We have now crossed the border back into NSW on our way south again and heading to Lightning Ridge.

Lightning Ridge is a small outback town in north western New South Wales famed for its rare black opal, it’s mining history and the quirky and many sights of interest to explore. It is part of Walgett Shire, and is situated near the southern border of Queensland, about 6 km east of the Castlereagh Highway.

We will start our story with some amazing artwork.

John Murray Art Gallery

We really enjoyed our visit to the Art Gallery of local artist John Murray.

The Gallery is free to enter but just note that you are not able to take photographs in the Gallery. You may however, photograph the walls on the outside of the gallery and some of the nearby businesses also have wall murals painted by this artist.

For the duration of our stay in Lightning Ridge we were very lucky to have a luxurious cabin at the BIG4 Opal Holiday Park. We greatly appreciated this break from our roof top tent for a few days, and with a mix of rain, wind and sunshiney weather during our stay it was just perfect!

Our luxurious cabin accomodation

The Opal Holiday Park is in a handy location, especially if your plan during your stay in Lightning Ridge is to spend time soaking in the warm Artesian water at the bore baths.

The bore baths are open 24 hrs and they are also FREE? The baths are a short 200m walk up the road from the holiday park.

If you are into your fossicking, apart from the tours you can join, there is a free opal fossicking area for guests at the rear of the holiday park.

Artesian baths and in holiday park fossicking area

If you love a good Aussie comedy show and staying at the BIG4 Opal Holiday Park you are in for a treat. Be entertained by the funniest two performers, Mel and Susie, who perform each evening at the holiday park in the 'Willie (not Nelson) Pavilion' (seasonal entertainers). You will be in stitches the whole show! They are just awesome, so quick witted and absolutely hilarious……you MUST go to see them during your stay.

The pavilion doubles as an entertainment area and camp kitchen.

Entertainers Mel and Susie

The BIG4 holiday park has great facilities, with several camp kitchens (including the pavilion) around the park, a communal fire pit for all to enjoy and gather around, a range of cabins available, large drive through sites, large ammenities block, ensuite sites, a heated pool and even tour booking ability at reception. There is disability access in all areas of the park and the park is also dog friendly!

BIG4 Opal Holiday Park

There are plenty of guided opal and fossicking tours around Lightning Ridge to join. There are also self guided, self drive 'Car Door Tours'. To get your map to follow the routes in this self guided tour, head to the visitors centre. As it had rained a bit during our stay we were unable to do a couple of the Car Door tours due to road conditions.

Around Lightning Ridge 

We did get out to Nettleton’s First Shaft Lookout. The first shaft Lookout has some really interesting things to checkout, like the Beer Can House that was built in 1977, a monument to the first opal shaft sunk in 1902 by Charles Waterhouse Nettleton, and views over the Coocoran opal fields and the surrounding landscape.

Nettleton's First Shaft Lookout

What is a mining town without Opals right! Her are a few snaps of some local opals from the one of the shops in town called Down To Earth Opals https://downtoearthopals.com.au/ Note the value of the opal in the middle! 😳

Down To Earth Opals

If you are heading to Lightning Ridge and looking for a great place to stay then we highly recommend BIG4 Opal Holiday Park. We LOVED our stay here and will be back for sure for another visit one day to see all of the places we didnt get time to explore this visit!