Lightning Ridge


Lightning Ridge

Situated in NSW, Australia, about 500 km inland from the coast, 760 km north-west of Sydney, and 750 km south-west of Brisbane, 1200 km north of Melbourne, and about 800 km north of Canberra, very central really. :-)

The town is on a ridge of about 50 m height above the surround desert that is approximately 120 m above sea level, so the highest point on the ridge is 174 m asl, which in geological antiquity was actually a sea basin where deposits of sand and mud formed.

Over time these layers were infiltrated by heated silica water and opals formed, and as the land was lifted and eroded away, the harder sandstones remained forming the ridge.

The opals found here are unique and worldwide the most prized, and hence very valuable, as they are black background, with many colours inlaid, a very unique occurrence, as most opal in the world has only one colour at a time. The red on black opals are the most valuable and has made many people very wealthy. Many more of course have poured their money into holes in Lightning Ridge and either barely survived or gone broke.

A variety of opals can be seen on the information video, very beautiful.


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