Wednesday, June 18, 2014

lightning ridge - part 2

Day four- lightning ridge – Grawin & glengarry  opal fields

Here we are again for the second part of out Lightening Ridge trip with the car club.



Day four we are all off in the bus for a tour of the black opal fields, Glengarry & Grawin.


We stopped for morning tea at the war memorial and museum.

This is truly a community in the middle of nowhere. And the locals  must be very special people to live in such isolation. OR, in my opinion, more often they have a very special reason for wanting to isolate THEMSELVES from the rest of society.

Anyway the memorial is on Anzac parade. They also have Parramatta rd.






Then we made an attempt at a bit of fossicking. Without any success.



Lunch was at the Club in the Scrub. (the opal miners club). Where I could have easily picked up a new bloke if I had the inclination!!



Many of the cars aren't registered, they only drive them around the opal fields and not into town. Although it seems to be the final resting place of lots of all bangers, old double decker buses and trams

Below, is the club entry.


On our way back to the Ridge we stopped to admire Stanley. He is a relatively new piece of artwork on the highway. Made out of lots of old bits. You can work out his size if you can spot the VW car making up his body.

Made by local artist John Murray.




That evening we went to a show called the Black Queen.


black queen

I was expecting a bit of bush poetry or something. But this was wonderful and I would recommended it to anyone visiting the Ridge.




Legacy & Light… It all took place in the artists house, Gale Collins. The house was mostly made of bottles.

Gale acted her way through the story of the lady called Joan, who built the house  it. The hardships of living in such isolation and although it sounds strange it was very well done,  spellbinding, and really moving.

From the website:-

“Joan hand-built the Black Queen within 9 years (1979-1988), crafting 34 feature walls out of 14,000 colourful glass bottles. She decided to share her art with the world and was still conducting tours of the building at the ripe old age of 84.

Roger and Gale were visiting Lightning Ridge in 2004 when they fell passionately in love with the Black Queen and made Joan an offer she couldn’t refuse. Since then, the Black Queen has become a ‘theatre of light’ offering daily performances of a mesmerising 3–act play to spellbound audiences”.

Act 3 was all about Light. The artists have a museum of the most wonderful oil lamps, they even let you hold lamps that are 1000 years old.

(Some of below photos I borrowed… Smile Mine are the ones with the watermark).

For more Information on The Black Queen click below  link.

Link to the Black Queen Website






It was absolutely beautiful, the glow from the lamps and this was my favourite thing we did at Lightening Ridge. Graham even bought me a little lamp in the gift shop!














day  five – lightning ridge to Narrabri




On our way towards home today.

Before leaving the ridge we stopped at the John Murray Art Gallery where I bought some prints.

JM birds

Above: This  is one of the prints I bought. If you are interested in John Murrays work (which includes a very disturbing picture of Tony Abbott featuring budgies – I didn’t buy that one) CLICK HERE for his website.



Morning tea was at Walgett. Here we are being dwarfed by a cotton truck.



We stopped for lunch in Barwon Junction. Where we gave the poor proprietor of this shop more customers than he had had in a week. 

Overnight was in Narrabri.

last day – Day 6 – Narrabri to home

Morning tea was in Gunnedah where we said our goodbyes and all went our own way home.


Great trip – Thanks to Gary and Robyn for all the organising.

I’ll put a smile box on the blog with all the photos so others can pinch them.


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