It took a few years in the early 1900’s for the famous Black Opal to become acknowledged for its true quality and rare beauty. Lightning Ridge has become synonymous with Black Opal mining in Australia.
Visitors either fossicking for fun or looking for their fortune and numbers far outweigh the tiny population. Lighting Ridge offers a true vision of gritty life in the Australian outback. The town’s mineral water spa baths are simply luxurious.
Lightning Ridge holds a curiosity and mystery for out-of-towners. This outback town is the only place in Australia – and one of few in the world – where the precious black opal is mined.
The town’s lifeblood centres on this highly prized gem, for both miners and the tourist trade. Some 80,000 people pass through annually to try their luck at fossicking or just to see what an outback mining town is all about.
What makes the black opal unique are its carbon and iron-oxide trace elements producing a dark stone with hints of blue, green and red. Many fine examples can be found in the mineral and mining museum, souvenir shops and art/craft galleries.
Visitors can tour underground mines and opal fields. The town is a significant historical settlement, and its pubs are great places to meet the locals.
Lightning Ridge is also known for its Bore Baths, warm mineralised waters bubbling up under natural forces from 900 metres, with an average temperature of 42 degrees Celsius. People from around the world to try the therapeutic powers of the waters, said to heal ailments such as rheumatism and arthritis
The annual Goat Race at Easter is another attraction of this eccentric town. For more than 20 years, this wild goats’ race through the main street of Lightning Ridge has been a favourite, with the harnessed riders battling for the prize before a crowd of 5000. Other annual events include the Opal Queen Ball, Opal and Gem Festival, Opal Jewellery Awards and the Police Bush Safari.
Activites and Experiences at Lightning Ridge
- Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale
Nearest Airport: Lightning Ridge (4kms)