A rare opportunity for your family to join the search for fossils from the Age of Dinosaurs and make lasting memories together, having fun and adventure at Lightning Ridge! 

110 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed mighty forests around a great Australian inland sea. Giant long-necked sauropods, ferocious theropods and little plant-eating ornithopods shared this world with everything from crocodiles and turtles to tiny mammals, yabbies and snails.

Today, Lightning Ridge is the richest dinosaur fossil site in NSW, and the fossils are made of opal! Australia’s opal fields are the only places on earth where opalised animal fossils are found. These extraordinary fossils are among Australia’s greatest national treasures and best-kept secrets.

The Australian Opal Centre is offering families the opportunity to join an unforgettable three day Lightning Ridge adventure, with a rich program of wonderful experiences including special access to rare opalised fossils.

Three days of fun, learning and adventure

Guided by our experts, you’ll search for opalised pine cones, yabby buttons, shells, teeth and bones. You’ll have special access to fossil treasures from the Age of Dinosaurs in the collection of the Australian Opal Centre. You’ll discover opal – Australia’s magnificent National Gemstone (hold opals worth thousands of dollars and maybe even trying cutting your own!) You’ll go underground, see miners’ camps, castles and cactuses, fossick for your own semi-precious stones, learn about indigenous heritage, make your own mineral collection, get your art on with fossil-themed creative activities, and a whole lot more, in a program packed with the best of Lightning Ridge, the outback town famous for fossils and gems, friendly people, fun and adventure.

ELIGIBILITY: Anyone 6 years and over. Ideal for families with children aged 6-12; older kids are welcome too.  Each registration must include at least one adult (18+).

DATES: 16 – 18 July 2018.


Ali Calvey, a fossil enthusiast who’s been on fossil Digs all over Australia; Dr Elizabeth Smith, a palaeontologist, artist, author and world authority on Lightning Ridge’s fossils; and other great people who can’t wait to meet you!

COST: $900 per adult (incl. GST), $600 per child. Family deal: $2,500 (up to 4 people incl. maximum of 2 adults; additional adult $800, additional child $500).

Includes all activities, most meals and a 12-month Australian Opal Centre membership for each family; excludes accommodation and transport.

All proceeds support the scientific and education programs of the Australian Opal Centre.

You’re welcome to pay in instalments. Talk to us and we’ll help arrange a payment plan that suits you.

TO SECURE YOUR PLACE: Email us at dig@australianopalcentre.com to request a Registration Form then complete and send in your Registration Form and deposit. Participants will be selected on a first comes, first served basis.

Want more information?

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Email dig@australianopalcentre.com or call Jenni on 0427 904 587.