Lightning Ridge, Outback NSW

Outback Touring & Destinations

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About Lightning Ridge

About Lightning Ridge

“Though you've roamed the whole world over, seen most all there is to see, there are scenes you've never dreamed of, in the stone of mystery.” Laurie Hudson, Cumborah Postmaster 1947-1965 There are many ‘must see’ destinations in Australia and Lightning Ridge is certainly that; home of the beautiful Black Opal and like the wonderful gem, Lightning Ridge shows its varying colours depending on how you look at it.

The Black Opal is allusive but Lightning Ridge, its character and hospitality certainly are not. There is a wonderful welcome from the time you arrive – you can understand why some travellers stay. It is a wonderfully eccentric place and the eccentricity is comforting in this day of conformity.

The artesian spa baths can soothe the body, a gallery visit can motivate the senses, a visit to a mine can provide an insight to life underground and local Opal sellers can meet your gem needs; and all with the country hospitality and spirit of the Ridge that the outback traveller seeks. You can read all there is to know about ‘The Ridge’ and even hear stories, but that will give you as much understanding as trying to smell a colour.

You can experience sculptures underground, bottle-houses, antique lamps, castles, astronomy monuments, unique gardens, hills named 'Lunatic', 'Pig' and 'Bald', a pub crawl to 'The Pub in the Srub', 'The Glengarry Hilton' and 'Sheepyard', and even tour underground mines.

And how do you find all these thing?.. look out for a coloured car door.

Make sense? Thought not… it will when you go though…


Outback Beds

Outback Beds at Lightning Ridge

  • Fossickers Cottages, the perfect place to stay, relax and experience Lightning Ridge first hand. Meet locals who are passionate about their town and black opal - the stunning gemstone that is mined from the depths of what was once a great inland sea. Andrew and Jo met in Lightning Ridge after both had moved out to 'The Ridge' from Sydney around 1996. Andrew is an opal miner and Jo is a qualified jeweller/designer, since marrying in 1998 they have been making jewellery and mining black opal ever since.

Getting to Lightning Ridge

Driving to Lightning Ridge

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Open Information on town or member by clicking panel on top left of map.

There are many different routes that can be taken when driving from any of the capital cities to the Lightning Ridge.

The following is an overview of the routes from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide that may help you in planning your Outback Beds experience.

From Brisbane:

Warrego Hwy <> Gwydir Highway <> Castlereagh Hwy: Distance = 730km approx

From Sydney:

Western Freeway >Castlereagh Highway: Distance = 792km approx

From Melbourne:

Hume Highway <> Newell Highway <> Castlereagh Highway: Distance = 1,225km aprox

From Adelaide: 

Barrier Highway <> Darling River Run <> Castlereagh Highway: Distance = 1,330km approx

Travel & Touring

Lightning Ridge Touring Routes

  • Never been to the outback but really want to go? Then this touring route is the perfect way to get an insight and understanding of what makes the outback such a wonderful place to visit. The Outback Intro tour while take you to the ‘Back O Bourke’ and you will be able to do so easily and safely in a non-4x4 vehicle with your Outback Beds hosts expecting you every step of the way. After all, the Outback Beds motto is “travel in the outback with friends...

  • The Darling River Run is a journey of discovery along one of Australia’s most iconic rivers. Steeped in indigenous culture and pastoral history, an adventure along the Darling can include staying at any of the Outback Beds members along the river, and in the surrounding area when venturing away from the river to explore the wonderful Outback NSW. Like many parts of Outback Australia, the Darling basin is rich with Indigenous history, spirituality and living culture, as well as being an integral part of early European history and exploitative efforts of iconic Australians like Burke & Wills, Sturt, and Major Mitchell.

Visitor Information

Lightning Ridge Visitor Information Centre

Morilla St, Lightning Ridge
Ph: 02 6829 1670


Lightning Ridge Weather Outlook