Lightning Ridge Area

From fossicking for opals to admiring art in an underground cave, the Lightning Ridge area offers plenty of adventure, history and Outback majesty. Other things to do in this unique and colourful region include relaxing in naturally-heated springs, fishing on the Darling River and much more.

The historic opal mining town of Lightning Ridge is home to the elusive black opal. Explore a working opal mine on a guided tour at The Big Opal and then try your luck fossicking. You can see rare and precious gems at the Opal Bin, where raw opals are polished into shimmering gemstones.

open air cinema at the Australian Opal Centre

Visit in July for the annual Lightning Ridge Opal Festival, a four-day celebration of Lightning Ridge and its glittering opal industry. Browse over 150 stalls selling gemstones, lapidary supplies and more, or join in the fun of the Opal Queen Ball, plus lots of other free activities and events.

The Lightning Ridge area is popular for its artesian bore baths, where naturally-heated water springs from the Great Artesian Basin below. Visit the Chambers of the Black Hand to see fabulous carvings in an underground mine. The Bottle House Museum is also worth a visit for a step back in time.

Trees and wildflowers surround the banks of the scenic Namoi River in Walgett

One hour south of Lightning Ridge is the charming town of Walgett, a former paddle-steamer port, situated near the junction of the Namoi River and Barwon River. Enjoy more free, naturally-heated artesian bore baths , with the bubbling water reputed to have therapeutic qualities.

Walgett is the northern starting point of the Darling River Run, a 950km touring route that follows the river all the way to the historic river port of Wentworth. This fascinating four-day road trip brings to life Australia’s pioneering days, passing wonderful scenery and rolling agricultural lands.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO STAY

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Events

  1. Rowena Cracker Night

    Sunday 09 June 2019 , Walgett

    In the evening of the Sunday of the June long weekend every year, a huge crowd converges on the tiny village of Rowena for a barbecue meal and supper, an amazing bonfire and entertainment, and of course fire works! Join them for a fun…

    09 Jun
  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. Skydive Walgett!

    Wednesday 10 July 2019 , Walgett

    They're coming to your home town. Embrace the fear, hop in the plane to take in your backyard during the 20 minute scenic flight to 14,000 feet. Feel free to scream at the top of your lungs as you free-fall for 60 seconds at over 200…

    10 Jul
  4. Skydive Lightning Ridge!

    Thursday 11 July 2019 to Friday 12 July 2019 , Lightning Ridge

    They're coming to your home town. Embrace the fear, hop in the plane to take in your backyard during the 20 minute scenic flight to 14,000 feet. Feel free to scream at the top of your lungs as you free-fall for 60 seconds at over 200…

    11 Jul - 12 Jul
  5. 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