Lightning Ridge

Lightning Ridge, known as the Black Opal Capital of the World, is a great place to go visit. Lightning Ridge apparently got it’s name from an incident where, in 1870, lightning struck dead, a shepherd, his dog, and 600 sheep. The area unofficially was then called Lightning Ridge. The village was proclaimed in 1908 with the name being gazetted on the 5th July 1963.

Black Opals

Australia produces 90% of the world’s opals. Lightning Ridge is famous for the Black Opals, which aren’t actually black, but spectacularly multicoloured. It is believed the name opal is derived from the 16th century word ‘opale’, or oplaus in Latin. It is believed this in turn was derived from the Sanskrit upala which means ‘precious stone’.



Lightning Ridge is also known for it’s giant bird, Stanley. Stanley was conceptualized in 2008 while John Murray was driving along the Birdsville Track. The idea was to create a statue of a big bird on the Birdsville Track, but distance, remoteness and beaurocracy meant this did not happen. The people of Lightning Ridge came to the rescue and so we had the birth of Stanley in September 2012.

Amigo's Castle

Red Car Door Tour – Between doors 9 and 10 (access off Black Prince Drive) – Heritage Listed!

A life’s passion…  this amazing hand-built castle was a labour of love from 1981 to 2001. It is one of the most famous and televised attractions in Lightning Ridge, most recently featured on Better Homes and Gardens.


Artesian Bore Baths

A trip to the Ridge would not be complete without a visit to the free Artesian Bore Baths. At the end of a hard day fossicking and exploring, there is nothing quite as therapeutic as a long soak in the naturally heated thermal baths. Allow the water to soothe your aches while you gaze at the starry night sky and enjoy the serenity.

Bottle House

A unique structure and an intriguing example of innovative architecture. Originally a miner’s camp, the Bottle House now houses an astonishing collection of artefacts and other items of interest.