Lightning Ridge NSW

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 15:01
ThreadID: 110119 Views:2577 Replies:12 FollowUps:19
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Hi all,
its Jerry here,
going to to Lightning Ridge next day or two for few days.
Travelling from Newcastle in 2wd campervan with wife.
Any recommendations for directions and attractions would be greatly appreciated
from this very knowledgeable group.

Thanks in advance.
Jerry
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Reply By: Chris M18 - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 15:37

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 15:37
Make sure you do a under ground tour, picked us up and dropped us off at caravan park..very good!!
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 15:50

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 15:50
Hi Jerry,
Depends on how much time you Have up your sleeve.
From Newcastle you would be well advised to go straight up the new England to Wallabadah. Stay in the free camp at Wallabadah over night and have a long look at the First Fleet Park right beside the free camp.

Then head toward Gunnadah via Quirindi, Currabubula, then Gunnedah. While in Gunnedah have a look at the machinery museum there as it is quite extensive. A small fee required.

After that you can head toward Narrabri, plenty to see there abouts as well. Then you could make a stop at the Burren Junction Bore baths about 5 K or so before Burren Junction which has an excellent free camp right beside the bore baths. Merely a gold coin donation required for the bore baths. Very good value.

I am not sure what is on offer in the Walgett area but the brother tells me there is a very good cake shop in that town so it might be worth checking that out.

Then you could head on up to Lightening Ridge which the brother has not stopped going on about since he was there. Very impressed he was. There is plenty to see and do there he tells me. I have not been there as yet but it is on the bucket list.

We always call into the tourist info centres of each town we go through to see what is on offer in that town. This works well for us.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 16:04

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 16:04
Just wanted to add the following.

Wallabadah is a village in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. The town is located 55 kilometres south of Tamworth on the New England Highway and is in the Liverpool Plains Shire. At the 2006 census, Wallabadah had a population of 746
In 2005, the First Fleet Garden, a memorial to the First Fleet immigrants was created on the banks of Quirindi Creek. Stonemason, Ray Collins, carved 1,520 names of all those who came out to Australia on the eleven ships in 1788 on tablets along the garden pathways. The stories of those who arrived on the ships, their life, and first encounters with the Australian country are presented throughout the garden. The surrounding area has a barbecue, tables, and amenities.[6]
Near the historic Wallabadah Cemetery is one of the largest undisturbed whitebox woodlands remaining in Australia, along with the indigenous trees and grasses that are peculiar to these woodlands.[7]
(The above from Wikipedia)

Ray Collins, a really nice bloke, lives in the house next to the Gardens and I was not aware he had put so much, physical effort into the Gardens. If you see him there have a chat to him. An interesting bloke. Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 21:55

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 21:55
First up, it is Lightning Ridge, no "e" in there!
Second, the turn to LR is before Walget, and there's very little of interest or relevance at Walget in any case! Walget is purely a service town for the broad acre farms around, and very little of interest other than (maybe) the coffee shop opposite the police station - in a side street - which trains local indigenous people in the hospitality industry, so they can leave town and earn a crust for themselves.
In "The Ridge", walk the main street, have a look at the PO, where there are more PO Boxes than "registered" inhabitants. Take in the sights of the many opal dealers (try the one a door or two from the historical museum, and stop in at the museum too! ) or follow one of the self drive "car door" tours, with turns and stops indicated by a coloured car door.
Stay at the Opal Caravan Park - and accept their offer of a hgammer drill and masonry drill to put your annex pegs in (they'll not penetrate more than a couple inches else!)
Must see is the art gallery of local artist John Murray.

When we were there for the school's centenary, the whole bloody town turned out! Probably a bit quieter now, though!
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Follow Up By: Dennis P (Bullaring. WA) - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 22:15

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 22:15
1st up, 2 t's in Walgett, lol.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 07:46

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 07:46
And second up, there is no "g" in hammer! LOL

I have only driven through Walgett but not stopped, so, as I said, I have no idea what, if anything, is on offer in that town.

What heinous crime did you commit to get kicked out of Walgett Johnat. LOL

You've got a really negative view of the place. Why so?

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 at 23:04

Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 at 23:04
OK, the g in hammer is "fat finger syndrome", I'll cop the Walgett one on the chin. Lightning Ridge is not losing weight, so not lightening at all lol.

As for getting "kicked out" I dunno why you think I was. I have visited several times for work in a previous life or two, found the place less than interesting (and the fact that the RSL has significant barred doors at the public entrance is a bit of a "put-off").
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Nov 17, 2014 at 07:59

Monday, Nov 17, 2014 at 07:59
That's it Johnat, we just have to keep laughing mate.

Yeah, I suffer with sausage fingers too, it's a blinking curse at times.
But then I am a lousy speller too. No apologies there, sorry, I’ve seen far worse on these pages.

I've come too far on this track of life for the want of a pedants diction.
(Sorry HL.)

I understand what you are saying re the barricaded doorways but if you want to see that head up to Bre or even Bourke, but Bre is the worst I have ever seen for barred doorways and windows. At least Walgett had a fair bit of life in it as I went through there last March, on a Saturday Morning. Bre, on the other hand, looked a very sad case later that same day.

It is a sad indictment on certain members within our communities that think they can further their cause by those sorts of actions which result in the gradual destruction of communities. That is driving a wedge into communities rather than bridging any gap.

On the other hand those specific elements within these communities don’t give a ‘’’’’ and cause as much unrest in their own sections of that community as anywhere else.

Bring back public floggings I say.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: Slow one - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 15:50

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 15:50
Jerry,
Chambers of the Black Hand underground has some awesome carvings. Don't miss it.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 16:37

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 16:37
Couldn't agree more!
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 15:56

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 15:56
If you are just going there and back then here is a suggested round trip. If you want stop over parks on the journey I have marked a couple.

As far as parks at the ridge go here is your map of them. Zoom in to separate the pins and then click on the pins for more info. You will no doubt get recommendations for them all. The one to the east is on the edge of town but near the hot pool. The one to the south is out of town and is a farm stay. You will get reports on them through the pins and the link "What Badger Reports have to say." Don't forget to add your report to Badger after your stay.

As well as your in town attractions I would suggest a visit to the Garwin Opal Fields. They are featured on this link. We went to the Sheepyard Inn for morning tea, Glengarry Hilton for lunch and the Club in the Scrub for afternoon tea. A run up to Hebel to Woolpack Dining Room & General Store makes for a good lunch run, the tucker is excellent.


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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 21:31

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 21:31
Not quite sure why you'd send someone from Newcastle to Lighting Ridge via the Sydney CBD & Goulburn ....... maybe I'm missing something.....
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 22:40

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 22:40
Sorry about that map. It's not showing as I composed it. I have been using the classic Google maps and up until now they have been posting into forums OK and appearing OK when reproduced by others. I have not gone over to the new Google maps because they have eliminated some features that were in the classic Google maps. Looks like I will have to get used to the new one.

The route went via the Golden and Castlereagh Hwys. There was a way-point at the first caravan park you come to in Gilgandra. The return was via Narrabri and Gunnedah with a way-point at the caravan park there.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 22:51

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 22:51
Try this map.

It seems to work.
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Reply By: bluefella - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 16:01

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 16:01
A trip out to Glengarry opal fields and a beer in the Sheepyard hotel, parking over night near the pub is available.
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Follow Up By: B1B2 - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 16:56

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 16:56
The Glengarry Hilton.
I liked the sign outside the pub - Cars with brakes must give way'

Cheers,

Bill
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 18:27

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 18:27
And that sign wouldn't be tongue in cheek either !!

We went to the Hilton, had lunch at the pub, drank some , had tea there as well, drank some more, and stayed the night 40M away in the C/T......

True rough as ready knock about blokes and great hospitality ...loved the place..
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Follow Up By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 16:00

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 16:00
The Sheepyard War Memorial is a must as well. Many of the miners out there are Vietnam Vets, and they have created a beautiful memorial there. I believe it is one of the few places that recognise the contribution made during the wars by our aboriginal brothers.

cheers
Laurie
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 16:17

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 16:17
Quote "The Glengarry Hilton.
I liked the sign outside the pub - Cars with brakes must give way"

I thought that was at the Sheepyard Inn. This picture is in amongst the Sheepyard lot.
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Follow Up By: B1B2 - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 17:22

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 17:22
I stand corrected, it was the Sheepyard Inn.

Bill
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Reply By: Member - Des Lexic - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 17:45

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 17:45
The three pubs at Grawin and surrounds are great as is the underground Chamber tour. A swim or two at the free heated spa and the Car Door Tours are also good.
We stayed at the caravan park near the spa and can recommend it highly.
The sunset lookout are also worth a look and also the big emu south on the highway too.
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Follow Up By: Member - Chooky and Wobble - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 19:04

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 19:04
Agree with above especially the caravan park out of town a bit almost opposite the Bore Baths. They couldn't have been more helpful. They even babysat our Dachshund dog while we did the
underground tour. he sat in his bed in the office and got completely spoiled.
The other attraction was a local entertainer who turned up one night and out on a great show for a gold coin donation.

PS if you want to put tent pegs in then borrow the battery drill and masonry bit from the office to drill holes first.

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Follow Up By: Zippo - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 12:53

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 12:53
Re the Big Emu, check out the toilets on the opposite side of the highway. They have installed a very novel but effective system for night-time lighting in there.
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Reply By: Member - Rosco from way back - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 19:35

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 19:35
I was also going to recommend Glengarry/Grawin etc, but see it's well covered above.
To my perspective this area holds more draw power than Lightning Ridge itself, which to me has become a tad too touristy for my taste.
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Reply By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 19:46

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 at 19:46
Burren Junction Bore baths are closed for the season from Nov to ?

I was there just before they closed.

PeterH
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Reply By: Geobserver - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 08:46

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 08:46
There is a station we stayed at just south of town, but I can't recall the name and it was around 8 years ago. Follow Opal Street south, which becomes Old Lorne Road out of town south, go past the Aerodrome Road turn off, then after a sweeping right hand bend turn off to the right. The dirt road runs for maybe 500m before you come to the buildings. There are (or used to be) shearers huts and camping sites on the property.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 16:23

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 16:23
You did not read my link above, did you? here is your map of them. Click on the southern link and all will be revealed.
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Follow Up By: Geobserver - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 16:29

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 16:29
Thanks Nomadic Navara! It's Lorne Station.

Cheers
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Reply By: Jerry D - Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 at 20:55

Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 at 20:55
Thank you all for great info.
Left Newcastle on Thursday very early morning.
Back on Saturday late at night.
Opal caravan park was great and so was Black Opal Tour Package with Underground mine tour.
Both tired but very happy.

Great forum...thank you
Jerry
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Reply By: Henry H - Monday, Nov 24, 2014 at 17:00

Monday, Nov 24, 2014 at 17:00
Firstly it depends on the time that you have in your mind. there are some very nice places that you can visit during your trip. Here are some, new England to Wallabadah, Gunnadah via Quirindi, CurrabubulaWalgett and finally Lightening Ridge. There are stil many others and small detaisl that I can help you with if tell me the budghet and time you have.
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Reply By: Jerry D - Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014 at 07:12

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014 at 07:12
Hi Henry.
trip finished last week.
Highlight was Black Opal Tour & underground carvings.
cheers
jerry
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