Day 8 – Lightning Ridge Day 2.

Awoken at 7:30 by the bloke in the next van using his power drill to wind up his stabilisers. You can use these drills on slow and they are pretty quiet, or you can be like this bloke and don’t give a F%^k$.

We use the chance to get some washing on, hopefully this will be the only time we’ll need a full wash.

Back into town to visit the John Murray art gallery, his stuff is certainly readily identifiable.  There are quite a number of his murals around the town.   The art work is great, just not sure, I’d want to hang any of it on my wall.   Not being critical, but it borders on being cartoonish.  I must admit his large pieces are really good, but for just under 20k each, they’d want to be.

From here over to the Opal Centre, there is a small queue and it seems they are only letting 3 in at a time.  I head back to the car to sit it out. 

On the way back to the van park we do the Red Car Door Tour, towards the end we pass “Amigo’s Castle” while I can’t see a bus around there must be some form of tour as there would have to be 30 or more people out front.

A slightly overcast day, with a fresh breeze.  So while nice, it’s a bit on the cold side.

Lunch and then we head over to the “Chambers of the Black Hand”.  Some bloke worked out he could make more money by carving sculptures in his mine than searching for Opal,  sounds like it worked.  

Due to COVID (of which they did a great job managing), they had to let each family group in one by one, and for some reason we where the last group in.  So about 30min after we arrived, we get ushered into this above ground shed,  hands sanitised, hard hats distributed, we descend this rock carved staircase, about 100 steps into the mine below. 

In the first chamber there are a few simple carvings and a guide gives us a bit of a rundown of the owner and the process.   It’s been going on for decades and the guy is still going.   From here we’re left to our own to explore the loop of caves.

It’s really an amazing place, and highly recommended.  We meander around the tunnels and their offshoots.  The guy is certainly creative and has a great imagination.

They have drawn all these small “Where’s Wally” characters on the walls for the kids to find, which keeps them engaged, but in some way distracted from concentrating on the amazing work.  The guide indicated there is over 30, and even after very diligent searching we only find about 20 odd.

Anyway after a little under an hour we’re back at the gift shop. I talk to the lady behind the counter and ask if it’s been busy, expect a “hell yes”, but no, apparently due to the restrictions they’ve only been allowed to have about a third of the normal numbers that they would have in a peak period through.   Done, we climb the staircase and leave the mine. The next group of visitors are being inducted at the top.

We finish what is left of the Yellow Car Door driving tour and visit a Church that was built as a set for a movie filmed out here 20 years ago.    Just a tin shed, but in these surrounding, it quite photogenic.

Back to the van and start getting ready to leave tomorrow. 

5 Replies to “Day 8 – Lightning Ridge Day 2.”

  1. …..well the boarder to QLD has just opened. Don’t know if that means more people for you to deal with.
    ….I would have shoved that drill up that guys… ar..well. People amaze me. Glad Justine is feeling better.
    Ciao PK
    …Oh I love the church.

  2. Yes, did love the old tin church and Ridge Castle. As you say the paintings are too cartoonish I would not want them on my walls even if I got them for free. The sculptures are amazing, can’t imagine being underground for years working on them, still whatever rocks your boat. Enjoy the next leg of our trip, I hope the rain holds off. Did you take a photo of a Wally?

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