Lightning Ridge is the outback mining town that is famous for its rare black opals. Professional prospector Charles Nettleton uncovered the opal-mining potential of the area in 1902, and the town has been attracting opal-lovers ever since. Get an opal of your own at one of the many opal stores in town.
Although there are many mining towns, and quite a few opal fields in the State, Lightning Ridge, located 75 kilometres north of Walgett, has achieved legendary status. The prize for local miners is black opal, a dark stone with dazzling flecks of red, blue and green, the result of carbon and iron oxide trace elements.
Get into the mining spirit while here; try your luck at fossicking, buy some sparkling gems, or take the self-guided tour of the Walk-in Mine at Bald Hill. You can even enjoy a round of golf on a course set on an old opal field with ‘greens’ of oiled sand.