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Lightning Ridge

It is said the name Lightning Ridge was given to the area in 1870 when bodies of a man, his dog and sheep were discovered on the ridge. It was thought they met their unexpected ending at the end of a lightning bolt.

Highlights

Experience underground mining and an art gallery carved deep into the earth.

Head down to the Black Queen and check out one of the world’s best kerosene lamp collections. There are lamps in this collection rumoured to have been owned by French kings and US presidents.

Learn all there is to know about opals, including the town’s famous black opal, at the Australian Opal Centre.

Try your hand at “specking”, could you find the next big one? A couple found a black opal worth $20,000 in the specking dump outside the visitor centre, so it could be worth getting hour hands dirty.

Don’t miss the amazing displays at the John Murray Art Gallery. John has been creating original works of art for years and has won many awards.

Best time of year to visit

If you don’t mind the heat, December is one of the quietest months to visit Lightning Ridge. Temperatures can soar to the high 30s and low 40s, dropping to around 20 ℃ overnight.

The cooler winter months tend to be the busiest.

Spring and autumn bring the most comfortable temperatures of the year. Interestingly, records show more visitors in autumn than in spring.

Climate

The climate of Lightning Ridge is defined as hot, semi-arid climate. There is little rainfall in the area, averaging less than 500 mm per year. November and December are the wettest months of the year, with an average of 7 rainy days per month. Historically, August is the driest month of the year.

Expect hot, dry weather in summer, moderate days with cool nights in winter, and comfortable consistent weather during spring and autumn.

Lighting Ridge – Home of the Black Opal

European settlement commenced in the area in the mid 1800s but it was not until the end of the century before the earth’s fiery treasures were revealed. The first mine shafts were dug in 1905, attracting fossickers from across the country.

It is said the name Lightning Ridge was given to the area in 1870 when bodies of a man, his dog and sheep were discovered on the ridge. It was thought they met their unexpected ending at the end of a lightning bolt.

Lightning Ridge has always attracted misfits and hermits from around the globe. There are currently 52 different nationalities living in this tiny piece of the outback.

There are a number of festivals in the town every year, including the Lightning Ridge Opal Festival – a four day festival held in the last week of July every year. The Lightning Ridge Easter Festival showcases the very best of the region, a unique experience not to be missed.

Tours that visit Lightning Ridge

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