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An interesting addition to the Lightning Ridge lodging scene is the Lightning Ridge Hotel/Motel (tel. 02/6829 0304; www.ridgehotelmotel.com.au), set on 4 hectares (10 acres) of bush, complete with a birdbath to attract the native parrots. There are 40 log cabins, as well as a trailer park and camping sites. Cabins cost A$65 without a bathroom or A$75 with a bathroom; motel rooms go for A$90 double, A$100 triple, and A$170 family room.

A nice B&B in the opal fields is Sonja's Bed and Breakfast, 60 Butterfly Ave. (tel. 02/6829 2010; www.sonjasbedandbreakfast.com). Rooms cost A$130 for a double and A$180 for a family, with breakfast. Another option is Black Opal Holiday Units, Morilla Street (tel. 02/6829 0222; www.blackopalholidayunits.com.au). The self-contained apartments are basic but comfortable, and cost A$110 a double. If you want to stay at the Glengarry opal fields, your only option is the Glengarry Hilton (tel. 02/6829 3808), a rustic Outback pub (not associated with the major hotel chain). Here you stay in mobile units sleeping 24. A night costs A$16.

You can get a reasonable bistro meal at Nobbies Restaurant, in the Lightning Ridge Hotel (tel. 02/6829 4226). It's open for breakfast from 7 to 9am, with lunch from noon to 2pm and dinner from 6 to 9pm. The Lightning Ridge Bowling Club, on Morilla Street (tel. 02/6829 0408), also offers inexpensive bistro meals costing between A$14 and A$18. It's open for lunch between noon and 2pm and dinner from 6 to 9pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.