Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

The Outback equivalent of Alice Through the Looking Glass

Broken Hill is full of surprises.

Take Thomas Street. Houses line both sides of this busy suburban street. The town’s hospital, health centre, aged care facility and a thriving cafe form a hub at the centre, and at first glance there’s nothing remarkable about it.


This one bedroom miner’s cottage is just a short stroll from the hospital.

DSC06162 Typical of many in town, it’s appealing, unassuming and a little ragged around the edges – as all long-standing cottages in this heritage-listed mining town have every right to be. A lick of paint has spruced it up and it’s a comfortable place to stay.

This Artist’s Retreat is a wonderful escape from everyday life, and I was lucky enough to stay there. You can too if you follow the link.

You’ll find it’s the Outback equivalent of Alice through the Looking Glass.

Look what happens when you open the back door.


The bush beckons.

It’s hard to call this a ‘back garden’.

The only clue is a Hill’s Hoist, without which no Aussie garden would be complete. It stands behind evidence that even larger trees once grew here.


The original dunny still works although I’m not game to try it. In a garden this wild who knows what might be lurking in there?


Maybe this guy will keep some of the ‘Joe Blakes’ (snakes) away.


I have no idea what’s growing. All I can recognise are occasional patches of daisies, pushing up through soil that’s as soft as a pillow. The leaf mould these trees have dropped has gradually decayed over centuries.


It’s a garden full of hidden surprises. The top end is completely wild.


Was this once a chook shed?DSC06144

And who built this barbecue?


I have no idea. All I know is it’s a magnificent place to sit as the sun goes down.


Broken Hill. I love it.


12 comments on “The Outback equivalent of Alice Through the Looking Glass

  1. monsoonwendy
    March 23, 2017

    Oh Deb….This is making me so homesick! Cathy F is posting #lanesofbrokenhill on Instagram and with your wonderful post it is all too gloriously much!!! So beautiful. Make sure you walk past the little painted place on Iodide St. The one with the fabulous bush mural on a corrugated iron fence. I am sure you know it. Enjoy a coffee at the Goat and all things Hillian. Kiss the folks for me. Big hugs as I jet off to the other place!


    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      March 23, 2017

      Wish you were here! There’s an opening at the Gallery tonight, I’ll look for you on the stairs. I’ll go check out that mural too. Hot here, enjoying Silly Goat’s iced coffee. Even 20 laps of the pool isn’t enough to shift one of them. Worth every sip though. Love and hugs to all in Nepal, safe journey and see you when you’re back x


  2. wendylockyer
    March 23, 2017

    Oh Deb it looks wonderful! So much space to breathe 🙂


    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      March 23, 2017

      Isn’t it gorgeous? I thought of you when we took a walk in the bush, I love the fact that you’ve been here so you know what it’s like. Mind you, breathing is a challenge right now, humidity strangely high and temperatures in the mid 30’s. No aircon so trick is to sleep under wet sheets. Keeps you surprisingly cool! lots of love sis x


      • wendylockyer
        March 23, 2017

        Oh I want to be there! We both loved broken hill. Not sure about the wet sheets though 😳

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ross
    March 23, 2017

    I jave been there for overnight stay.Ever since I have been wanting to go back for
    a good look around. We will be there for at least three days at the end of April 2017
    and I just can’t wait.


  4. Ron Walker
    March 24, 2017

    It is a nice looking area.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. candidkay
    March 27, 2017

    Oh, the possibilities. After hours of back-breaking work, of course:). But the possibilities!


    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      March 28, 2017

      Apparently the woman who used to live here worked in wildlife rescue, she’d save baby kangaroos whose mothers had been run over and rear them in the back garden.


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This entry was posted on March 23, 2017 by and tagged , , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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