Opal Town

We hit the road again and this time it’s straight to Opal Town!
Lightning Ridge is one of my favorite places to visit.
The town holds many sentimental memories of my dad and the time we spent working together with Opal.
I love visiting and reminiscing with my friends, building new relationships and chatting about all things opal with the miners.

Bound for Opal Town

We love a sunburnt country and Lightning Ridge is no exception, it’s hot and dry most of the time, but the fun starts underground.
Every visit to the ridge I try to get down a mine, it’s important for me to hold a strong connection with the provenance of our beautiful gems and to spend time with the people working hard to find the opal.
On this trip, my mate Dave took us down his artisanal gouging claim.
A gouging claim is a little more traditional in the sense that it is mined by hand-pick and headlamp and at times a mini jackhammer.

Dave’s Artisanal Mine

Chambers of the Black Hand

We ventured down into the Chambers of the Black Hand.
This is a must-do if you’re visiting Lightning Ridge.
There is a comprehensive tour of the old mine with an expert tour guide — get ready for an epic opal history lesson!
It is the only fully guided underground opal mine tour in Lightning Ridge.
After your tour, you are free to explore the 26 chambers with more than 900 sculptures, hand-carved by the legendary Ron Canlin.
You can find the details for the Chambers of the Black Hand here.

The Ridge

Folks come and go from this wonderful outback town, the population count is a mystery.
I’m pretty sure they like to keep it that way.
There is so much to explore and experience throughout the town.
From the Australian Opal Centre, the John Murray Art Gallery to the Chambers of the Black Hand.
Or relax and take in your surroundings at the Artesian Bore Baths or sunset at Nettleton’s First Shaft Lookout.

5 thoughts on “Opal Town”

  1. Hiya Justin – true Master of Opal cutting. So love your videos. I’m a bit of a late bloomer & have only recently been hypothesized by this amazing gem. I truly hope that one day I can find, sense & cut beautiful stones with the utmost respect & care as you do. I see you are in lightning ridge. How long are you staying for? I’m heading up on Thursday 11th April to Tuesday 16th April. I so hope you’re still in town. Would be awesome to meet you ☺️☺️☺️

  2. How on earth did you get your drone to fly and video in the ridge? I tried mine but because of the airport wouldn’t take off.
    Great video and nice stones, can’t wait to see how they turn out.


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