Home to the rare black opal, Lightning Ridge is a unique and historic mining town in Outback NSW . Marvel at wonderous gems in opal stores or try your hand at fossicking, relax in artesian bore baths and discover why visitors have long been attracted to this colourful town.
See precious and rare opals on display at the Opal Bin, where raw stones are polished into shimmering gemstones. At The Big Opal, venture into a working opal mine on a guided tour. Then put your new-found mining expertise to use and try your hand at fossicking.
Lightning Ridge is also popular for its naturally-heated artesian bore baths. Water from deep inside the Great Artesian Basin flows into an outdoor pool, maintaining a temperature between 40-50C. Soak in the bubbling warm water as you gaze up at the starry night sky.
The Bottle House Museum is worth a visit. See an astonishing collection of artefacts inside a former miner’s house made entirely of bottles. Uncover more interesting memorabilia and take a step back in time at the Heritage Cottage Museum, located inside a 1932 miner’s hut.
Visit the Chambers of the Black Hand to see fabulous engravings carved in an underground mine. The John Murray Art Gallery displays the work of a local artist whose vivid acrylic and watercolour paintings capture life, work and play in Lightning Ridge. Take a tour of the quirky Amigo’s Castle with Anita and see her art on display inside.
Held in July each year, the Lightning Ridge Opal Festival is a four-day celebration of Lightning Ridge and its luminous opal industry. Browse over 150 stalls selling gemstones, lapidary supplies and more, or join in the fun of the Opal Queen Ball, plus other activities and events.