Map of S2SW Route

In September 1883, seven ordinary working men pooled their cash to peg seven mineral leases on a remote, ragged-looking hill. They set to work on the ‘broken hill’ with pick and shovel, unaware that within two years their endeavours would give rise to BHP and open up the largest deposit of lead, zinc and silver ever found.

The world was hungry for these commodities but there was a problem: how to get them out of the middle of the driest continent on the planet...?

The Silver to Sea Way offers an outback journey like no other. You’ll follow the remains of the Broken Hill to Port Pirie railway line – a relic of the steam age, a 400km piece of history that descends from the red dusts of New South Wales to the shimmering gulf waters of South Australia.

The little line was only 3’6” wide but it overcame droughts, floods, locust plagues, derailments and political ill-will to become one of the busiest stretches of railway in the world.

It helped to transform Australia from an agricultural outpost to an industrial economy. This barely-known chapter of our nation’s history comes to life as you journey through the 15 Silver to Sea Way townships. Some are thriving, others are mere shadows of their past glory. All look forward to welcoming you and sharing their tales...

The Silver to Sea Way Logo includes a bronzewing pigeon flying above a highway connecting hills to sea. In an Aboriginal Dreaming Story, Marnbi, the bronzewing pigeon, was injured. He came to rest on rocks near Broken Hill. His blood, feathers and droppings became the mineral deposits of this place. A rail line still connects these rich hills to the sea at Port Pirie.