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Lightning Ridge NSW
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? Black Queen, June 2008


Lightning Ridge - a place to inspire

Lightning Ridge, located in outback NSW on the world's richest deposit of black opal, is a place that abounds with colourful characters, barrels of dreams, opportunity and experiences! A visit to this thriving outback community and the opal fields surrounding it will not disappoint. Lightning Ridge has something to inspire, attract and lure everyone!

There are many attractions which make Lightning Ridge unique and appealing for a holiday. With daytime winter temperatures of 12 - 22°C, Lightning Ridge is ideal for a warm winter getaway. Lightning Ridge attractions are as varied and unique as the colourful stone for which the miners are searching.

? Walk In Mine, June 2008Award-winning Black Queen: 'Completely Surprising.' The BLACK QUEEN is a collection of intertwining stories weaved together and told in a wonderfully mysterious and compelling way. Expect the unexpected.

The Black Queen presents you with the challenges and the rewards of living in the environment of yesteryear and will take you on an amazing journey of discovery that intertwines museum and theatre together to create live, memorable and interactive performances that will leave you spellbound.

Chambers of The Black Hand you'll be amazed... The Egyptian chamber has humorous hieroglyphics and is a replica of an Egyptian tomb. Atlas holds the world while Adam supports the roof of the entrance to the working mine. Countless carvings are set in sandstone on the walls.

Bevan's Black Opal and Cactus Nursery is said to be the largest display of old and rare cactus in southern hemisphere, this garden is a labour of love and well worth a look!

? Bevan's Cactus, June 2008If you want an authentic underground experience, then the Walk in Mine is just the place. Here you can feel first hand what it's like to go below the earth and dig for opal. Originally a working mine, the Walk in Mine is a myriad of shafts and ballrooms that have been restored so visitors can glimpse the life of an opal miner.

Bottle House is a unique structure and an intriguing example of innovative architecture. Originally a miner's camp, the Bottle House now houses a collection of artefacts and other items of interest.

At John Murray's Art Gallery you will be intrigued. His unique sense of humour and outback palette combines beautifully into some stunning and colourful masterpieces.

You are able to soak in the FREE hot and therapeutic gift of artesian water, experience mining or visit one of the unique collections and homes of the characters of the Ridge. Take a step back in time, or try your luck fossicking, whatever your taste, there is something to tickle everyone's fancy.

? Bottle Shop, June 2008Car Door Tours - The people of Lightning Ridge are well known for their ingenuity and creative solutions and nothing reflects these qualities better than the aptly named Car Door Tours! These quirky journeys are Lightning Ridge's answer to 'self drive' tours and are a great way to start your visit to The Ridge. Four tours are demarcated by colour coded and numbered car doors. Strung in trees and leaning in easily seen places, the car doors will lead you to some of the Ridge's greatest attractions. You will find Charlie Nettleton's first hand sunk shaft at the end of the green car door tour, take your cheese and nibbles and stop for the sunset at this great ridge location! On the red car door tour you will find Amigo's Castle and the Astronomers Monument. These monumental constructions are a testament to Lightning Ridge's self taught architects and builders, be sure to keep an eye out on the fields for all the other unique homes.

If you are not the 'off the beaten track' kind of traveller or you would like to get the inside scoop on the attractions you have seen on your car door tour - you might like to jump aboard one of the fantastic tour Buses, the Black Opal Tours or the Outback Opal Tours.

The region has a number of adventure based tourist attractions. Golfers might also like to try their hand on Lightning Ridge's 'country' golf course. Lightning Ridge also boasts a clay target and pistol club.

? Black Queen, June 2008Lightning Ridge has a large variety of accommodation to cater for every style and budget... from the business traveller to families, whatever the accommodation you need... we've got it. The Lightning Ridge Community provides a wide range of comfortable amenities, including a choice of quality Motels, charming B&B, cosy family cottages, convenient caravan parks with camping and cabin facilities, centrally located holiday units, restful holiday cabins and units, peaceful outback Bunkhouses and cottages and backpacker style accommodation.

Lightning Ridge has a diverse range of native wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, echidnas, possums and a remarkable range of reptiles. Lightning Ridge is also a haven for rare Australian birds, and you can get up close and personal with a surprisingly large number of these fascinating animals.

Lightning Ridge boasts a 12-month program of entertainment with events including the Easter Goat Races, Opal and Gem show Expo, spring exhibition of the Arts and Crafts Council, Opal Festival, Aristocrat Black Opal Fours Bowls Carnival, annual Golf Tournament, 'The Opal Open' pistol shooting competition and during Easter the Black Opal Rodeo.

Be warned though, many have stopped for a 3 day visit and are still here 30 years later!

? Chambers of the Black Hand, June 2008

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