Duration: 4 Day Tour
Location: Lightning Ridge
Tour 1: Sunday 28th to Wednesday 31st May, 2017 (FULLY BOOKED: Jump on board Tour 2)
Tour 2: Sunday 23rd July to Wednesday 26th July, 2017 (FULLY BOOKED: Too hot to handle, this tour sold out quickly!)
Tour 3: Sunday 10th September to Wednesday 13th September, 2017 (NEW DATE)
Other dates: We are busy locking in more dates – contact us on (07) 46961857 to put your name down for priority seating
Departs from the transit centre Toowoomba. Don’t worry about parking or taxies, we’ll organise local pick ups + return for you after the tour in the Toowoomba region. First stop is in Goondiwindi for morning tea + “stretch the legs”. Next is Moree with a drive through the town and lunch. Collarenebri is calling for “smoko near the river”. This is a very pleasant location on the edge of town. Departing Collarenebri at about 3.30 pm, we head for Lightning Ridge.
The Black Opal Motel is where we are staying in Lightning Ridge (NSW), arriving at approximately 5:00 pm. There is a lot you can do before dinner in the Black Opal Capital of Australia (Lightning Ridge). You can go for a walk through town, take a dip in the Hot Bore Baths or take a swim in the local Olympic-standard swimming pool. Whatever you want to do, we will transport you to and from. Dinner will be served at the Resort Hotel.
After breakfast we visit Beven’s Black Opal Cactus Nursery – the home of hundreds of different cactus. Next stop is the Walk In Mine. This fully working mine dates back to the 1960’s. The owner realised the mine wasn’t a successful idea, where he turned it into a tourism attraction. Before morning tea, you will spend about 1.5 hours here where you will enjoy the underground, watch a video + hear entertaining commentary about mining opals.
BONUS: After morning tea we head over to Amigo’s Castle. This Castle was started some 25 years ago and it is not close to being finished. Amigo is always adding another tower or extension to his Castle. The only way to see inside this incredible building is on a conducted tour.
Quote from Captain Ken: “As my wife says every time she sees this place, it reminds her our place – a work in progress!”
Now we explore the Astronomers Monument. It is a curious hand made structure. A folly to the Astronomers of the world, especially to Copernicus- the Polish Astronomer. It was built over 15 years by “Polish Alex” Szperiak on his mining claim. The monument is built out of concrete. Many messages he inscribed on the walls tells tales of his unhappy life. Next stop is the Lightning Ridge Swimming Pool.
Just before lunch we’ll tour the swimming pool complex including the Olympic Diving tower, pool + children’s wave pool. This pool complex built with local mining money only. No government money was used for this complex. This pool is a 5 star Olympic standard pool complex catering for divers in their own Olympic size + standard diving complex as seen in the middle photo.
TIP: Bring your bathers, cozzies, swim wear, togs, board shorts + t-shirts. The swimming pool + Hot Artesian Bore is open 24hours a day, 7 days a week.
The local Bowls Club will host us for lunch. It boasts 7 bars (can’t have too many, right?), a bistro +dining room that caters for all. Lightning Ridge Bowling Club is also the home of the renowned Outback Black Opal Classic Bowls Tournament held in October each year with over $35,000 in prize money. This is one of few clubs in Australian that can claim to have more members than the town has in population.
Time for shopping (window shopping + shopping). We visit local opal shops in town and visit to John Murray Art Gallery. John Murray is one of Australia’s celebrated outback artists. His work is widely known and loved for his stark realism, bush humour and sense of whimsy.
Now we are off to see more attractions + The Bottle House. Try and work out how many bottles were used to build the house? Once a miner’s camp, The Bottle house now houses an astonishing collection of artefacts and other items of interest.
Next the old hospital quarters followed by the hunt for Opals – a chance to dig among old tailings! Just for the record, “finder’s keeper’s” of any opal. GOOD LUCK!
Bruno’s Pizza (Italian Restaurant) is where we will have dinner.
CALL US NOW TO BOOK: (07) 46961857
We start at the 3 mile. This is an area 3 miles from town – not unlike a suburb in town. We start with a visit to The Chambers Of the Black Hand.
Chambers of the Black Hand . People travel from all around the world to see this attraction. Entry is either by stairs or by a lift for those that require it. Click here for more information. This is a must see attraction.
While we are out at the 3 mile we will visit the site of the new Australian Opal Centre. Look over the massive open cut mine + hear the history of it. Now onto the Old Church. There is an amazing the story which surrounds this building…
Get your cameras ready! We’ll take you to “The Ridge’s” beloved Stanley – you’ll see what Stanley is when we get there. Also, while we are there; Australia’s inventive creativity is on show at the local toilet across the road. We have pretty much travelled Australia several times around and have never see this repeated any where.
Back to the local pub (the only pub at the Ridge) aptly named the Lightening Ridge Outback Resort for lunch. After your bellies have been filled, we head off to visit the Old Hospital + Nurses Museum.
The afternoon is filled with opal cutting + polishing. Now it’s time to take a relaxing dip in the natural hot springs. If you don’t feel “bikini ready” you can always roll up your pants, sit on the side and dip your legs in. Our consulting Senior Podiatrist at Think Feet Podiatry recommends you treat your legs to a 10 minute soak.
After our evening dinner at Burno’s you might like to go back for another a swim, Captain Ken will drop you off and pick you up again.
After breakfast we depart at 7:30am, heading out of town to the 9 mile where we watch an opal agitator at work. It separates the soil from the opals. BONUS: This is a private site – remember, we take you where the locals know. Then off to Hebel for morning smoko. On the road again for lunch at the famous Nindigully Pub. Sit back and enjoy the views of the Australian Outback and well have you back in Toowoomba by night time.
CALL US NOW TO BOOK: (07) 46961857
We have created a Tour Holding Bank Account to allow people to LAYBY their tour. Click here to find out more: Layby Now
NB: Interstate travellers can now fly direct to Toowoomba’s new airport, please contact us for details.
* Ask us about Single traveller pricing
This tour is all inclusive:
Includes: Coach travel, accommodation, breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, midday lunches, evening meal + entries into all advertised venues. This is great value for the distance you travel, attractions we stop and see + the knowledge gained by the commentary along the way.
We recommend travel insurance.
CALL US NOW TO BOOK: (07) 46961857
Per Person (Twin Share) = $1245*
Per Person (Single Supplement) = $1350