Packsaddle Roadhouse

A Diamond In The Dust

 

Packsaddle

On the Silver City Highway between Broken Hill and Tibooburra, you'll find Packsaddle. A gum-lined creek crosses the highway a short distance to the north of the Packsaddle Roadhouse and some say the creek was named when Burke and Wills crossed the area to the east, near Wonnaminta, and lost a packsaddle from a camel or horse. Whatever the reason, this is one of many ephemeral creeks in the district which flow westward through adjoining properties. Packsaddle was one of the properties that formed part of the Goldsborough and Company holdings. During the days of coach travel, a shanty hotel operated in the vicinity of today's roadhouse, providing exchange horses, accommodation, and a meal and a drink to the travelling public. Just a simple, corrugated iron structure, the hotel closed in the 1920s when the advent of motorised transport changed outback travel for ever. Call in and see the museum which houses an array of relics from days gone by.

Mutawintji National Park
Mutawintji National Park has been a significant place in the lives of local Aboriginal people for a long time and is worth the four-and-a-half hour trip from Packsaddle just for its beauty and tranquillity. They say you can feel it when you're there. In years gone by it served as a place for large gatherings where business, social and cultural interests were furthered. Hear about the features of the landscape in and around Mutawintji on a guided tour of Mutawintji Historic Site with a traditional owner. Immerse yourself in the landscape of the park's walks, amazing gorges, ephemeral creeks, waterholes and prolific birdlife. Learn about the geology of the area that is considered to be of major palaeontologic significance.

White Cliffs Opal Fields and Heritage Trail

White Cliffs is a four hour trip from Packsaddle through scrubby, semi-desert saltbush. You can take the easy way or the dusty trail. Whichever way you go, it's worth the effort. Opals mined in White Cliffs are far more vivid and vastly superior to opals mined in other countries. The heritage trail allows you to amble your way through a dozen significant sites around town where you can appreciate its pioneering history. Learn about White Cliffs

Broken Hill

Broken Hill is a city situated in the far west of New South Wales and is worth the leisurely day trip from Packsaddle. It is surrounded by vast arid plains. Often described as an oasis in the desert, Broken Hill was built on the back of a mining boom that began in the 1880s. Broken Hill offers several underground mine tours available for visitors. Broken Hill has developed into an important regional art centre with a collection of galleries and outdoor parks featuring stone sculptures.

Silverton

Silverton is two and a half hours from Packsaddle Roadhouse and is almost a ghost town these days. Originally a thriving mining centre during the 1880s, the town quickly declined at the end of that century due to the rapid depletion of minerals and the huge deposits discovered at nearby Broken Hill. These days, Silverton is a popular tourist destination with a number of historic buildings remaining, the most famous of these being the Silverton Hotel built in 1885. Due to its remaining historic buildings and desert surroundings, Silverton has been used as the scene for a large number of movies and advertisements over the years.

Tibooburra

Visit the Keeping Place Museum in nearby Tibooburra, around two hours drive north of Packsaddle. For 25,000 years this region was home to the Wangkumara and Maljangapa Aboriginal people, whose middens, quarries, camp and ceremonial sites and tool 'workshops' are scattered throughout the area. Tibooburra's Keeping Place Museum has a collection that includes tools and photographic material related to the Aboriginal history of the region.