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Lightning Ridge Outback Opal Adventure

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Description

Discover your own sparkling treasures and opal mining history with our Lightning Ridge Tour!

2024 – Available to book now!

Immerse yourself in over 100 years of opal mining history in the town that honors amazing man made follies and does not know its actual population. Fossick for your own treasure on lands that 100 million years ago were inhabited by dinosaurs and ancient forests, a stone’s throw from the discovery one of the world’s most large and valuable uncut black opals. This “is” the Eccentric Lightning Ridge.

Some images supplied by Destination NSW

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Itinerary

Welcome to our 5-day tour to Lightning Ridge, the only place in Australia (and one of the few places in the world) where the precious and highly prized Black Opal is found. Early morning, we depart from Roma Street Station and make our way along the Warrego Highway through Toowoomba to arrive at the Woolshed at Jondaryan. Built in 1859, experience over 160 years’ worth of history and gain a fascinating insight into the woolsheds shearing background and pioneering history. Stroll through the Station Village, explore the historic buildings including a school house, homestead and blacksmith shop before a demonstration by a volunteer and a delicious light lunch. This afternoon we stretch our
legs in the small town of Moonie, which is often referred to as the Oil Capital of Queensland. Finally we arrive in St George and check into our motel for the first night of our tour and Welcome Dinner.

(L,D)

Riverland Motor Inn, St George or similar

Following breakfast, we depart St George and head to Dirranbandi where we collect our local guide for a tour of the area. We will hear all about the most famous of its cotton fields, Cubbie Station, as well as get a personal insight into the cotton industry by visiting one of the local cotton and grazing properties. Following our local tour, we have lunch at the local pub and this afternoon we arrive in Lightning Ridge. With its stark and scarred landscape this town has a peculiar fascination for visitors. Famous for magnificent opals, the town is home to the unique black opal, a rare and luminous gem mined from the surrounding plains. It is the only place in Australia (and one of the few places in the world) where the highly prized opal is found. You may want to visit the towns many opal stores where you can marvel at these local wonders.

(B,L,D)

Wallangulla Motel, Lightning Ridge or similar

This morning we join Opal Mine Adventures to experience the atmosphere of an underground mine. We also have a tour including a video presentation and explanation about opal mining as well as a tour around Lightning Ridge. We then visit the showroom to view the opals that came from the mines in this area. Next is one of the more unusual sights, Amigos Castle – a castle built from ironstone by a local resident. We have a guided tour, and then have some free time to purchase lunch, before an afternoon visit to the Chambers of the Black Hand. Opened in April, 2007, this is a unique tourist mine. At 11.2m underground, local artist Ron Canlin has created the most amazing paintings and sculptures. There is The Last Supper, Archangel Gabriel and the Chinese Terracotta Warriors. Ron is constantly carving new work, such as a samurai warrior so there are changes every day. The second level is a mine that has been worked for over 100 years, and all the old shafts and drives that were dug by the old timers are still there. On this level a geology tour will give us the different strata’s opal formation – an experience not be missed. Overall, it is a very unique visit. Our last stop for the day is to meet our local opal expert at Down to Earth Opals, which has been mining, designing, and specialising in selling to the world one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces and top gem quality loose opals.

(B,D)

Wallangulla Motel, Lightning Ridge or similar

From Lightning Ridge we make our way east to Moree for an early lunch stop, then we welcome a local tour guide on-board for a tour of this unique rural town. This afternoon we visit the Trawalla Pecan Farm, the largest pecan farm in the Southern Hemisphere. We enjoy a tour and view an interesting video on the actual farm operations and processing of the pecan nut.

(B,L,D)

Jolly Swagman Motor Inn, Goondiwindi or similar

After breakfast we farewell our hosts and stop for a visit to the Goondiwindi Customs House Museum. A border custom point before Federation, this authentically restored building contains a magnificent cottage garden and a rich and colourful collection of mementos of yesteryear. Departing Goondiwindi we head to the Millmerran Museum, were you can step back in time and see displays that have been collected from the local district, many of which have been donated by local families. We have lunch here and some time to look through the collection before we start heading back to Brisbane and conclude our tour.

(B,L)

Inclusions

Coach touring and commentary

Hosted by our Friendly Staff

Entry and lunch at the Woolshed at Jondaryan
Locally guided tour of Dirranbandi area
Locally guided tour of Lightning Ridge
Entry and Guided Tour of Opal Mine Adventures
Entry and Tour of Amigos Castle
Entry and Tour of Chamber of the Black Hand
Visit to Downb to Earth Opal Shop
1 hour locally guided tour of Moree
Guided tour of Trawalla Pecan Farm
Entry and Tour of Customs House Museum Goondiwindi
Entry and lunch at the Millmeran Museum

 

 

All Accommodation & Meals as per Itinerary

4 nights hotel accommodation
4 cooked hotel breakfasts
4 hotel dinners
Lunch at Dirranbandi Pub
Lunch at the Moree Services Tour

Tour Length 5 Days

Tour Cost EX Brisbane $1899.00

(5 Day Tour Only )
Additional Details

Tour Cost is per person in a Double or Twin Room, If sole use room, ADD $300

Tour Dates
12/08/2024

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