Line of Lode precinct - Broken Hill

 Broken Earth Cafe, Broken Hill at dusk

The Line of Lode precinct is a Crown reserve located in Broken Hill in the far west of NSW. The precinct is part of the Crown’s portfolio of 1,200 reserves in the Western Division.

The reserve includes the iconic Miners’ Memorial complex and the commercially operated business, the Broken Earth Cafe. The precinct is very important to the Broken Hill community as the memorial provides a symbolic representation and tribute to the 800 plus miners who have tragically lost their lives working in Broken Hill mines since 1883.

After a number of idle years, the Broken Earth Cafe reopened in September 2017 with new licensees Daniel Powe, Caitlin Hickey and Jim Hickey operating a cafe offering a variety of foods, tea and coffee and home style lunches.

After a period of working abroad, Caitlin returned to her hometown of Broken Hill, alongside her partner Daniel. Caitlin could see the opportunities offered by the Broken Earth Cafe and with the help of her father Jim, she and Daniel took over the licence to run the cafe.

Caitlin Hickey and Daniel Powe at Broken Earth Cafe, Broken Hill

Jim said the local community and tourists have shown great support and feedback has been fantastic.

‘It has the best view of Broken Hill and surrounding landscape and it is very popular with tour operators and travellers who come to visit the Miners’ Memorial then have a light lunch or coffee and cake or glass of wine or their favourite beer', he said.

Caitlin said that the trio are working constantly to increase the historical information available at the centre. ‘Tourists just love it,’ Jim said. ‘It just goes to show what good service and a bit of ingenuity in a remote part of western NSW can do.

‘It is a great example of public land being used in tandem with a local business to benefit the community and tourists, to service the area and make a return for the department to cover maintenance costs', he said.

Line of Lode is supported by departmental staff based in Dubbo, such as Sharon Hawke and Natalie Ryan, who engage with CLMs across the region to support Crown reserve management.

Sharon loves the interaction with all the people, such as those at Line of Lode, who she has gotten to know well over the years.

Inside Broken Earth Cafe, Broken Hill‘As with many smaller and remote communities it is usually the same people doing most of the work for a number of reserves, whether it is managing the local hall, a precinct such as Line of Lode, or making sure the local aerodrome is in full operation to take flights for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

‘Working in Crown lands is really rewarding and very diverse and I love the fact that we can play a part in helping landholders and communities connect in such a wonderful and yet fragile part of the state. And at present, we are very mindful of the drought and the impact this is having on CLMs and the community more broadly’, Sharon said.

Line of Lode Precinct Reserve has been a major highlight of Natalie’s work and a project she is passionate about.

‘The reserve is an iconic part of the landscape of Broken Hill. It sits on the edge of a large mound of mining overburden left over from a century of mining that bisects the city. Seeing the vision for this precinct come together with community input has been truly rewarding’, Natalie said.

To find out more visit Broken Earth Cafe and Wine Bar