Best Things To Do In Lightning Ridge – Looking for things to do in Lightning Ridge with kids? Not sure where to stay in Lightning Ridge? Not sure where to eat on your trip to the Lightning Ridge? After spending just over a week exploring one of NSW’s most unusual towns, we’ve put together a great resource guide to help you plan.
Lightning Ridge has been on our radar for a few years now. After watching the last season of Outback Opal Hunters, Lightning Ridge was sold to us as a place that gives us a glimpse into mining life. After a trip to Broken Hill with the kids, we discovered that we love exploring the outdoors.
Best Things To Do In Lightning Ridge
Our research revealed tons of things to do in Lightning Ridge with kids, and it was one of the most amazing and unique places we visited, with an eclectic mix of people all enjoying a yarn.
Lightning Ridge Road Trip
There’s a lot to do in Lightning Ridge, but you’ll need a car. The ridge of lights itself is not a big city. There are a small number of places to eat and relax, and there is an IGA for self-catering.
Before you head out to explore Lightning Ridge, a stop at the Lightning Ridge Visitor Information Center can help you decide which attractions are safe to visit by car. Rain and other weather can make some motorway routes difficult, so please check first.
When you are at the Lightning Ridge Visitor Information Center, be sure to purchase a copy of the car door tour maps. These self-guided tours take you to the best places, sites and locations around Lightning Ridge.
When we talk to travelers who have already visited Lightning Ridge, they always cite driving tours as a must. We picked up maps at the Lightning Ridge Visitor Information Center. We took the staff’s advice to spread the car door tours out over our stay and dedicate a whole day to the orange car door tour which took us around 60km to Gravin.
Best Things To Do In Nsw: South Coast, Orange, North Coast
In total, there are 5 different Lightning Ridge car door schemes: Orange, Green, Yellow, Blue and Red. Each tour starts at the door of the original car and takes guests on a tour of some of Lightning Ridge’s most unique locations.
First, it is important to check with the Lightning Ridge Information Center to determine if it is safe to drive to Gravin on the day you choose. I do not recommend the destination without a 4WD or AWD as the roads are unsealed, very rough and sometimes require high clearance and can get very muddy.
Second, much of the region operates as mining country. It is absolutely necessary to follow marked trails and not walk around mining areas, as you may end up barefoot or in dangerous mining areas. Stay where you need to be!
The Gravin Turnpike is 40 km southwest of the Elvis Ridge on closed roads. From a distance, however, things get a little rough.
Mile Heritage Opal Mines (lightning Ridge): All You Need To Know
Along with Outback Golf Course, The Club in the Scrub is the first place to try after turning into Gravin. This is a special stop for a drink or something to eat. The guys and I basically looked around, had a drink and then continued on our way.
The owners have a great sense of humor and add to the pub name of this Outback Hilton, which also offers basic backpacker-style accommodation. Known for offering good food, visitors often stop here to fill their tummies in Gravin. We ran out of food at our stop!!
It was the kids’ favorite stop! The Sheepyard Hotel is in the heart of the Opal Fields and is a great bathroom stop (they’re outside, but clean!). The kids enjoyed playing pool (free – although the tables need re-carpeting) and we all enjoyed a cold drink. There is also likely a baker on site so you can buy fresh bread!
There are many old cars and other junk around the Sheepyard Inn that you can explore.
Your Guide To Car Door Tours In Lightning Ridge, Nsw
The Sheep Yard Community War Memorial was established in 2001 to honor local people and organizations who represented Australia in the war. Shows about 20 autumn plates.
Most importantly, to me at least, is that the first entry is dedicated to Aboriginal Australians who served their country in the 1914 War – (no end date). Other plaques represent various divisions from the First World War.
It is a celebration of the fallen and the past. We spent some time reading and honoring the various memorials.
We went to Sweeney Crafts Cooperative after visiting the Glengarry Hilton and met the sweetest salesperson. Their charm and willingness to give great tips for our trip made me stick my arms around local produce, including some delicious pickles (find Ruga’s Homemade Pickles – you won’t regret it).
Nothing Beats A Good Ol’ Outback Pub
The store is filled with local canned goods and kitchen items, clothing, souvenirs and fun items. It’s a treasure trove for kids, so it’s best to budget for them before they join. You might even pick up an opal or two if you’re unlucky in the opal fields.
During the tour you will see several opal mines and small houses where the miners live. This is not an invitation to go to them – leave the conversation to the Sheepyard Hotel or the Glengarry Hilton!
The map shows you where there are open dumps where you can try to dig for opal. Don’t try anywhere else because the locals won’t welcome it.
When it comes to driving time for the Lightning Ridge Blue Car Door Tour, it will take you an hour or two to complete the trip. The two main destinations on this trip will also hurt your wallet, so make sure you want to explore before embarking on this trip.
Lightning Ridge Hot Bore Baths
Built in 1966, nearly 2,500 species of young and old cactus (some over 150 years old) make it one of the largest cactus nurseries in the Southern Hemisphere. . You can explore the park any day of the year, just make sure you take your time on the trails – you don’t want to trip over a cactus!
Opal Treasure Lost Mine Adventure is one of the easiest mines to visit in Lightning Ridge with a wide tunnel and great lighting. Before you go into the mine, you need to put on the miner’s hat and then you’re good to go.
The Lost Opal Mine Adventure, often referred to as a ‘mine walk’, is a chance to get up close and personal with a real working opal mine and find out what life is like in the mines. In the underground cinema there is even a chance to see a retro film about life in the mine.
Back at the top, you can try to find an opal on the unwashed hill or take a snack to a small hut on site.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Lightning Safety In The Backcountry
Somehow we missed the green car tour and I’ve been kicking myself ever since! This is a car door tour that I was told to take 30-45 minutes before sunset so your tour ends in the best spot to see the colors of the day. You should do it!
Beer House – Stone Labyrinth – Opal Tree – Wild Orange Tree – Nebia Hill – First View of Nettleton
This was one of the Lightning Ridge driving tours we were on and the map takes us through the back edges of town. The road is closed and very rough, so check road conditions before leaving the Lightning Ridge Information Center.
The Red Car Door Tour of Lightning Ridge takes about 20 minutes to complete the tour, but depending on how often you stop at various places along the way, it may take a little longer.
Fossick For Black Opals At Lightning Ridge
A glass house is exactly what its name suggests: a house made of glass. Originally a mining camp, the house was built in the 1960s using glass from Hebbel (a town on the Queensland border) and local clay. Full of interesting stuff. The kids stayed in the car for this, which saved us $20.00!
Amigos Palace is not what you expect to find in the back streets of Lightning Ridge. Built by local Vittorio Stefanato using ironstone found locally, this interesting find was built without a permit on Stefanato’s mining site and listed as heritage before it was placed. It doesn’t have a roof, but it appears to be a target