I bet you didn't know that there was a Mad Max 2 Museum. Well, there is. It's in Australia, of course, in a small ghost-town called Silverton, just outside of Broken Hill in New South Wales. Silverton was a thriving mining town in the late 19th and early 20th century, with a population in the thousands. Now it's a handful of buildings - mostly galleries and museums, plus the obligatory pub - with a population of about 50.
Mad Max 2 was filmed in the Silverton area, and many of the locations used can still be seen. The museum is the labour of love of another migrant from the UK, and has proved very popular since it was opened a few years ago. Silverton is really all about the tourists, so anything which brings people there is good.
For the past two weeks I have been on holiday with my wife and a couple of friends, on a camping road-trip through New South Wales. We made a point of visiting Silverton, and the museum. Indeed Silverton, and the Broken Hill area generally, is so interesting that we stayed for four days.
Here's our route from Wollongong, with a red arrow showing Silverton. We went out by the southern route and home by the northern. For UK readers our entire two-week trip was the equivalent of doing Land's End to John O'Groats. Three times. And we didn't leave New South Wales*.
The obligatory 'I'm At The Mad Max Museum in Silverton' selfie for Facebook.
Catherine mourns the dog. The owners have a cattle-dog (of sorts). It's deaf, but wears a red neckerchief.
The museum is well defended.
The spear-gun thingy.
The museum is a large shed, with a covered yard at the back. You can't take pictures inside of the shed, so you'll have to take my word for it as to what's inside. It contains small items of memorabilia (such as the original steel boomerang), plus walls covered in photos and production information about the film. It's a real mine of information - like all of the special features of the DVD in one place that's not the DVD. We spent a good hour in there.
Outside are the vehicles. They are stuffed in the covered yard, so perhaps not displayed to best advantage, and are a mixture of replicas and originals. I can't remember which were which, although I know that both of the Interceptors are replicas.
I took a few random pictures.
A couple of the buggies. I like the one enclosed by wire and will have to make one sometime.
This is a replica of the Landau seen in the opening sequence.
The red car - I can't remember if this ir original or a replica.
For anyone wanting to model the tanker properly, this is the logo on the side; the banners at the back of the yard were all the originals from the film, as hung on the truck you see at the beginning.
There is a slight time-lag between the photos taken outside of the museum and those taken inside. This is because we stopped there briefly in order to see where it was and when it was open, then went off exploring the road out of Silverton to the north-west. Because that's where a few key sequences of the film were shot.
This is Mundi Mundi Lookout, about 15 minutes out of town. This is where Max finds the abandoned truck after the opening chase sequence. The road in the distance was used in that chase as well.
Looking back towards Silverton from Mumdi Mundi. We think the brow of the hill is where Wez the biker appears and roars at Max.
I took my Interceptor, so it could sit on the hallowed road. Actually this was my wife's idea.
This is the view down from the lookout. Just to the right of the sign is lay-by - the lighter brown soil. This is where the tanker was rolled in the final chase sequence. The hill down to it is the one Lord Humongous comes a cropper on. The road curves away to the right
This is the view down the road to the corner.
Catherine and I drove round the bend onto the stretch of road beyond. Here I am walking it like the cool road-warrior dude I'm not. The opening chase sequence was filmed along this road.
Back to Mundi Mundi Lookout. Priscilla broke down here in 'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'. This makes it doubly important.
You wonder about every piece of wreckage or stuff you find around this site; pieces from the original filming still turn up from time to time. I have no idea about this bit of metal which I found in the sand, but it looks cool next to the road.
We did see other locations from the film. On the day we left the Broken Hill area we headed to the small town of Menindee, along the road used to film most of the tanker chase sequence. I didn't take a picture because, frankly, one bit of road looks very much like another out here. About 10km out of town is a hill with a distinctive red gully to the right. This is where Max's interceptor is run off the road, and where the dog dies. I didn't stop to take a picture. To the south-west of Broken Hill are the Pinnacles, which are the distinctive hills below which the refinery settlement is situated. You can't go out to them, because they are on private land now, but you can see them from several places in Broken Hill. Sadly none of thee places offered a good place from which to take photos. They still look just like they do in the film though. As you'd expect.
Later that day we went to the Silverton Hotel, a pub which has featured in a few films, TV series and commercials over the years (including the classic Razorback). In the pub is this:
Yes - Lord Humongous' gun-case. You can even open it up.
The pub has more memorabilia around the wall, not just for Mad Max 2, but for all of the other things filmed in the area. And it was a nice place for a drink and meal as well. If you go there, ask about taking The Challenge. I did, and I don't regret it. I have a certificate to prove I've done it too.
One thing I wanted to do was play a game of Machinas at the museum. I took the stuff with me, but it wasn't really that practical in the place itself. But next door was a cafe, and we had to stop somewhere for lunch. But that's for the next post ...
*This is a lie. We left it once to cross the border into Victoria in order to shop for food in the town of Mildura. And Catherine and I crossed the border into South Australia to have coffee one morning.