The Living Desert Reserve covers 2400 hectares of land in the Barrier Ranges about 9km from the City of Broken Hill. The landscape and scenery within the reserve is stunning and can be accessed via a number of walking trails. “The Living Desert Flora and Fauna Sanctuary” is situated in The Living Desert Reserve, and is an area of 180ha surrounded by an electric predator-proof fence.
Allow two hours for a return trip to the Living Desert from Broken Hill (although you can spend a lot longer if you want to se more of the area). This will give you time to check out the Cultural Walk Trail in the Sanctuary, and also the Sculpture Symposium. These attractions will give you an appreciation of the Aboriginal Heritage of the area.
The Sanctuary Cultural Walk Trail is 2.5km, but there is a lot to see. Along the walk you will see Sturt Peas and various other Australian wildflowers, and you will also see the Arboretum of Australian endemic plants. Animals in the area include Red Kangaroos and Wallabies. There are also Aboriginal displays depicting past culture and recent contemporary story pole artwork.
The Sculpture Symposium is a major attraction in the Living Desert, where twelve large red Sandstone Sculptures stand on a hilltop. The statues include “Rainbow Serpent” by Badger Bates, “Under Jaguar Sun” by Antonio Nava Tirado, “Motherhood” by Badri Salushia, “Moon Goddess” by Conrad Clark, “Tiwi Totems” by Gordon Pupangamirri and seven others. The sculptures look their best at dawn or just before sunset in the glow of the low sun. The Symposium was completed in 1993 by artists from around the world. The Sculpture Symposium can be accessed via a 1.2km walking trail starting from the Flora and Fauna Sanctuary car park. Alternatively, you can access the Sculptures by vehicle after obtaining a key from the Visitor Information Centre (there is a refundable deposit for the key and an entry fee for car access).
The Living Desert has a picnic area with gas barbeques, picnic shelters and toilets. Guided tours can be arranged through the Visitors Information Centre.
To get to The Living Desert Flora and Fauna Sanctuary from the centre of Broken Hill, drive along Kaolin Street which becomes Nine Mile Road. Take the second right hand turn off about 7km along Nine Mile Road. The reserve is open daily from 9am – 5pm (Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day). If you want access for viewing sculptures at dawn or dusk, you will need to obtain a key.