Lightning Ridge is a really interesting place with so many quirky characters. I think that everyone in this small town owns an opal mine. We saw a lot of cheap opals, but the good stuff, the pieces I like I couldn't afford. Would have to sell all my assets and then some LOL.
The people are so friendly and have a real love of life. We met an interesting guy (Ron Canlin) who has been carving statues in the sandstone of his and his partners working opal mine. What a unique place. The carvings and paintings on the walls are simply amazing. The tour was well worth it. So happy we went. We went early and were the only ones there for about an hour and had undivided attention. What luck. There are some other interesting looking tours too but we found the prices for some of them are a bit steep considering they don't have pensioner or concession discounts. They really are doing themselves a dis-service as they are missing out on a lot of the grey nomads by making it too expensive. Many more of us would go if it was more affordable.
We have seen some strange sites for such a small place, like a castle being built by a fellow for the past 25 years. And the Astronomers Monument
that is really quite strange. It's a great outback town...quite a few good artists too. A really great place to visit.