There are a few Mining towns in Australia but none of them are quite unique as Lightning Ridge. Immerse yourself in over 100 years of opal mining history in the town that honours 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.
We depart today from Brisbane at 8.30am from Roma St Train Station and make our way along the Warrego Hwy through Toowoomba and then down the Gore Hwy to Millmerran where we will stop for our Lunch . Following lunch, we make a visit to the Museum were you will reminisce of a time gone by when you see the displays collected from the local district, many of which have been donated by the families. Before departing the town, we will take a tour around the streets and from the comfort of our coach, we follow the trail of Millmerran historical murals where various stages of the region’s history are depicted on the side of buildings. Continue on to St George for a town tour, then checking in before dinner in the Restaurant this evening.
(L, D) Overnight St George, Riverland Motor Inn
After a hearty breakfast we depart and make our way to Lightning Ridge. This afternoon, we start to explore this amazing place. Opal is Australia’s National Gemstone & Lightning Ridge produces over 95% of these. Make your pilgrimage to the home of the spectacular black opal, the rarest form of Australia’s magnificent national gemstone. Lightning Ridge, a charismatic opal town on the edge of the NSW outback, is the world’s main source of the most desirable of opals. On arrival, a local guide will join us on the coach for a sight seeing tour of the town. One of the more unusual sights will be Amigos Castle – a castle built from ironstone by a local resident. We will also see the Astronomers Monument, the Hot Artesian Pool, and Coopers Cottage. This authentic miner’s camp was built in 1916 and is a genuine historical display of early pioneer living. After our wonderful day we check into our home base for the next two nights
(B, D) Lightning Ridge, Wallangulla Motel
After breakfast we head to the Walk-In-Mine to experience the atmosphere of an underground mine. We also have a tour including a video presentation and explanation about opal mining. We now have some free time for lunch (own arrangements) before an afternoon visit to the Chambers of the Black Hand. At 11.2m underground, local artist Ron Canlin has created the most amazing paintings and sculptures. 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. Our last stop for the day is to meet our local opal expert at the Opal Cave. He will show us how the opal is cut and polished. Completing our fascinating day, we return to our motel.
(B, D) Lighting Ridge Wallangulla Motel
Following breakfast, we then depart Lightning Ridge and make our way to Moree for our lunch and then a tour of the town steeped in history with its exquisite Art Deco architecture. Moree’s main street showcases majestically restored heritage listed buildings influenced by American, Egyptian, Greek, and Spanish design . Dating back to between 1920 to 1939 Art Deco period. The result is a breathtakingly unique CBD which is perfect for taking a trip down memory lane. Then on to Goondiwindi in time to check in and freshen up before dinner this evening.
(B, L, D ) Goondiwindi Jolly Swagman Inn
After breakfast we will visit the Statue of the Goondiwindi Grey. “Gunsynd” showed that dreams can come true by becoming the Champion of his era winning the Cox Plate and the 4 big mile races the only horse to have achieved this in History . We then arrive at the Customs House Museum. A border customs point before Federation, this authentically restored building and its magnificent cottage garden, house and a rich and colourful collection of mementos of yesteryear. Then to “Abbey of the Roses” where we enjoy a lunch and tour of the Historic Home before making our way back to Brisbane arriving at 4pm (approx) following our adventure to Lightning Ridge.
Fully Hosted Coach Touring
Meals & Accommodation as per itinerary
*PP Twin Share. Single add $225