Home' The Australian Senior Traveller : June 2010 Contents www.thesenior.com.au
THE SENIOR TRAVELLER June, 2010 17
Chambers of the Black Hand is
an odd juxtaposition of Egyptian
scenes, Disney characters,
African wildlife, biblical stories
and scary monsters? Carlin's been
working on it for 12 years and he's
not finished yet.
Then there's Brynn and Alan
Bier, former chestnut farmers
from north-eastern Victoria.
Disappointed by the poor price
for their crop at home, they
brought a pile of chestnuts to
Lightning Ridge, roasting them in
the street and selling them to peo-
ple who had never tasted the
Always keen fossickers and
camp cooks, they joked as they
recalled how the aroma from their
camp oven would waft over the
diggings. People would come over
knife and fork in hand and say,
"What's for dinner?"
These days you can sample the
Biers' cooking at the Dig Inn, a
business they bought for $1.
You can sit by the campfire
under the stars and enjoy fra-
grant stews and roasts of pork,
beef and lamb from the campov-
ens served with lashings of roast
potatoes and vegetables. Alan
even has one pot big enough to
hold a complete pig.
Then there are the two escapees
from the Sydney corporate world,
Gale and Roger Collins, who show
visitors through their quirky
home, the Black Queen, paying
homage to its original inhabitant
Joan became a stonemason at
the age of 60, taking nine years to
build the three cottages which
have 14,000 bottles and cans
imbedded in their walls.
The couple was on two months
long service leave and on their
way to Cairns when they called in
to Lightning Ridge and saw the
For Sale sign on the Black Queen.
For Gale, stepping into the
home was like stepping into the
opening sequence of a recurring
She made up her mind that this
was where they were meant to be.
Artist John Murray also knew
he had found the perfect place for
his particular style of Australian
whimsy when he landed in
The talented painter captures
the spirit of the Outback through
his Mr and Mrs Cocky series, and
his wise and wonderful budgeri-
gars. His outdoor artwork is
splashed across the town.
Ask the locals about the future
of Lightning Ridge and they will
tell you there's a lot more opal to
Every few years a multi-mil-
lion dollar opal will be found --
even in places as bizarre as a long
drop toilet -- and the locals quip
"that's the sort of thing that keeps
the rest of us interested".
Thousands of visitors pour
into Lightning Ridge each year
hoping to strike it rich by taking
out a 50 metre by 50 metre claim,
or just fossicking in the discarded
piles of potch.
Some are lucky. Others buy
what they hoped to find from one
of the many opal shops in the
main street. A few find the town
has staked a claim on their heart
and they never leave.
Which one will you be?
Big plans for Lightning Ridge
-- see Page 18.
They're a ridgey-didge lot
LEFT -- Artwork extraordinaire in the
Chambers of the Black Hand.
ABOVE -- A sign outside a mine
warns "ratters" to stay away.
RIGHT -- John Murray's artwork
adorns an opal shop.
* Sue Preston was a guest of
Outback NSW Tourism.
Best of the best Senior Tours
7 Days/6 Nights
Five day tours & a cruise
• Great Lakes District
• Crystalline Pottery
• Dolphin / Whale Cruise
• Winery / Oysters
• Gloucester / Herbal Farm
• Port Macquarie / Rainforest
• Play on our pianola
• Full Hot & Cold Breakfast
• Two Course Dinner
• Morning Tea & Lunch
• Six Star Luxury Coach
• Free pick up & return to Taree Railway Station
• All meals inclusive
• Complimentary Drink
Write or Phone for a brochure 1800 671 669
60 MacIntosh St. FORSTER NSW 2428 Ph (02) 6555 6255
We specialise in customising tours to suit different
groups and individual needs.
Off street parking even for your luxury coach.
2010 Tour Dates:
2010 - Best Itinerary Ever! Back by popular demand!
A very friendly atmosphere.
We made new friends and felt
right at home.
Elana & John Atkinson
The most enjoyable holiday. I
would be happy to visit again.
Gloria Clarke & Joy Jenkins
Hunter Valley Gardens
A GREAT GIFT
Sep 26-02 Oct
Oct 04- 10
Oct 17- 23 Nov
Nov 28-04 Dec
Hunter Valley Gardens
Festival of Flowers
Gardens Xmas Light
Excellent value packages
free call 1800 140 066
or email email@example.com
Opera in Paradise
21st to 25th February 2011
A week of popular opera
Links Archive May 2010 July 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page