Part Two – but I think there will be more…
More history and photos from the fascinating “ghost town” of Silverton
This should really be included in the ‘Silverton Part One’ post, as we stopped here just before entering Silverton. There is a road sign that points you to the Silverton Cemetery. So, we went to take a look.
I know what you may be thinking. This may be an eerie place to start our visit to Silverton but I had seen photographs of the place and it just looked bloody interesting. They have even erected a kind of commemorative wall at the entrance to greet visitors.
We have visited Sad Hill Cemetery north of Madrid in the past but that was only a fictional movie set (from ‘The Good The Bad and The Ugly’ – read that post here). That said, I think this place could be used to great effect in movies of a certain genre. there is something about it… It would not look out of place in an old Western movie.
There is something beautiful about the place even though it is also very sad and a little spooky. It is a reminder of just how tough our forefathers had it. Especially the type of people who founded and settled remote places like this. Not many died of old age. Mining accidents and typhoid claimed a lot of lives.
Not all the graves are old. There was one there from only last year (2019). I took a photo but won’t publish it here out of respect as it was so recent.
Mad Max 2 Museum
Among the various movies that have used Silverton and its surroundings as a location one has stood out more than any other. So much so that two British fans of the movie decided to set up a museum. That film was ‘Mad Max 2, The Road Warrior‘. It was filmed in and around Silverton with many of the several car chase scenes being filmed just a few kilometres out of town at the Mundi Mundi outlook.
It costs $10 to enter but well… when you are this far out why would you not pay and go in? I think everyone else who visited Silverton that day thought the same as me. It was very a busy little museum. My son obviously had never seen the movie but he enjoyed the museum.
Mundi Mundi Lookout
Just a short ride further on from Silverton is the Mundi Mundi Lookout.
The lookout sits on top of the Barrier Ranges. From here you can stare out across Mundi Mundi Station with views stretching all the way into South Australia. It is a mesmerising sight that gives you some idea of how large this country is. So much space out there…
Anyone who has seen Mad Max 2 will recognise the long stretch of road ahead from several car chase scenes in the movie. In the opening chase scene Max is seen standing next to the Mundi Mundi sign. Yes, of course I went and watched the movie as soon as we returned. I had only seen it once and that was many years ago on a VHS video rental.
You don’t have to go too far off the highway to run into some real red earth roads either.
Silverton Tramway Company
Just outside Silverton, and just visible from the road, lies part of the remains of the Silverton Tramway. You can see a section of the lines along with an old station building and platform.
As the town grew a railway line was needed to transport the ore mined from the Broken Hill. Broken Hill may be in New South Wales but it is some 1100km from Sydney. However, it is very close to the border with South Australia and only some 500m from Adelaide. In those days the states made their own railways and needed permission to cross into the neighbouring state. The South Australian Government constructed a line as far as the border, but the NSW Government decided against extending the line into their state. Not to be put off, local entrepreneurs formed the Silverton Tramway Company to build and operate the line. And basically just got on with it. They really were a resourceful lot in those days eh? The line opened in 1888 and ran from Cockburn (right on the border), through Silverton and on to the newly discovered Broken Hill. The line operated up until 1970. These days the railway line runs from Cockburn right into Broken Hill (to be shown in a future post).