Treasure Hunting 01: Lightning Ridge

I visited Lightning Ridge during the annual Opal Festival

I recently travelled to Lightning Ridge, famed for the best quality black opal in the world. A 14 hour drive from Melbourne, the town is located about 3 ½ hours north of Dubbo in the most northern part of New South Wales. Not really on the way to anywhere, you need to be wanting to get there rather than stumbling upon it.

While there’s a small community of around 2280 people, those who live there have very strong ties to the place and are very proud of their town. Currently they are working towards funding the construction of the Lightning Ridge Opal Centre and have commissioned highly regarded Australian architect Glenn Murcutt to design the building. It will house the largest collection of opalised fossils in the world and be an amazing resource for the study of opal and celebrating this very special gem.

I visited during the annual Opal Festival which was a great time to go with lots of opal available for viewing and sale. It was an incredible time for me to meet the locals and purchase rough and cut opal to use in new designs. Lightning Ridge black opal is one of my favourite gems due to the incredible colour play and quality of the stone, it’s amongst the most sought after opal in the world. I can’t wait to turn them into wearable pieces that proudly honour this ancient and unique gemstone.

Club Road Club in the Scrub sign

One of the houses in Lightning Ridge.

Large cactus

Agate Street, Lightning Ridge

On the road to Lightning Ridge

Lady opal sculpture

I visited Lightning Ridge during the annual Opal Festival

I recently travelled to Lightning Ridge, famed for the best quality black opal in the world. A 14 hour drive from Melbourne, the town is located about 3 ½ hours north of Dubbo in the most northern part of New South Wales. Not really on the way to anywhere, you need to be wanting to get there rather than stumbling upon it.

While there’s a small community of around 2280 people, those who live there have very strong ties to the place and are very proud of their town. Currently they are working towards funding the construction of the Lightning Ridge Opal Centre and have commissioned highly regarded Australian architect Glenn Murcutt to design the building. It will house the largest collection of opalised fossils in the world and be an amazing resource for the study of opal and celebrating this very special gem.

I visited during the annual Opal Festival which was a great time to go with lots of opal available for viewing and sale. It was an incredible time for me to meet the locals and purchase rough and cut opal to use in new designs. Lightning Ridge black opal is one of my favourite gems due to the incredible colour play and quality of the stone, it’s amongst the most sought after opal in the world. I can’t wait to turn them into wearable pieces that proudly honour this ancient and unique gemstone.

Club Road Club in the Scrub sign

One of the houses in Lightning Ridge.

Large cactus

Agate Street, Lightning Ridge

On the road to Lightning Ridge

Lady opal sculpture