Australian Opal Centre

The Australian Opal Centre, a museum, has an impressive collection of opals and opalised fossils from the age of dinosaurs. In the outback opal-mining town of Lightning Ridge, the centre celebrates the heritage and culture of the opal fields.

Lightning Ridge is famous for its rare black opals. In the Australian Opal Centre you’ll learn about one of Australia’s most precious stones and how opals are mined, watch video of opal mining and cutting, and see rare fossils made of opal.

A gift shop in the centre is raising funds to build a two-storey underground museum to house its glittering collection of opals and stories about the people who found them. The centre is open Monday to Saturday. Entry is free.

Lightning Ridge is more than 700 km from Sydney, in north-western NSW. You can drive from Sydney via the Blue Mountains, Parkes, Dubbo and Walgett. Trains from Sydney go to Dubbo, where you can get a bus to Lightning Ridge. You can also fly from Sydney to Dubbo, where you can take a bus or rent a car.