Lightning ridge information center would be the first recommended stop when arriving to the area, the friendly staff will advise you about all the local sights in the area. While you’re at the information center, why not try your luck fossicking for opals in the nearby rubble pile. Lightning Ridge is a unique mining town famous for the rare black opals. The town and its surrounds are very quirky, historical and a lot of fun with its unique Aussie characters. With many activities to explore, including opal mining, art museums, artesian bore bath, the famous chamber of black hands, bottle house, the castle and walk in mines. Most of these activities attract a cost, but there are a few free activities along the way including, the artesian bore bath and the car door tour. The surrounds of Lighting Ridge has a genuine outback atmosphere.
We enjoyed the car door tours, which gives you a great insight into this mining community. There are 5 tours and each is marked out with a different colour car doors, yellow, green, red, blue and the orange (this tour known as the pub tour, which is in Garwin). The first four tours are within the Lightning Ridge area and great to do at your own leisure, each are easy to navigate with coloured car doors guiding you in the right direction. The tours take you on a historical trail around the district exploring opal mines, castles, recycled homes, deserted car yards, churches, lookouts and a variety of local quirky business. These tours vary in time as depending on your interest of the attractions. The orange door is a day out of Lightning Ridge exploring neighboring town of Garwin. This opal town has 3 pubs, war memorial, art gallery and hundreds of underground mines, a real eye opener and a great day out, its really awesome experience.
At the end of the day relax in the amazing artesian bore bath, the water temperature can reach up to 40 degrees, the day we went it was raining and cool. We spent an hour or so lazing in the pool, feeling totally relaxed it was a wonderful feeling in the warm water. Lightning Ridge is a “must do” on the road trip list. We found a few full days exploring enough time, but you could spend a few weeks exploring this town and surrounding areas at a relaxed pace.
Lightning Ridge offers a wide range of accommodation, there is also a free camp about 10km out of town, more information here
Google Map – Here GPS Coordinates -29.431298, 147.972337