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Lightning Ridge & Tamworth Tour

Day 1

Welcome aboard Martins touring Coach for departure from Wodonga Plaza, Smythe Street at 7.00am, Albury Rail 7.15am and Lavington Shopping Centre at 7.30am for our seven day NSW Silo Art Trail tour to Lightning Ridge & Tamworth.Today travel through Lockhart and Narrandera before arriving in Barellan to view the 'Big Tennis Racquet' erected to commemorate tennis player Evonne Goolagong-Cawley. From here, continue to Weethalle to view the painted Silo followed by our lunch stop in Ungarie. See Ungarie’s Big Football, a heartfelt tribute to AFL legends, the Daniher brothers. This afternoon’s journey takes us through Condoblin and Narromine, arriving into Dubbo with time to relax before dinner.
Accommodation: Quality Inn Dubbo International, Dubbo Ph: 02 6882 4777

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Day 2

Our journey today takes us north via Coonamble and Walgett to Lightning Ridge which is a rich opal field famous as the only source of black opal in the world. Enjoy lunch here. With its stark and scarred landscape this town has a peculiar fascination for visitors. Opals can be purchased direct from the miners while the novice fossicker can occasionally stumble across a choice stone among the heaps of mullock known locally as ‘shincracker’. On arrival, we are met by a local guide who will step aboard the coach for a guided town tour where we see Amigos Castle, a huge Italian Style Castle built by one man, the Artesian Bore Baths and Coopers Cottage, an authentic miners camp.
Accommodation: Wallangulla Motel (2 nights) Lightning Ridge Ph: 1800 247 376

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Day 3

Today, we experience the atmosphere of an underground mine at the Opal Mine Adventure. Here we learn about opal mining through a video presentation and visit to the showroom where we view the opals that came from the mine in this area. Next, we visit the John Murray Art Gallery. Wandering around the gallery, John’s artistic talent becomes apparent with his pieces filled with light and humour. It’s clear he likes to make people smile with his creations! Be captivated by The Chambers of the Black Hand, where local artist, Ron Canlin, has created the most amazing paintings and sculptures 11.2 meters underground. There is the Last Supper, Archangel Gabriel and the Chinese Terracotta Warriors. The second level is a mine that has been worked for over 100 years, and all the old shafts and drives that were dug by the old miners are still there.

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Day 4

We farewell Lightning Ridge this morning and travel to Narrabri where we meet a local guide for a town tour and hear all about the local cotton Industry. At the Visitor Information Centre, we have lunch and a look at the displays. This afternoon we travel across to the small town of Barraba and stop for a look at the Silo art mural that was painted by Fintan Magee. This mural depicts a local water diviner searching for groundwater, using a y-shaped twig or rod or two L-shaped ones. Our day concludes as we arrive in Tamworth and settle into our hotel for the next 2 nights.
Accommodation: Mercure Hotel, Tamworth Ph: 02 6765 1200

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Day 5

Following breakfast, we travel up to Oxley Scenic Lookout, located on Bald Hill, for some fantastic views over Tamworth. The atmosphere is distinctly country, friendly and relaxed. This morning we take a look through Walk a Country Mile and The Australian Country Music Hall of Fame. Learn all about the story of Australian country music.  From the welcome introduction by multi-award-winning actor and Australian icon Jack Thompson, we will experience fascinating exhibits, audio visual presentations and an amazing display of memorabilia.  Many of Australia's major country music stars, past and present, are represented in the displays and many have supplied their own special souvenirs and keepsakes to make this exhibition a very special experience.  We enjoy lunch today at the Longyard Hotel before our afternoon visit to the Big Golden Guitar Centre. Along with the information centre it also houses the National Guitar Museum that has an impressive collection of guitars from all across the world. Our final visit for the afternoon is at the Tamworth Power Station Museum. Power is important to the Tamworth’s history as it became the first city in Australia to be lit by municipal electric street lighting. Here we explore the history of innovation and the important role electricity plays in our everyday lives at Australia’s only dedicated electrical museum.

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Day 6

This morning we depart Tamworth and head south to Merriwa where we take a look at the Merriwa Art Silos. The mural depicts a flock of sheep in red socks and was completed by Melbourne artist David Lee Pereira and pays homage to the town's beloved annual Festival of the Fleeces. From here we head to Dunedoo for lunch and a look at the silos that feature Winx, a retired champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse and her famous rider Hugh Bowman, who was born in Dunedoo. This afternoon our final stop is just outside Bathurst in Portland and the Silos known as 'The Foundations'. The old Portland Cement Works were painted by Guido van Helten and depict five male and one female past Portland Cement workers.
Accommodation: Quality Hotel Bathurst Ph: 02 6332 1800

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Day 7

Our wonderful holiday has come to an end and today we settle in to the return travel day. From Bathurst we travel to Grenfell and take a look at the Grain Silos. The artwork is a compilation of images which represents the contemporary farming industry and landscape of the Weddin Shire. The foreground features sheep, cattle and native birds, set in a farming landscape crowned by the Weddin Mountains National Park. The skyscape incorporates the natural sepia colour of the silo topped with light cloud coverage.
Stop in Young for some free time to purchase lunch; then visit the Hawkesbury Working Kelpie Stud. We see a demonstration of working kelpies that are considered the backbone of rural Australia and are one of the most import aspects of farming today and yesteryear.From here we start the final leg of our journey and arrive back in Albury late afternoon.


B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details Times
Albury Rail Albury Railway Station, Railway Parade, Albury
Lavington Shopping Ctr Lavington Shopping Ctr, Griffith Road, Lavington
Wodonga Plaza, Smythe St Wodonga Plaza, Smythe Street Wodonga
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