Lightning Ridge

Outback NSW

Lightning Ridge, while not on the Darling, will make the effort of a 40-minute side-trip worthwhile. Home of the beautiful Black Opal and like the wonderful gem, the 'Ridge' will show its varying colours depending on how you look at it.

Home of the beautiful Black Opal and like the wonderful gem, the 'Ridge' will show its varying colours depending on how you look at it. The Black Opal is elusive but Lightning Ridge, its character and hospitality certainly are not.

There is a wonderful welcome from the time you arrive; you can understand why some travellers visit for a few days and end up staying for the rest of their life.

It is a wonderfully eccentric place and the eccentricity is comforting in this day of conformity.

Destination Partner - Lightning Ridge

lightning ridge

Travelling through this vast land, one often discovers places that envelope the soul with tangible elements; a beautiful river, majestic native forests, indigenous culture, or unspoiled pristine beaches.

Every now and again though, one can come across a place where the same feeling is experienced without any tangible elements to account for that feeling. Lightning Ridge, home of the unique Black Opal, is one of those places!

While not on the Darling, it is just 'down the road' as we like to say. Any trip along the Darling, or for that matter, any trip through Outback NSW and south-east Queensland should incorporate a trip to Lightning Ridge.

Local postmaster back in the 1950s summed it up well... "Though you've roamed the whole world over, seen most all there is to see, There are scenes you've never dreamed of, in the stone of mystery."

Accommodation Partner - Lorne Station

A Ridge Icon!

lorne station

No bells and whistles. Just pure country hospitality. Award Winning Accommodation

Powered & Unpowered Sites, Bunk Houses, Communal Kitchen, Fire Ring, Pet Friendly. Entertainment around the fire to embrace the beauty and serenity of the great outback.

Inside tips looking for opal, talk to the locals to help you on your way

You can read all there is to know about the 'Ridge' and even hear stories, but that will give you as much understanding as trying to smell a colour.


At Lightning Ridge and surrounds, you can experience...

  • underground sculptures
  • bottle-houses
  • antique lamps
  • castles
  • astronomy monuments
  • unique gardens
  • hills named 'Lunatic', 'Pig' and Bald'
  • a pub crawl to 'The Pub in the Scrub', 'The Glengarry Hilton' and 'Sheepyard'
  • and even tour underground mines.

And how do you find all these things?.. look out for a coloured Car Door.

Make sense? Thought not...it will when you go though...

Lightning Ridge Visitor Information:

  • Lightning Ridge See & Do:
    • Visit the artesian bore baths
    • Fossick for Black Opal
    • Tour an underground mine
    • Meet a 'crazy' local
  • Getting to Lightning Ridge(Car):
    • From Brisbane: 736km
    • From Sydney: 750km
    • From Melbourne: 1,210km
    • From Adelaide: 1,440km
  • Lightning Ridge Information Centre:

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Our Partners - See & Do

Our Accommodation Partners

Safe Outback Touring Guide