Attractions in Lightning Ridge


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Chambers of the Black Hand

Chamber of the Black Hand - Country Airstrips Australia

Located on 3 Mile Road is a strange vernacular exhibition of over 500 carvings and paintings. Created by local opal miner, Ron Canlin, it is a series of works carved out of the tunnels where he has been digging for opals.

Forty feet underground, images carved and painted in the sandstone walls and pillars. This is your chance to tour this claim which has been worked since the early days of opal mining in The Ridge.

Chambers of the Black Hand has the only opal shop underground. As opal is Australia’s national gemstone, don’t miss out on this great experience.

Expect to see..  Native animals, Lord of the Rings characters, biblical entities and dinosaurs like you have never seen them before. Carved on the wall of an opal cave, these captivating images have been created by local opal miner Ron Canlin. Ron has transformed a number of drives (tunnels) of an old opal mine into an interactive work of art. Countless carvings are set in sandstone on the walls.

You’ll be amazed…  The Egyptian chamber has humorous hieroglyphics and is a replica of an Egyptian tomb. Atlas holds the world while Adam supports the roof of the entrance to the working mine – another feature of the tour. The Last Supper which took six months to complete and the pondering Nostradamus, which took five hours to carve, are depicted in magnificent detail and is testimony to the razor-sharp skill and patience of Ron.

It has taken the miner 18 years to complete the carvings so far and the evolving process will see even more sculptures and chambers added to the tour.  The mine was converted into a privately managed tourist attraction which offers guided tours, interactive display and underground shop.  

Chambers of the Black Hand is a local business managed by local people showcasing the best Lightning Ridge has to offer.

Address: Three Mile Rd, Lightning Ridge, NSW 2834
Phone: (02) 6829 0221

Historical Society and Heritage Cottage

Heritage Cottage Lightning Ridge - Country Airstrips Australia

The Lightning Ridge Heritage Cottage Museum is a 1932 miner’s hut that lets you ‘step back in time’. It is full of memorabilia and you can purchase historical booklets plus select craft.

The Museum features a relocated and refurbished 1915 nurse’s cottage in the backyard and is a tribute to all bush nurses. The illuminated tableau of Nurse Lucy in the front windows attracts daily attention and with permanent and changing displays extending onto the wide verandah, it’s a place for reflection.

The patio is spacious with comfortable seating and the backyard features mining icons in a garden setting. This is a quiet place off the main street for conversation and or lunch.

Address: 7 Morilla Street, Lightning Ridge, NSW
Phone: 0411 639 120