Lightning Ridge Area

Discover rare and luminous gems, fabulous underground art caves and natural heated springs in the majestic surrounds of historic Lightning Ridge. You’ll also find plenty of activities around Walgett, from exploring heritage trails to great fishing on the beautiful Darling River. 

Visit the Opal Bin in Lightning Ridge, where raw opals are polished into shimmering gemstones and rare and precious stones are on display. At The Big Opal you can venture into the mine site where opal was once mined. Use your new-found mining expertise to try your hand at fossicking.

open air cinema at the Australian Opal Centre

Held in July each year, the Lightning Ridge Opal Festival is the town’s premier event, bringing jewellers, buyers, lapidary enthusiasts and visitors together for the best Lightning Ridge has to offer. This festival boasts over 150 stalls with a huge range of products including gemstones, lapidary supplies. There are also free activities and social events.  

Stay and relax at the Bore Baths, where water springs from the Great Artesian Basin. Visit the Black Hand Opal Mine Art Cave for fabulous engravings carved in an underground mine. The Bottle House Museum is a former home made entirely out of bottles, a fascinating legacy of a time when building materials were in short supply.

Artesian Bore Baths in Lightning Ridge

Situated near the junction of the Namoi River and Barwon River, Walgett is a former paddle steamer port, established on the Gemini’s pioneering river trip of 1861. Follow local heritage trails and learn the history of this area. You will find more Bore Baths here, where water springs at a naturally heated temperature of 41.5 degrees. 

The Darling River Run follows the course of the Darling from Walgett to Wentworth, a journey brimming with memories of Australia’s pioneering days. Walgett is the northern gateway to this journey of enthralling history, wonderful scenery and rolling agricultural lands.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO STAY

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Events

  1. Lightning Ridge Easter Festival

    Event dates to be confirmed: March 2019 , Lightning Ridge

    Home of the elusive 'Black Opal' and renowned for its colourful characters, barrels of dreams, opportunities and experiences! The Ridge is as unique as the Black Opal itself. The Easter Festival showcases all the Ridge has to offer and…

  2. Bre Big Fish

    Tuesday 11 June 2019 , Brewarrina

    Held on the June long weekend, the "Bre Big Fish" is become bigger and better every year, attracting over 600 anglers in 2015. The Brewarrina Fishing Club aims to reduce the amount of pest fish such as Carp and restock the Barwon-Darling…

    11 Jun
  3. Carinda Races

    Saturday 20 July 2019 , Walgett

    Carinda's biggest event of the year is its picnic race meeting held each July. Carinda and District Race Club has been racing since 1915 and stages a six race meeting every July. Outback racing at its best! All racing enthusiasts please…

    20 Jul
  4. Lightning Ridge Opal Festival

    Event dates to be confirmed: July 2019 , Lightning Ridge

    The countdown has started for Lightning Ridge's biggest event! The Opal Festival is a four day celebration and there are many ways you can join in the festivities. There is Australia's largest show of opal and opal jewellery on display…

  5. Louth Races

    Thursday 08 August 2019 to Sunday 11 August 2019 , Bourke Area

    Situated on the banks of the Darling River 100 kilometres south-west of Bourke and 132 kilometres north-west of Cobar, Louth has an undeniable reputation for staging a great annual race meeting that keeps crowds coming back ... year after…

    08 Aug - 11 Aug