A Travellerspoint blog

More Lightning Ridge and Surrounds

semi-overcast 30 °C

Thursday
LR has 4 “Car Door” Tours. They are self drive, and for $1 you purchase the route instructions and relevant history.

Today we did the “Red Car Door” tour which culminated in visit to Kangaroo Hill Museum.
This museum is owned and operated by an elderly couple, he is 92 and she wouldn’t be far behind. She provides a personal history of her Welsh Great Grand Parents who migrated to Victoria around 1850, as well as her own.

They have lived in LR for 43 years and amassed a fabulous collection of rocks, gems, and fossils. She operated her own opal mine here while her husband worked another in LR. We worked out she would have been at least 50YO when she started her own mine. Considering she only used a pick and shovel, and a hand operated windlass, she did pretty well.

Most of their married life they have travelled looking for gems and valuable rocks.
For anyone visiting LR, this is a must.

Friday
Went to the Opal Cave Shop today and spent some more hooch. This would be the best display we have been to. Pieces ranging from $10 each to $212,000, unmounted.
Of course our purchases were in the low range. The most expensive was unbelievable, and big.

Saturday
Drove out to the Glengarry, Sheepyard, and Grawin opal fields. It reminded me of the Andamooka opal fields back in 1960’s. Very very basic and rough living. All three had pubs of course and we had lunch at Glengarry Hilton. Food was amazing. I had the tenderest steak ever,
Access to these places from LR is via Cumborah, a one dog town with no pub, and usually a short 15KM drive from there. Because of flooding we had to take the long way, 60KM of rough dirt road. When we were leaving we came to the flooded section but rather than back track we headed North to Goodooga then across to the highway and south to LR. In all it was a 230KM drive but was worth it.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 23:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Lightning Ridge

sunny 31 °C

LR is an interesting place, not dissimilar to Coober Pedy except LR isn't built on the side of a hill, It is your typical mining town.

LR does not have the proliferation of gem traders as CB and of the 4 we visited today only 2 had quality opals. Would have to sell the house to buy the ones we really like. Having said that there are some beautiful opal jewellery available at reasonable prices.

There is so much to see in this area. The town itself could be explored in a few days if one is in a hurry but there is also some sites in the surrounding area to be explored.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 22:34 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Beyond Toowoomba

sunny 25 °C

Got out of Toowoomba OK and headed for Goondiwindi where we stayed 3 nights. Expected more at Goonda but did leave with a dose of the flu.

Spent last night a the Collarenebri pub. Just didnt have the inclination to set the van for one night.

The roads in NSW so far are in the main good. No potholes like in QLD, just some edges breaking away. Was a good drive, 6th gear most of the way so quite flat.

Arrived at Lightning Ridge around noon. The van park is the best we've stayed in so far. It's only 2 years old and the facilities are spot on.

Having visited the Info Centre I dont anticipate having any problem filling in 2 weeks.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 00:03 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Toowoomba

sunny 26 °C

Had a good drive from Buderim. Managed to miss all but one mountain. The drive up the hill to Toowoomba is so slow, but did pass a Toyota on the way up.

Weather has been OK but cold nights/mornings.

On Tuesday we visited the QLD Transport Heritage Centre. Very interesting, with some vintage cars, trucks etc. Much of the display was dedicated to the reconstruction following the disastrous 2010 floods. Well worth a visit, and free.

After there we went to the Cobb and Co Museum. Fantastic it was, so much there and NO duplications. This is a must for everyone. Entry was $10 for adults, $6 for seniors. Has a very nice cafe.

Wednesday we spent at the Army Flying Museum at Oaky, and what a blast that was. An incredible display of aircraft, all claimed to be operational.
The display included a replica of “The Red Barron’s” DR-1 Fokker Biplane, a replica of a 1910 Bristol Boxkite, Cessna C-1 Birdbog, the only one in the world, a couple of Iroquois’s (great birds) with armour attached, and many more interesting exhibits. One item framed and mounted, is what is believed to be the flag attached to the underside of Richthofen’s aircraft.

As we were leaving we were treated 3 Iroquois flying around the area doing various manouvers.

After that we went to the Pioneer Village at Highland just off the New England Hwy.
A very fascinating place. Most of the buildings are original but have been moved from other areas. The number of vintage cars and trucks is simply amazing, vintage tractor numbers beyond comprehension. They claim that the whole collection is operational and at Easter have a grand parade with them all.

New tyres on the “Tug” on Tuesday, another new set today. Jax in Toowoomba couldn’t get the wheels balanced so today they fitted a new set of better quality tyres at no extra cost, as well as a free wheel alignment. Thats what I call good service.

Leaving tomorrow (Friday) for Goondawindi then Lighning Ridge on 30th Oct.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 22:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Buderim Rain Forest and Falls Thursday 18th Oct.

sunny 26 °C

What a magic place. We walked the full 1.3KM trail, up and down steep pathways, and oh what a feeling in the hamstring's. PAIN

It was well worth it, magnificent, pity not much water flowing though but thats common over here.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 14:39 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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