Lightning Ridge Things to Do Tips by balhannah
Lightning Ridge Things to Do: 36 reviews and 92 photos
Old Truck at the Mine
The BLUE CAR DOOR TOUR took us to the Walk in Mine.
We visited here with the Tour company. I was a little disappointed with this mine, this was because we had been down another one 1st, one that I enjoyed.
The Walk In Mine was originally mined during the early 1960's. Unfortunately, not a lot of good opal was found at the Walk In Mine so it was opened for visitors to see what the underground was like.
The Walk In Mine sits on the Ridge of the Bald Hill Opal Field.
We had complimentary tea and coffee here.
There is an Opal shop with Opal Jewellery for sale.
Guided Tours Start at 9.30am and 1.30 pm
Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm seven days
Address: Bald Hill road, Blue Car Tour
Phone: 02 6829 0473
Trying to find some Opal at the Free area
Located next to the Vistor Information centre in Lightning Ridge, is a FREE FOSSICKING AREA
It pays to remember, that you are not allowed to just go into anybodys mullok heaps, even though they look deserted, they are a Miners claim. Miners can be very angry people, and they do not like people who are "ratters", they are people that "Rat"..."Rob" their claims.
This FREE AREA is so visitors can have a bit of fun.
Dumped Mullock is fairly regularly dumped in an area here. You can go your hardest trying to find Opal here.
Our tour guide told us, that since December 2009, in 6months, over $3000 worth of Opal has been found here, I even found a very small piece myself.
I didn't have the right tools, had to scratch around using my hands and shoes, so if you are thinking of doing this, bring a pick and a water spray, this way you can spray the rock to see if you have Opal. I also believe, you can hire the necessary equipment from the Info Centre.
It is hard work as it had formed a very hard surface.
For a bit of fun, you can stick your head through a "standing Miner & his Wife" that has been painted by John Murray.
Address: Next to the Visitor Information Centre.
Part 2 of the Tour, and this was the amazing part.
I guess you could call it an underground Art Gallery.
The Owner ...Ron Canlin spent 10 years chiselling the sandstone walls into more than 400 works of art.
Canlin was an opal miner before deciding he'd turn his hand to stone carving, when he wasn't digging for his fortune. He has had no Art lessons, which is the incredible part. All the work is carved in the sandstone with a butter knife & spoon.
The first level is 11 metres underground with images carved and painted in the sandstone walls and pillars.
There is something for everyone, including the children. .....
See the Last Supper, a nine foot Archangel Gabriel, Gollum and other characters from Lord of the Rings, Australian flora and fauna, Nostradamus, Adam, Jack Sparrow, Shrek, Puss in Boots and Donkey, Terracotta Soldiers from China, a Samurai warrior and more.
The gallery has a huge Buddha, its very own Egyptian Chambers including a sarcophagus and Nephretiti.
There is he Jungle Room has lions, tigers, chimpanzees and elephant plus the cute little meerkats.
For the children, there are the heros like, Superman, Shrek and the Simpsons, and a lot more.
He did the work alone, then eventually decided to open it up for the public.
We walked around several times, each time noticing a different sculpture, finishing off with a FREE Tea & Coffee.
Opals are for sale, at what I thought was pretty good prices.
You can pay by credit card and cash on the tour.
Details are on the previous tip for opening hours, etc.
This is a mind - boggling display of under ground art, just simply amazing, one not to be missed.
A MUST SEE!
COST FOR THE FULL TOUR IN 2010.....$25
Phone:  6829 0221
I told you Lightning Ridge was a "quirky town" in the Outback of Australia, but little did I expect to find was an Olympic Swimming Pool!
Yes, you read right! An Olympic Swimming Pool was built for Olympic swimmers from other countries to do their training in for the Olympics.
Want to build a $30m indoor Olympic-standard diving centre and 25 metre pool for just $1m?
Well, Lightning Ridge did it!
Lightning Ridge is very community spirited, so people pitched in with free labour & Materials to build the centre for the lowest cost possible.
This world-class structure, has 3m, 5m and 10m Diving platforms, and a eight lane 50 metre by 21 metre Pool was built to Olympic specifications.
The funny thing, is the locals don't use it much, they prefer the Artesian Baths!
Season starts last week in September and finishes on Easter Tuesday.
OPEN...... 11am TO 7pm Monday to Friday.
11am TO 7pm Weekends and Holidays
Sorry, No photos, was closed at the time we were there.
Lightning Ridge water theme park
In Summer, when Lightning Ridge hits some high temperatures, then there are several places you can go to cool off.
If you have children, then the Water Theme park looked pretty amazing, children would just love it!
These are some of the Water features in the complex...............
A wading pool with a swan slide, turtle slide, frog slide, a buccaneer island with 3 slides and 2 water spraying cannons and 4 water curtain mushrooms.
A Butterflyslide and a lily pad trail. Free floating Crocodiles.
A spiral water slide and a nautical shell spiral slide entering into a 1.1 meter pool.
A 25 meter wave pool, and a wading pool with an octopus where on each of the arms are swings (three different kinds to accommodate children of all ages).
An Outdoor Beach Volleyball court.
really it is "Paradise for children!"
ADMISSION IN 2010....Monday to Friday $3.50 per person
Weekends, Public Holidays & School Holidays ....$5.50 per person
OPEN....From Monday To Friday 3pm to 7pm
Weekends, Public Holidays & School Holidays 11am to 7pm
Address: Gem Street
Directions: Adjacent to the Lightning Ridge Olympic Pool
Phone: 0268 290150
Bottle house museum
Another unusual building in this town, is the Bottle house, it looked to be made out of hundreds of bottles. People around here sure know how to recycle!
Originally a miner's camp it now houses a collection of bottles, mining artifacts, rocks & minerals & More.
Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm 7 days
ADMISSION IN 2010...... $5 adults, Children free
Address: Opal street, Lightning Ridge
Our Miner guide
What a funny name for a tour..............Well, name aside..........
THIS WAS ONE EXCELLENT TOUR!
The tour is in two parts, you can do either a part of a full tour, all the full tour.
We chose the full tour.
We entered the Mine down a steep stair-case, what goes down, must come up [ a steep climb up at the end of the tour] but do not worry, they have a one man lift if needed.
We arrived in a large room where there were showcases of Opals for sale. This is where we paid for our tour.
We then headed with our guide, through more tunnels, with him explaining all about mining and chasing the elusive Black Opal. It was very interesting.
Bookings are essential.
FREE PICKUP FROM ACCOMMODATION
Tour time from November to March are 10.30am full tour and 3pm full tour
March to October 31st - are 10.30am full tour - 1.30pm carvings only and 3pm full tour
Tour Cost is $25.00 per adult - students $10.00 each for the first 2 and under 6 Free of charge.
Tour takes approx 2 hours in a comfortable 16 - 18 degree temperature all year round.
Wear closed in flat shoes and a light jumper, they give you a Hard Hat to wear.
Most importantly............REMEMBER YOUR CAMERA!
Other Contact: 0428 862 678
Phone: [026829 0221
The other section of the Gem gardens is more paths, shrubs and lawns.
You wouldn't know there is a Pump Station here, as it has been made into a mini-miners cottage.
In the centre is a fountain that has 8 panels of different murals made of potch, stone and colour representing scenes of Lightning Ridge.
Directions: Next to the visitor information centre at Lightning Ridge
Entrance to this part of the Garden
The Botanic Gardens at Lightning Ridge are a little different. This is because, one whole area is dedicated to Shrubs/Tree/Flowers that grow in the Outback.
These are the ones that can help you to survive if you are lost in the bush, or the ones that the Aboriginal's use for food. You can actually survive by eating their fruits, roots, flowers or other parts.
At the start, I took the time to read the information board, then followed the winding path through the gardens. By each Shrub, there was more information.
I found it very interesting, especially as I have some of the edible plants growing in my home garden, and didn't know I could eat them!
Directions: Next to the Visitor Information centre
If you come to Lightning Ridge, then you really must leave the main town area, and get out to where the Miners and their Camps/Humpys/Homes are.
This is where the real Lightning ridge is, and I am sure you will be amazed at what the Miner's live in, especially if you have never been to a Mining area before.
Old Buses, Old Caravans, Lean to sheds, Quirky homes built with bottles & cans, all set amongst a dry landscape full of Mullock hips, it certainly is a very different!
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