Lightning Ridge is a historic mining town known for its rare black opal. In town, you'll pass by opal stores placed through the colourful streets.
Lightning Ridge brings over 80,000 tourists year round with many motels to stay at along with restaurants and gift shops available. In the summer months, the town heats up, while the winter is considered to be the prime time for opal mining. Lightning Ridge is a quirky town, take a drive through to see a house made from bottles or the Astronomer's Monument made of rough cement.
Most of the attractions around town are based on exploring the centre's rare black opal; visit the Opal Bin to see up close the transition of raw stone into a shimmering piece of jewellery. Explore The Big Opal, to learn about the stones on a guided tour and try fossicking yourself.
Lightning Ridge is known for its artesian bore baths creating outdoor pools, sitting at between 40 to 50 degrees Celsius. Many visit Lightning Ridge for the bore baths, which allow you to enjoy the warm bubbling water under the incredible night sky.
During your stay, visit the Bottle House Museum showcasing artefacts from a former miners house, or the Heritage Cottage Museum. For a touch of art, the John Murray Art Gallery features local artist's work, mixed media from watercolour paintings to acrylic.
If you have the luxury of choice when it comes to planning your visit, stop by in July for the Lightning Ridge Opal Festival, an annual four-day event. The festival is a beautiful way to celebrate the opal industry with over 150 stalls stocking gemstones for you to explore.
The Walk in Mine is considered to be the town's oldest attraction and is open daily. Underground mine tours don't require a booking in advance and are a great way to see up close the process of a mine. After you explore the mines, stop at the opal jewellery showroom to purchase items sourced from the mine, directly.
Lightning Ridge is a unique community with castles, astronomy, underground sculptures and mines to discover.