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Best kept secrets of Lightning Ridge

Visiting the outback is a special experience and visiting Lightning Ridge is no different. In today’s video, we share a magical place – that not even all locals know about.

Hot Springs on the Cooceran Fields

We have told you about the hot artesian slings in town before, but did you know that way out on the opal fields is another lesser-known “bore bath”? Justin takes Saxon and his mate Dave (lurking in the video’s background) for a drive to show you just how special the place is.

Surrounded by bush, it’s a little oasis with piping hot water to wash away the cares of the day. A perfect place to watch the stars at night and dream about the opal that you will find!

The best kept secret of Lightning Ridge
Justin and Saxon enjoy the hot springs.

Amigo’s Castle

Amigo's Castle, Lightning Ridge ©Louise Docker
Amigo’s Castle ©Louise Docker

On our trip to the Ridge this weekend, I took a friend from Argentina and played tour guide for the afternoon. We followed the Red Car Door tour, which includes Amigo’s Castle.

What a fantastic structure this is! Vittorio Stefanato  – locally known as Amigo started building this in 1985. Unfortunately, it is not finished and probably never will be. Originally his house, he kept building on his opal claim and describes it as a work of art – his public face. In all the years, we have only been able to drive past it, but this weekend when we went past, it was OPEN. What a joy, what a magnificent structure! Amigo embodies the eccentricity and a deep emotional connection with the land that is found so often in the people who choose to call Lightning  Ridge home. Although it is built on a miner claim out on the opal fields and could be knocked down at any time, it is a treasure that everyone would like to see preserved.

Not only is the Castle charming, but Amigo has also voiced his personality through the quirky signs found all over the property. Below is a small selection.

For more insight, watch as he tells the story in his own words a few years ago for  ABC NEWS.

  • Justin and Saxon enjoy the hot springs