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Life outback is never a drag

The outback city of Broken Hill will host the third annual Broken Heel Festival this September to celebrate the starring role the NSW town played in the iconic Australian film ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ and to help showcase the area, Tri State Safaris will run two special tours for adventure seekersvisiting the heritage city for the colourful event.

Centred around the town’s historic Palace Hotel, which played a key role in the hit 1994 movie about three drag queens touring the outback by bus, the Broken Heel Festival will run over the weekend of September 8-10, 2017. The unique festival offers three days of drag, divas, disco, dress-ups and damn good times. Entertainment includes cabaret and comedy acts, a gender-swapping ABBA cover band called BAAB, a dress-up ‘Lap of the Main Drag’ contest in the city’s main street and a chance to meet cast and crew from the movie. The bus prop used in the Priscilla stage show will also be on display.

As a local sponsor of the festival, Out of the Ordinary Outback and its award-winning tour arm, Tri State Safaris, will run two, special tours to highlight the spectacular, desert scenery used to backdrop the film.


The first tour is a one-night package focused on Broken Hill and the nearby ghost town of Silverton, which has also been used as a setting in other movies like Mad Max. Included are a tour with morning tea, pub lunch, afternoon drinks at the striking, hilltop Sculpture Symposium overlooking the desert plains, a BBQ dinner under the stars at Broken Hill’s Outback Astronomy and a night’s stay at The Argent Motel, owned by Out of the Ordinary Outback. Starting on September 7 and 11, the overnight package is available from $395 per person, twin-share, or from $460 for solo travellers.

The second tour, starting on September 4, 2017, is a four-night Broken Heel Outback Exposure safari package that includes a night at The Argent in Broken Hill, a two-night 4WD desert tour, a night back at The Agent after the tour and a three-day pass to the Broken Heel Festival events. The tour includes the flooded red river gums and abundant bird and wildlife of Menindee Lakes, a cabin stay at the Warrawong on the Darling park, nestled by a billabong in the old river port of Wilcannia, a stay at the biggestunderground motel in Australia in the remote opal mining town of White Cliffs and the indigenous carvings at Mutawintji National Park. Including meals, the four-night package is priced from $2000 per person, twin-share, or $2300 for solo travellers. A starlit BBQ dinner at the Outback Observatory can be added on for $xxx per person.


Both tours are designed to dovetail with NSW TrainLink’s Outback Explorer train direct from Sydney to Broken Hill every Monday and return on Tuesdays.

The Tri State Safaris, which is based in Broken Hill, offers 16 unique, outback tours from one to eight days in length. Tri State Safaris is owned by NSW outback tourism company, Out of the Ordinary Outback. which  also owns White Cliffs Underground Motel, The Argent motel in Broken Hill, the Warrawong on the Darling tourist camp and cabins at Wilcannia, Cobar’s Copper City Motel and also the Ivanhoe Hotel.


To book, visit www.tristate.com.au or call 1300 688 225. For information on Out of the Ordinary Outback and its properties, visit www.outoftheordinaryoutback.com.au .

For more information on the Broken Heel Festival, visit www.bhfestival.com

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To mark the launch of the new-look motel, Out of the Ordinary Outback is offering one free night’s accommodation at The Argent Motel Broken Hill with any booking made on a Tri State Safaris extended outback tour during 2017.

The free night in Broken Hill can be used before or after the tour and is valid for bookings made by April 30, 2017 (excluding school holiday periods). The offer is available for 11 Tri State Safaris tours starting in Broken Hill and lasting two or more days. These include the recently launched, three-day Outback Exposure Tour which features a cruise on the Menindee Lakes, a unique, overnight stay at the famous White Cliffs Underground Motel, one night in modern cabins by the billabong at Warrawong on the Darling, and an interpretive tour of the restricted access Historic Site at Mutawintji National Park, home to fascinating indigenous rock engravings and hand stencils.

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Tri State Safaris and the Out of the Ordinary Outback group of properties are offering an amazing bonus offer for Sydney Weekender viewers… simply book one of the, 2, 3 or 5 day tours that we’ve featured during this episode and they’ll throw in 2 nights free accommodation at “ The Argent” in Broken Hill during your stay. To take advantage of this offer phone 1300 688 225 and quote Sydney Weekender to make your booking. 

All bookings made before 31st March for travel during 2017 on:

  • 2 Day Opal Dreaming Tour
  • 3 Day Outback Exposure Tour
  • 5 Day NSW Outback Lap Tour

Tri State Safaris have a HUGE range of tours to choose from, and there’s really no better way to explore glorious Outback NSW… You can see some of the places I’ve visited on both the 3 day Outback Exposure Tour, or if you’ve got more time up your sleeve, the 5 day NSW Outback Lap tour.…. prices start from just $1,310pp

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We are excited to announce the newest addition to the Out of the Ordinary Outback group – The Argent Motel! Located in Australia’s only heritage-listed city and NSW’s ‘gateway to the Outback’, Broken Hill, The Argent development already boasts a great central location within walking distance to a wide variety of shops, restaurants and art galleries. Stay tuned to Out of the Ordinary Outback’s Facebook page for upcoming developments!

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Treat your family to a little bit of adventure this Easter school holiday with these great savings!

  • 10% off all 1 Day Mutawintji Bookings made before February 28th
    Breath-taking landscapes, dream time stories and cultural intrigue await you on this family-friendly Outback adventure …
    Read our full itinerary here>>
  • Get your fourth night free (or half-price camp-fire dinner) at Warrawong on the Darling
    On the edge of a billabong, surrounded by the beauty of the Australian Outback lies your family’s perfect escape from busy-city life …
    More information about OOO holiday specials here>>
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Channel 7’s Sydney Weekender TV show will screen a special, 30-minute special on the NSW outback this Sunday, February 26, from 5.30pm. The segment focuses on tours and hotels run by Out of the Ordinary Outback and its outback tour arm, Tri State Safaris, which operates in far western NSW and centred in Broken Hill. The segment features Wilcannia, Cobar, White Cliffs, Broken Hill, Menidee Lakes and Mutawinji National Park. Find more Sydney Weekender adventures here!

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Out of the Ordinary Outback’s new-look Warrawong on the Darling camp, nestled by a billabong  at Wilcannia in outback NSW, is offering a‘stay three nights and get the fourth night free’ deal for caravan and camping stays during the April and Easter school holidays.  Alternatively, caravanners and campers can pay for three nights and receive a camp dinner around the fire for four people for half price.

Hugging the legendary, gum-lined Darling River, Warrawong on the Darling offers an authentic taste of the ruggedly beautiful ‘big sky’ country of far west NSW. While staying at the park, guests can fish and canoe on the river and billabong, spot local fauna and birdlife, enjoy spectacular sunsets and sunrises, gaze at the star-filled night sky and explore historic Wilcannia – once the third largest inland port in Australia.

The camp offers secluded caravan and camping sites by the river and billabong, a new amenities block, laundry, camp kitchen and BBQ area, a small shop and art gallery, bushwalking tracks and friendly hosts.

Under the stay for four – pay for three offer, a family of four can stay for four nights on a powered site for $141 (nightly rate is $47 per night) on an unpowered site for four nights for $111 ($37 a night). Alternatively, caravanners and campers can pay and stay for three nights and receive a half-price camp dinner for four people (normally $80 for four people) . There is no expiry date for the offer which is subject to availability and valid for families only.

Launched last October by passionate bush lover and tourism businessman, Scott Smith, Out of the Ordinary Outback includes Tri State Safaris, Warrawong on the Darling, the iconic White Cliffs Underground Motel and also Cobar’s Copper City Motel and the Ivanhoe Hotel.

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Parents can share the rich Dreamtime legends of rugged MutawintjiNational Park with their children during the April school holidays and save 10 per cent on day tours to the park run by Out of the Ordinary Outback’s touring arm, Tri State Safaris. Five hours north-west of Broken Hill, Mutawintji boasts spectacular, red, rock ledges and caverns containing some of the best indigenous rock art in Australia. Tri State Safaris has been accredited by traditional owners of the region to host tours of the restricted, cultural park.

A 10 per cent discount and special new prices for teenagers under 18 area available on bookings made on these one-day tours of Mutawintji by February 28, 2017:

* Full-day tour in a Tri State Safaris coach from Broken Hill including lunch and morning tea. Discounted prices if booked by February 28: Adults $198, children 5-13 $99, children 14-17 $158, under 5 free.

* Full-day, tag-along tour in your own 4WD from Broken Hill including lunch and morning tea. Discounted prices if booked by February 28: Adults $108, children 5-13 $54, children 14-17 $86, under 5 free.

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Outback visitors to feast on underground lunch on Christmas Day for $60

Despite it’s name, the remote, outback town of White Cliffs can’t offer a white Christmas but the sunbaked hamlet’s famous underground motel will share the spirit of the season with a festive, subterranean feast on December 25.

Locals and visitors to the tiny opal township 1025km west of Sydney and 781km north-east of Adelaide will head to the White Cliffs Underground Motel for a three-course lunch under the earth on Christmas Day, enjoying a constant temperature of 22 degrees while expected 36-degree heat cooks the 120-strong town above.

Tickets to the underground lunch at 12.30pm on December 25 are still available for those keen for a true-blue Aussie Christmas in the NSW outback.

The managers of the unusual, 30-room motel, Sean Auld and partner Mandy Foster, will cook the lunch – their first at the property since they started looking after the cool, ‘dugout’ motel in June this year. For $60 a head, guests will enjoy a prawn cocktail or mango chicken salad for entrée, ham, turkey and roast vegetables for main course and traditional, home-made, plum pudding with brandy custard for dessert.

And Santa is also expected to make an appearance at the lunch in far-west NSW

“We’re expecting around 50 diners for lunch on Christmas Day but we can look after 100 or so – the more the merrier,” said Sean. “A coach-load of 25 people from Adelaide are staying with us for Christmas and they’ll be here celebrating Christmas in a unique way with us. It will be lots of fun, especially out of the heat.”

The motel – the biggest underground accommodation property in Australia – dates back to the early 1900s when opal minders sought sleeping quarters away from the heat.  It later became a family home and opened as a motel in 1989, sporting a licensed restaurant, café, bar and above-ground swimming pool.

The White Cliffs Underground Motel was bought by passionate bush lover and tourism businessman, Scott Smith, in mid-2016 as part of his new outback tourism company, Out of the Ordinary Outback, which also owns the Warrawong on the Darling holiday park at Wilcannia, Cobar’s Copper City Motel, the Ivanhoe Hotel and well-known, outback touring company, Tri State Safaris. The four properties are included for overnight stays on many of Tri State Safaris’ itineraries in far west NSW.

Christmas Day lunch at The White Cliffs Underground Motel is available for $60 a head while accommodation in a double or twin room is priced from $149 a room per night including continental breakfast, or $118in a single room. Cooked breakfasts are $10 extra.

Call the motel on 08 8091 6677 or Contact Us

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