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Driving -Sydney to Broken HIll, White Cliffs and Katoomba

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Del Valle
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Driving -Sydney to Broken HIll, White Cliffs and Katoomba

We are hoping to rent a car (though after reading about insurance etc getting nervous!) maybe through Redspot and wondering if this is a good company? We will drive early am to Broken Hill, stay at the Palace on 18th & 19th and on 20th drive back to White Cliffs and stay at the Underground Hotel from 20th to 21st and on 22nd drive to Katoomba and stay at a BnB and drive back to Sydney on 24th. What is the best road to take? I see there is talk about sealed and unsealed highways. Since this is a rental I'd want to take the best road.

I know it's a big drive for the short time but I think it might be worth it for our last week in area...

21 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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1. Re: Driving -Sydney to Broken HIll, White Cliffs and Katoomba

Hi,

Have a read through the link below it will give you some helpful tips.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i17699-Broken_H…

Drive Sydney to broken Hill on the Barrier Hwy - see Blue Moutains / Mudgee / Dubbo / Cobar / Wilcannia

Broken Hill to White Cliffs approx 3 hrs drive & easy 1 hr drive from Wilcannia (sealed road). Its a very interesting country & outback route.

Sydney
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2. Re: Driving -Sydney to Broken HIll, White Cliffs and Katoomba

Sydney to Broken Hill is a huge drive for one day.

The main road from Sydney to Broken Hill (Barrier Highway) is all paved. There is an unpaved road to White Cliffs, but the main signposted turn from the Barrier Highway at Wilcannia is paved. Similarly the route back to the Highway and Katoomba the way you came. Unless you deliberately set out to do it, it is unlikely you will end up on an unsealed road.

But seriously think about your driving distances. If you must do the Sydney to Broken Hill in a day, think about heading out of Sydney the afternoon before to overnight in Dubbo.

It is possible to fly to Broken Hill from Sydney (albeit a bit pricey). It is easy to visit White Cliffs as a day trip from there. Similarly Katoomba is an easy day trip from Sydney.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Driving -Sydney to Broken HIll, White Cliffs and Katoomba

Sorry I also agree - Its a least 13hrs drive from Sydney to BH. I was under the impression you had more days to do this route. You will need to stop over night somewhere ie...Dubbo

Syd - Dubbo - 5.5hrs Dubbo to BH - approx 8hrs

If you cannot then I also agree with inas to fly to BH.

Del Valle
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4. Re: Driving -Sydney to Broken HIll, White Cliffs and Katoomba

I guess we are used to long drives so the 13 seemed doable to me as we break it all up coming back. It's kind of put your mind to it and after that it's all easy! If it gets too much we can stop but we've done crazy things like this before and it usually works out. Just knowing it is paved is great and I think it's a pretty flat road for the most part?

Did check on the flights but they were very expensive and the train time frames weren't great unless we had two more days.

If we do it I will come back and tell you if we survived! My main concern now is trying to figure out what it would cost to rent and carry the full coverage...Redspot seemed the best price but I had never heard of them as they are local. So far haven't found anything negative about them but trying to figure out the different ways to add collision coverage is tricky! Thanks for your advice

Sydney
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5. Re: Driving -Sydney to Broken HIll, White Cliffs and Katoomba

Your travel insurance is normally the best and cheapest way of getting this cover. The rental companies almost invariably charge more.

I hope you do make it back to tell us you survived, but I still think you are best if you are going to do it this way to knock off a few of the hours the day before.

Even if you leave Sydney at 6pm, you can make it to Orange/Molong, etc by around 10pm. With an early start the next day you can even make an hour or so to take a break in Dubbo/Nyngan/Cobar.

If you still want do do the full Sydney to Broken Hill drive, then maybe reverse the order. Coming back towards Sydney at the end of a long drive gives you lots of accommodation and options to take a break if you are getting tired, and the roads at dusk won't have as many 'roos hopping out in front of you, and will give you safer nighttime passing options. As I said, after Cobar, there is only Wilcannia, which will underwhelm compared to the places closer to the Blue Mountains and Sydney.

But yes, the road is generally fairly flat and straight after you make it over the Blue Mountains. The Barrier Highway itself is particularly straight and featureless.

Can I ask what the experience is that you are after in Broken Hill that would inspire you to undertake this?

Oz
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6. Re: Driving -Sydney to Broken HIll, White Cliffs and Katoomba

Hi,

I'm not sure you realise the implications of driving from Sydney to Broken Hill in one day? Yes it is possible and I have done it................but here in Oz we have funny hoppy things, (Kangaroos) that cause havoc in the early morning and after dusk add to this Emus, (large flightless birds about the size of and Ostrich) with absolutely no road sense and your chances of a close and expensive encounter with the wildlife is close to assured if you travel at these times. Imagine hitting an elk at speed and you may get my drift. It is not for nothing that most cars and 4x4's that travel these roads have large bull bars to allow the vehicle to still be driveable after such a close encounter. Did I mention that you will also be driving west into the seting sun for hours??

Obviously it is your decision but I would do as suggested. Drive Sydney to Dubbo, overnight there and travel to the Hill the next day.

Cheers,

South Pole
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7. Re: Driving -Sydney to Broken HIll, White Cliffs and Katoomba

no way either i would want to drive into the setting sun on that road.

get to dubbo the night before and get an early start the next morning.

sydney,aust.
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8. Re: Driving -Sydney to Broken HIll, White Cliffs and Katoomba

Get your car from bayswater car rentals.

get away before dawn on day 1. Just stop for gas in Wilcannia.

Get a couple of audio books....outback stories.....

burke and wills

a town like alice

kings in grass castles

Make sure you do the aboriginal tour of mutawintji national park

get your slice of the outback....just like west of the pecos...no country for old men....

Gungahlin, Australia
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9. Re: Driving -Sydney to Broken HIll, White Cliffs and Katoomba

Please try not to hit any roos, please try not to hit any cars while swerving to miss the roos, please try not to hit any trees after going on the the gravel edge while swerving to miss the roos and cars, or roll because there are no trees to stop you . . . . and please remember to say thank you to any emergency services, tow truck, rescue helicopter that might have to cancel a quiet night at home in order to go to your assistance. There's crazy plans that usually work out, and then there's crazy plans with the potential for serious consequences for you and others if they don't work out. Also OZRCFLYER makes a really good point about driving into the setting sun. Btw for those familiar with that particular region, are there wombats out that way too?

Del Valle
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10. Re: Driving -Sydney to Broken HIll, White Cliffs and Katoomba

Ok, you all convinced me! I had a reservation in Sydney for the 18th for my b'nb and asked if he would let me out of it. But if not, I will just mark it up to experience! So we will try and get our rental on 17th and start out to Dubbo (will go on air b'n'b to see what I can find or look for a modest hotel) around 2pm at the latest and get there about 7ish. Then drive the next day to Broken Hills which looks to be only an 8 hr drive from there.

Why do I want to go there? I guess just the adventurer in me. When I decided it would be interesting to see the opal mines, stay in an underground hotel, and we wanted to do the Blue Mtns so thought it would break up the drive coming back to do it on the way back. My experience is if you have a day you need to "push" yourself, make sure the rest of the trip at the end is easier and relaxing. Then, I thought, geez, we are so close to Broken Hills--only 3 hours more! It just seemed like an interesting area and to be so close and not do it....Originally I thought White Cliffs first and then maybe Broken Hill but then that meant a long stretch driving back to Karoomba and like I said, if you push, push early in the trip not at the end...

When we went to Ireland a few years back, we got it to see the Cliffs of Mohr and while driving across Ireland is more like 8 hrs, it is hilly, narrow roads, low speed most of the time. And we were driving all that way to stand on the Cliffs for a few hours! But it proved to be one of the highlights of the trip. Nature is far more thought provoking than looking for great restaurants or shopping sprees....When I travel it's sometimes about just looking at the scenery, thinking about survival in barren lands or getting to know people through BnBs, or an hotel like Mario's Place or underground like in White Cliffs. In the years to come, I feel like these will be the things that I remember, even the often eventful ride to the Cliffs brings back hilarious memories...I will talk I'm sure about the Opera House, great places to eat, getting the nerve to possibly do the Bridge Climb, but in the end, it is the memories of the country side, alone in your own thoughts or looking for the different type of tour, that lingers in your mind later.

So thank you everyone for your honest advice. I will heed it and try to do this with a bit of spacing and lose the one day rental in Sydney if my rental folks won't let me back off the one day.

Note to the one about Baywater Rentals, it's odd you should mention that because in researching rentals they had a bit of mixed reviews...Will look more into traveler insurance options too on rentals. I think Amex has a decent one...

I will also look into the aboriginal tour of mutawintji national park. Sounds like a plan!

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