Lightning Ridge - North West New South Wales Outback
Lightning Ridge, located in outback NSW, famous for the elusive and distinctive Black Opal, is about 6 km east of the Castlereagh Highway, and is easily accessible by road from Sydney (720km), Brisbane (750km) and Melbourne (1,200km).
Lightning Ridge has the largest known deposits of black opals in the world. This opal mining town is one of the few places in the world, and the only place in Australia, where the black opal can be found. Local Aboriginal legend says that the opals were created when a huge wheel of fire fell to the earth.
Visitors can tour the opal mines and museums, and those who feel lucky can fossick for their own gems. Visit the Hot Artesian Bore Baths and Nettleton’s Shaft, on McDonald's Six Mile Opal Field which have been placed on the Register of the National Estate. Temperatures in summer can reach into the high 40s Celsius, but below ground the temperature remains continually at around 22 degrees, year round. The town has a 5 star Olympic Pool and Water Theme Park which operates during the summer months.
Lightning Ridge is in the north west outback region of New South Wales. Lightning Ridge is famous the world over for opals, with the Black Opal being found here and is one of the only place in the world where Black Opals are found.
Lightning Ridge has very hot temperatures in summer months , so it is advisable to travel in the cooler months to Lightning Ridge. There are many interesting and educational attractions in Lightning Ridge, with mine tours, opal cutting displays and Aboriginal educational tours.
As this Lightning Ridge is a remote outback region, with limited space available for accommodation and camping, we advise you book your accommodation, camping or tours in Lightning Ridge well in advance of travel to Lightning Ridge.
(all photo's courtesy of Tourism NSW)