The Big Bench in Broken Hill

the big bench in broken hill
The Big Bench in Broken Hill. (Source: Creative Commons)

History of The Big Bench

The Big Bench is found in Broken Hill, a former mining town in New South Wales. The gigantic bench structure is two and a half times bigger than the normal size of a park bench. To get on top of the bench, you will need to step on a brick or two.

This bench sits on a hill formed from a heap of mineral debris from the Line of Lode mines. It was constructed in 2002 as part of the Landscapes and Background Exhibition.

Although it does not stand along the road like most Big Things, the Big Bench is a famous picturesque spot for locals and tourists alike. Because of its beautiful terrain, the spot is a favorite for Australian movie productions. For example, some scenes from the Mad Max and The Adventures of Priscilla movies were shot from this location. 

Broken Hill is known for its mining activities in Australia. Here is a brief history of mining in this city.

Mining in Broken Hill

The Line of Lode is the world’s largest heap of silver, lead, and zinc mineral deposits. This is no surprise because Broken Hill is among Australia’s oldest mining cities, having started mining activities as early as in the 1880s. 

According to history, ‘The Broken Hill’ was formed due to volcanic activity that unearthed minerals and later cooled down to form the ‘hill’. It became one of the largest ore of silver, lead, and zinc ever found in the world, although it has already been mined away. The debris remains as proof of what was once a huge hill of minerals. 

The mining activities of Broken Hill were significant in growing Australia’s economy during the Great Depression. The ore generated wealth worth $100 billion which boosted the economy at the time thanks to the hard-working miners. 

Apart from the Line of Lode heap of mineral debris where the Big Bench sits, the Big Ant, also in Broken Hill, is a commemoration of the hard-working miners and had a special way of supporting each other. 

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