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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia

Aug 12, 2019 - No more Entries

I have decided to abandon the My Trip Journal - due mainly that Facebook is actually easier to update at any time, as well as the limit to uploading images on here, and the difficulty in doing so. As I take the photos with my phone, I then have to transfer them across, which is a huge hassle, to get them uploaded. I don't always put my computer on, which I have to do specially for updating here, whereas I always have my phone on, so that is much easier. No limit on the Facebook images either. Sorry for any inconvenience, but I will keep...

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Aug 10, 2019 - Lightening Ridge

The wind was blowing a gale today, filled with all the topsoil from the surrounding mines and lands, you could taste the sand and it gets in everywhere! We headed down to the Information early this morning to get the map to the coloured car door self driving routes. The only place that we could find for a bite of breakfast out of the wind was the Bowling Club - it turned out to be a great breakfast. We then headed to the John Murray Art gallery. We took a few photos of the walls murals outside the gallery, but you are not allowed to take...

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Aug 9, 2019 - Lightening Ridge

A really interesting day ... we decided to go on an organised tour to the Black Opal Mines area about 50kms out of Lightening Ridge. Thank goodness ... the roads are very bad and very corrugated - they nearly shook the small bus apart, so at least we spared our car that grief. The dust out there is horrendous too, especially with the wind which was quite strong today. The flies just added to the authentic Ozzie experience - they could drive you crazy! We started off by visiting the first of the Opal Mines original pubs called the 'Sheepyard...

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Aug 8, 2019 - Lightening Ridge

Another great walk along the banks of the river in St. George this morning before hitting the road to Lightening Ridge. The wind started to blow a gale which made driving the caravan a real challenge, especially when passing the 'road trains'. We stopped at the General Store / Post Office / Cafe in Hebel for lunch. There is only a pub and the General Store! If it was not for tourists, these places would not keep going. The Opal Caravan Park in Lightening Ridge has got to be the best park we have ever seen or experienced - other seasoned...

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Oct 8, 2018 - Lighting Ridge

8/10/2018. Monday. Sunny & hot. Lightning Ridge After yesterday’s “summer’s here with a vengeance” day, surprisingly we slept well under the doona! It was coolish in the morning, but another hot day. We were an hour behind the eight ball today, all sleeping to Queensland time. When we got motivated we took Ron to John Murray’s Art Gallery, an artist famous for outback paintings and Australian animal and bird caricatures, particularly emus, along with some famous people ie. Tony Abbott and budgies!!! Ian bought a print that I liked, but we...

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Oct 7, 2018 - Nindigully to Lightning Ridge

7/10/2018. Sunday. Sunny and hot Nindigully Pub to Lightning Ridge. What a fantastic stay at the Nindigully Pub free camp! So quiet, a big camp site and a river - plus free entertainment. Perfect. It was about 9am when we left, but actually 10am NSW Daylight Saving time. Our first stop was Thallon to see the 4 painted silos, which were good. Fortunately, Ron was talking to a chap at Warwick who said a marked dirt road was now bitumen, so we took this short-cut to Dirranbandi, where we topped up with fuel before passing through Hebel where...

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Oct 7, 2018 - O/N at the "Ridge"

So here we are again at the Opal CP in Lightning Ridge. It was a pleasant drive, we stopped in most of the towns enroute for a short break, fuel or both. Once you turn off onto the Castlereagh Hwy at Gilgandra the road surface though sealed seems to have been sealed with the corrugations incorporated in it, it felt like the van was going to bounce off at times This is an overnight stop so apart from a soak in the artesian communal hot tub there will be no authorative discourse. If you wish to relive the experience of the Chambers of the...

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Trip Journal


North by North West

Apr 18, 2018 - House-sitting in Outback

Hi everyone I mentioned meeting Australian renowned artist John Murray and his photographer wife Viki . . . guess where I’ve been house-sitting for the past seven and a half weeks? At the “camp” on the outskirts of Lightning Ridge that John built and owned for decades until 2016 when he sold it to Mel and Susie, two of Australia’s top bush poet entertainers – who are currently away on tour . It’s been an interesting and initially challenging time – I’m sure you can picture it, a Kiwi attempting to house-sit a rural mining camp in the semi...

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Mar 26, 2017 - Lightning Ridge

After taking the dogs for a walk around the block before it got too hot, we got into the car to go on the three remaining (blue, red and green) car door self-tours around Lightning Ridge. The blue and red tours ran immediately around the outskirts of town and it was fascinating to discover that there are miners living in their humpies digging for opal right behind the back fences of those living in town. There are obviously lots of very colourful characters living in the area. There are many different sizes and shapes of houses, but the...

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Mar 25, 2017 - Lightning Ridge

We went for a drive over to the opal fields of Grawin, Sheepyards and Glengarry today. Grawin is where Eric and Keith (Ian's brother) each have their own opal mine. Ian has been to Eric's mine once before, but once at Grwin today, could not remember how to get there. Anyway, after a quick call to Eric, Eric's mining neighbour, Brian, came and found us and we followed him to Eric's humpy and mine site. Brian ended up giving us a bit of a tour, showing us Keith's humpy and mine site as well as the new residence Brian is building for himself....

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Mar 24, 2017 - Lightning Ridge

First job this morning was to do a couple of loads of washing given that is over a week since I have done any! Then it was time to take the dogs for a walk before it got too hot, then Ian went for a walk across the road to have a look at the John Murray gallery. We have a couple of his prints already and have had our eyes on one of his limited addition prints called 'Master's Apprentices'. When Ian got back, I went to have a look, then after I went back to the van and had a discussion with Ian about our choices, we both went back to the...

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Mar 23, 2017 - Gulargambone to Lightning Ridge

Our decision to camp at David Gillon park was justified when we drove past the 2 road side stops the other side of Gulargambone which were the stops listed in Camps 8. Gulargambone itself was a cute little town that obviously thinks it is the galah capital of Australia as there are several large silhouettes of galahs carved out of corrugated iron fixed on poles greeting you at each end of town as well as in places throughout town. However, the 2 roadside stops were very close to the road as well as being drive through, so there was every...

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