Only in OZ #6 – The Flying Combi, Lightning Ridge, NSW

Last Updated on March 3, 2017 by Red Nomad OZ

The combi van is generally accepted as a symbol of surfie/hippie culture, but a decorative, airborne one with the label ‘surfing art’ in the middle of the outback town of Lightning Ridge in north central New South Wales far, far from the ocean SURELY deserves its own classification!

I just don’t know what that is.

I DO know that Lightning Ridge, world famous for its black opal, is unique – so the combi really sets the scene for the many other bizarre delights to be found here!

Sadly, time constraints meant we stayed less than 24 hours in August 2009, so there are still many attractions that deserve a closer look – such as the Chambers of the Black Hand, the Black Queen Light show and Antique Lamp Museum and nursery of the only black opal mining cactus farmers in the world!

This town may well be the most unusual in Australia – if not the world!  Am I right? 

Go on, prove me wrong!

Safe travels!!

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  1. You definitely have been to unusual places. I wish I’ve had a car all the time when I was travelling Oz, 13 years ago. I am sure I would have seen more interesting places than just the touristy ones. Your blog is great – I will keep following it and next time when I manage to get to Down Under, I will try to find some of the places you talked about. Thanks for sharing these with us!

  2. @Betty – It’s a great experience! But not typical of Australia!!
    @Toni – I developed a new appreciation of opals after visiting Coober Pedy – I picked out a stunner for myself but sadly it cost $800!! One day, one day …

  3. I’ve not yet been to LR — but I have been to Coober Pedy. Opals are just so beautiful and we were lucky enough to get down into a working opal mine — REALLY interesting.

  4. Used to live in Walgett – right next door to Lightning Ridge. LR is not on its own – have you tried CooperPedy? Landscape and people make a place and opal miners are a bit of a breed apart: hardworking, individualistic, secretive.

  5. @JBar – that sounds fair! Pity they take so long to grow, the recent few years of dry weather are taking their toll.

    Others – if you’re wondering what we’re talking about, visit J Bar’s blog!

  6. This is great. Regarding the Norfolk Island Pines, they certainly are an icon around Sydney beaches. I think they might be chosen for the beaches because they are the most resistant to onshore winds compared to other species. Even though you do see some contortion in the ones I featured, most have very vertical trunks.

  7. @Andrew – Indeed! An irresistible drawcard when coupled with the Antique Lamp Museum …
    @Jayne – Can only hope my mental image isn’t more amazing than the real thing!
    @River – Temp during winter is reasonably mild – I’ve been cold in Coober Pedy!!
    @LV – There’s plenty more weirdness to be had in Lightning Ridge!
    @Kath – Haha!! It sure is like a different universe!

  8. I”d love to go there and have just come over from reading Pandora’s blog about Amsterdam and couldn’t help but thinking what a combination THAT would be.

    A spacecake in an Amsterdam cafe, only to wake up and see a flying combi in Lightning Ridge!

  9. I’ve wanted to visit the opal towns forever, but I can’t stand the heat, so I’ll never get there. I’ll have to content myself with google images.

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