Situated in the spectacular, semi-desert of the Outback NSW, this fascinating and historic mining town is famous for its fiery opals. It is also home to one of the largest deposits of black opals in the world - a glossy, luminous gem that glows with a colourful inner fire.
About Lightning Ridge
Famous for magnificent opals, Lightning Ridge is also home to the unique black opal, a rare and luminous gem mined from the surrounding plains. Visit the town’s many opal stores where you can marvel at these local wonders and admire the stirring inner fire that has attracted visitors since the 19th century.
Visit the Opal Bin, 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. When you return, use your new-found mining expertise to try your hand at fossicking.
Lightning Ridge is also home to other intriguing and alluring attractions. At Lightning Ridge’s Artesian Bore Baths, water from deep underground flows into an outdoor pool at a constant 42C. Enjoy the warm water on a cool evening when stars fill the sky.
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. Explore more memorabilia at the Lightning Ridge Heritage Cottage Museum, housed in a 1932 miner's hut. Visit the Black Hand Opal Mine Art Cave for fabulous engravings carved in an underground mine.
John Murray Art Gallery displays the work of this local artist whose vivid acrylic and watercolour paintings capture life, work and play in Lightning Ridge. Murray’s work includes limited edition prints, posters and gift cards as well as paintings.
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.