Lightning Ridge Things to Do

  • Coopers Cottage
    Coopers Cottage
    by balhannah
  • Coopers Cottage
    Coopers Cottage
    by balhannah
  • John Murray Art Studio
    John Murray Art Studio
    by balhannah

Most Recent Things to Do in Lightning Ridge

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    "GODDESS OF 1967" - CHURCH

    by balhannah Updated Jun 16, 2010

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    Church in the fil
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    Have you seen the film "The Goddess of 1967," or know something about it, well, I know neither!

    I have found out some information though..........

    It is a 2000 Australian film about a rich young Japanese man who travels to Australia with the intention of buying a Citroeon Car that he has found for sale on the net. Once there things, do not quite go to plan ... and he ends up on a road journey with a blind girl (Rose Byrne).

    The Church was built specifically for this film, and made to look old, which it certainly does. Some of the film, was filmed in and around Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, Australia.

    The film did win several awards, including best actress for Rose Byrne at the 2000 Venice Film Festival and best director at the Chicago Film Festival.

    We came across the Church at the 3.2km mark of the YELLOW CAR DOOR TOUR

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    HISTORICAL MINERS HUT

    by balhannah Updated Jun 16, 2010

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    Miners Hut & Hospital in the background

    This abandoned miner's hut in the main street is opposite Coopers Cottage.
    The hut was built in 1932 by Albert Spicer when he struck opal.
    Now, it is open for us to have a look through, and to browse the historical displays & handicrafts for sale. The bark dividing walls, dirt floors and kerosene tin chimney, wood stove, are typical of early Lightning Ridge architecture.

    In the backyard, is the relocated Cottage Hospital that was built in 1914, and is the only type of this style of architecture in the town, ............must have been pretty smart amongst the bark and tin huts!

    Cost: Donations accepted

    Opening Hours: open 3 days a week.

    It can be opened on a different day if you phone....... 0419 639 120

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    3 MILE OPEN CUT MINE @ LUNATIC HILL

    by balhannah Written Jun 16, 2010

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    Lunatic Hill Open cut mine
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    Following the YELLOW CAR DOOR TOUR We came across the big Open cut mine on Lunatic Hill.

    There are not many open cut mines in Lightning Ridge, as........
    because of the scarcity of opal, it means it is not usually viable to mine by open-cut methods, which involve excavating millions of tonnes of earth.
    Where open cutting does occur, the area has usually first been mined by underground methods, and here we saw that, and you can too if you look at the photos. The holes are where old underground mines were originally. I love the pretty colour!

    The largest open cut opal mine ever worked in New South Wales is Lunatic Hill Open Cut, at the Three Mile field, Lightning Ridge, it is now preserved for a place in the History books.

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    OUTBACK OPAL TOURS

    by balhannah Written Jun 16, 2010

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    Outback opal tours bus
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    This the name of the company that we did a tour of Lightning Ridge with.

    There are two companies, and they both go for similar times and see similar sights, there really isn't much different they can do.

    On our tour, we did see a raw opal being cut and polished, but then we were left in the shop to look and hopefully buy. This happened four times on the tour, way too often we all agreed...........Just how much money do they think we have, .....this is what one lady said.
    On the plus side, at least we were not pressured to buy.

    The tour took us on three of the 'car door' drives.
    It was disappointing that with our driver [Peter] we could not get out to take photos. We realized that different days there are different drivers/tour guides, some better than the others. We did not have the best, and on comparing notes with fellow travellers that did this tour, did not do everything advertised, such as the fossicking for opals.

    The inside of the Bus was nothing fantastic.
    Afternoon was included, help yourself to tea & coffee, and biscuits.
    Make sure you have the money in cash to pay when the driver arrives to pick you up, as they do not have Eftpos or Credit cards.
    They do have a Free courtesy pick up from you accommodation.

    Cost in 2010 was $25

    Times are ....9am - 12pm and 2pm - 5pm

    I feel that it was a waste of time, we would have been better off saving our money.

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    ASTRONOMERS MONUMENT

    by balhannah Written Jun 16, 2010

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    Astronomers Monument

    RED CAR DOOR TOUR

    Just a short drive from Amigos Castle, we came to the Astronomers Monument.
    We stopped here, and read the details on how this "folly" was built by filling buckets with cement! It has a Temple of inscriptions in memory of famous Astronomers.
    Looks like another eccentric built this!

    Not open to the public

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    RED CAR DOOR TOUR

    by balhannah Written Jun 16, 2010

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    Amigos castle
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    Lightning ridge is full of bizarre buildings and people.
    A good way to find them, is to follow a "Car door tour"

    We did all of them, but I will start with the RED CAR DOOR TOUR

    The tour took us to Amigo's Castle, a private home that was built single handedly of Ironstone. Amigo is Italian, and his home was inspired by Roman ruins near his birthplace in northern Italy.
    The scaffolding he used, was 44 gallon drums arranged one above the other, and then the planks between them. There are trapdoors, tunnels and a dungeon in the Castle which is still being completed.
    I think this is one of Lightning Ridges eccentric persons.

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    • Castles and Palaces

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    JOHN MURRAY ART GALLERY

    by balhannah Written Jun 16, 2010

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    John Murray Art Studio
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    John Murray is one of my favorites. I just love the way he paints Australian scenes, the humour he paints, his paintings put a smile on my face!

    John Murray came to Lightning Ridge as a city artist, and to me, he has really embraced the Outback

    At John Murray Art Gallery we saw vibrant paintings, full of colour, just like the Australian Outback is.
    Inside, the gallery is full of large and small original paintings, reproductions, posters, cards and art souvenirs. Paintings are of everyday situations, human traits, landscapes & places that are a familiar part of life in the bush. He tends to paint the more arid regions of Australia.
    They are so well done, no wonder he is one of Australia's leading out back artists.

    All I can say is..........Pay this studio a visit, take your time and have a good look. If you want to buy originals you can, and you can also buy cheaper prints which he has signed. Cheaper again are greeting cards and fridge magnets, so there is something for every one.

    I couldn't walk out without something, I wonder if you can?

    OPEN..... Weekdays 9am - 5pm
    Saturday 9am -2pm & Sunday 9am - 1pm

    FREE ADMISSION

    NO PHOTOS ALLOWED

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    COOPERS COTTAGE

    by balhannah Written Jun 16, 2010

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    Coopers Cottage
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    Coopers Cottage, built in 1916, is the home of an early miner, named Bert Cooper who was one of Lightning Ridge's earliest residents.

    It was open, and ADMISSION IS FREE, so we wandered in.

    A little bit about it.......................

    A Miner by the name of Bert Cooper was born in 1907, the year the town was surveyed. He was known as "Father " Cooper, this was because his wife called him that, not because he was a man of the cloth. A shearer by trade he went opal mining for pocket money.
    He lived in Coopers cottage for approx 40 years.

    Open from 11am to 5pm ....7 days a week.

    FREE ENTRY

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    John Murray Art Gallery

    by thedouglas Updated Sep 21, 2008

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    John's art hangs in some of the biggest board rooms of Australia and also my bedroom.

    John Murray's art is unique - and, whilst it has been copied, nobody captures the essence of the bush meets people theme that John does! His Gallery holds original artwork for sale - including a huge almost mural like pic, which has been hanging waiting for the house to be built for it! - limited edition prints, framed and unframed prints, cards etc.

    John's paintings frequently depict human and animal parallel situations and everyday activities and folly. His work has been described as photo-realism, and is loved for its uniqueness, the humour and whimsy, and there is something for everyone to identify with in his work.

    John has been at The Ridge since 1983, and he opened the gallery in 1992. Absolutely unmissable if you visit The Ridge.

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    Bevan's Opal and Cactus Farm

    by thedouglas Updated Sep 21, 2008

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    Signage reflects business philosophy!
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    Not surprisingly, this is said to the the world's ONLY opal AND cactus farm! It was another one of those outings that you just weren't sure of, but, it was a really interesting place to visit, and probably the best collection of healthy cactus I will ever see.

    The cactus collection contains a large variety of rare specimens, some over 100 years old - from various parts of the world. The blooms in Spring and Summer are said to be spectacular.

    In addition to the cactus, Bevan ( I presume!) mines, cuts and sells opals - like the rest of the locals! He has a range of uncut and cut stones, jewellery and bottled "colour" or chips of opal.

    Of all the things I've ever done, this was another one of them!

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    Artesian Bore Baths

    by thedouglas Updated Nov 9, 2006

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    Blissful for weary bodies
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    These baths are situated at the end of Pandora Street - and are open around the clock, with no charge for entry.

    The water is at a constant 42C degrees, and there is a fairly regular pilgrimage of people to the baths, both for the sheer bliss of the water, and the more therapeutic benefits for ailments such as arthritis and rheumatic conditions. The warm, relaxing and therapeutic waters and general atmosphere of these pools is lovely. Water is available in permanent supply, and mineral waters bubble up from up to 900 metres below the surface.

    The baths were an original favourite camping site for the pioneer miners - imagine how good these waters must have been for weary bones and muscles all those years ago! You can still see many opal miners relieving tired, aching muscles in the baths after a hard day's work.

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    The Walk In Mine

    by thedouglas Updated Feb 18, 2006

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    The giant hoist
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    This is a great place to visit, to learn about the history of opal mining at The Ridge - and actually go down into a working mine - see the mechanical mining, gem processing, cutting, and finally, the showroom - where you can purchase or just ogle the beautful opal.

    You can go fossicking for yourself in the mullock heaps, and this can be quite productive after a drop of rain!

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    Goondee Aboriginal Keeping Place Museum

    by thedouglas Updated Feb 18, 2006

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    Artefacts
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    There is a great collection of Aboriginal artefacts to be see here - tools and trappings of life, on display. Plenty to learn about the Aboriginal history of the area, their ways of life, traditional medicine, music - didgeridoos etc. Also hear some of the magical dreamtime stories, and respect the culture of the indigenous Australians. Also learn about Aboriginal "bush tucka", if you cam stomach i

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    The Observatory

    by thedouglas Written Feb 17, 2006

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    The
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    This amazing structure was buily by yet another of the personalities who have ever lived at The Ridge, to function as an observatory. Its just an abandoned structure now, amongst all the others worth having a ramble around at The Ridge.

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    Lightning Ridge Water Theme Park

    by thedouglas Written Feb 17, 2006

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    Where you least expect to find a water attraction, like a huge oasis in the middle of the outback, this park is a great place to visit, and chill out or just simply cool down!

    There are 2 wavepools, beach volleyball courts, wading pool, slides, and theme based water sites.

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    • Theme Park Trips

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Lightning Ridge Things to Do

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