Welcome To The Opal Capital Of The World
What makes the small town of Lightning Ridge such a drawcard for tourists? It’s an atmospheric outback town with plenty to see, but it’s most famous for its stunning jewellery! Lightning Ridge Opal Centre is the black opal capital of the world.
The history of Lightning Ridge
Where is Lightning Ridge? It is a dusty outback town on the QLD and NSW border. Positioned in north-western New South Wales, in Walgett Shire, it’s around 6km east of the Castlereagh Highway. Lightning Ridge developed as a township after the first black opal was discovered in the area in the 1870s.
Word soon spread of Australia’s black opal opportunities and mining took hold around Lightning Ridge and surrounding areas. These days, Lightning Ridge Opal Centre with their special black opals are a huge attraction for tourists. While in town, visitors also enjoy the vibrant cultural attractions and natural features of this fascinating part of Australia.
Things to do in Lightning Ridge
The major appeal of Lightning Ridge is, without a doubt, the Australian opal mines. The town also offers a range of other tourist attractions to help you make an adventure of your visit over the border from Queensland. Try these!
- • Amigo’s Castle: an unexpected Gothic-style castle in the outback
- • Artesian Bore Baths: a natural spa bath
- • Bottle House: an Aladdin’s cave constructed from around 3000 colourful bottles
- • Chambers of the Black Hand: an underground art gallery in a Lightning Ridge opal mine
- • Bevan’s Black Opal & Cactus Nursery: the third largest nursery in the world housing a collection of rare black opals.
The Australian Opal Centre in Lightning Ridge
One of the major attractions in Lightning Ridge is a national museum featuring a public collection of Australian opals. Visitors to the Australian Opal Centre are given the opportunity to learn more of Lightning Ridge’s black opal history, view these precious stones and purchase souvenirs.
Celebrate the colourful heritage and culture of Australia’s opal fields and go home with a precious, prehistoric stone to remind you of your visit. You’ll find all kinds of opals for sale – opal earrings, necklaces, rings and other quirky opal jewellery and novelties.
Lightning Ridge Opal Centre Quick Reference Guide
Travel to Lightning Ridge with Bus QLD Outback