortly after sunrise or just before sunset. The website state it takes about an hour, but I’ve read recent reports recommending to allow at least 1 1/2 hours.

Dog-Friendly Parks in Broken Hill

Broken Hill is home to two off-leash dog parks: Queen Elizabeth Dog Park and Patton Park. Both parks have a fully fenced off-leash area, although I’ve read some warnings to check the fence at Queen Elizabeth Dog Park for damage, which could allow small dogs to escape. Most visitors prefer Queen Elizabeth Dog Park for its grass, with reports of prickles at Patton Park.

Dog-Friendly Cafes in Broken Hill

Most cafes with outdoor dining areas in Broken Hill are happy for your dog to sit with you outside. One well-rated spot is The Silly Goat on Argent Street. Open from Tuesday to Saturday for breakfast and lunch, there’s outdoor seating.

Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Broken Hill

For a wide variety of pet-friendly accommodation check out the Broken Hill Tourist Park. Welcoming pets year round, dogs are welcome on all caravan and camping sites, as well as in selected pet-friendly cabins at the park, on the payment of an additional cleaning fee.

The same team also operates the Sturt Motel, with affordable motel rooms, and Away Cottages, a charming three-bedroom cottage with a fenced yard. Enquire about staying in a motel room or the cottage with your pet.

Another pet-friendly motel in Broken Hill is the Desert Sand Motor Inn. Pets are allowed in selected rooms for an additional fee – enquire directly for more details.

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

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