The barrow push

A History

In early-January 1983, to commemorate the Centenary of the founding of Broken Hill, the Centenary kicked off with a unique celebratory event - THE GREAT BURRA TO BROKEN HILL BARROW PUSH!

Taking place from January 26 through to January 30, the marathon event was designed to recreate the trek that hundreds of miners made 100 years earlier.

The barrow contained a ‘regulation load’ weighing in at 30kg, including:

  • A pick, shovel, axe and bar.
  • Two blankets, billies and bottles of beer.
  • Water, flour, salt, tea and sugar.

Distances of between 48.3km up to 94.1km were travelled over the 5-days, stopping in Terowie, Yunta, Olary and Cockburn, prior to arriving in Broken Hill.


Prize money was also offered for First, Second & Third Place Teams:

  • First Place: $10,000 (equal to $30,500 in 2023)
  • Second Place: $2,000 (equal to $6,100 in 2023)
  • Third Place: $1,000 (equal to $3,050 in 2023)

24 Teams participated, with entrants from as far away as Port Hedland to Port Kembla.

The Dampier Saltshakers crossed the line to take the First Prize, in a collective time of 17 hours and 44 minutes. All other teams competing completed, as well.

The event was held three more times in 1985, 1986 and 1988.

In 1996, the total prize pool reached its peak: $16,500 – equal to $44,800 in 2023!