Concrete mixers I hear you say! What can a tip be about a Concrete Mixer?
At the entrance of the road that takes you into the Town of Lightning Ridge, we saw our 1st Concrete Mixer Agitator. We had no idea why it was there, until we did a tour later on.
The Agitators are the modern way of separating the clay from the Opal. The opal clay is fed into an agitator, which can be described as a modified concrete mixer, this serves the function of separating the clay from the opal, by washing it.
It’s a hard, dry landscape of shafts, with Cement mixers churning over opal dirt mixed with artesian bore water.
- Road Trip
ROADS IN & AROUND LIGHTNING RIDGE
Lightning Ridge roads are TERRIBLY ROUGH!
This is mainly around where the mines are, and the 'car door trails', in the Town itself, they are bitumen.
They are dirt, they are gravelly, they are corrugated, they have been washed out with the unusual amount of rain they had this year, they are hardly ever graded.................
Something else too......When driving into the area where the Church is located, there is an abandoned Mine shaft, not marked, just covered, so be aware of these too, because they are usually quite deep!
I hope this gives you an idea of what to expect.
- Road Trip
Lightning Ridge, even though it is in Outback New South Wales, and a long way to reach, it is a very busy town full of Tourists.
If you are a Caravanner, Camper or have a Motorhome, it would be best to book your site before arrival day, .... or arrive before lunch on the day.
We arrived at 2.30 in the afternoon, and found the 1st Caravan park FULL.
We went across the road to the other Caravan Park, and managed to get the last site, which really wasn't a site.
After setting up camp, we sat and watched about 2 dozen caravanners/campers be turned away.
There was one other caravan park in town, an old one which the people were directed to. Those who stayed there said it wasn't the best.
A new caravan park is being built and is to be opened in September 2010.
We were told Caravanning is very popular, people stay for weeks, so you need to book ahead.
If you want Hotel/Motel accommodation, then this is hardly ever booked out.