Australian Opal Centre
The Australian Opal Centre is an extraordinary museum being developed at the outback opal mining town of Lightning Ridge, NSW, Australia, to house the world's greatest public collection of Australian opal and precious opalised fossils from the Age of Dinosaurs.
Alongside spectacular permanent exhibitions there will be a stunning opal vault containing the finest and rarest of opals, an opal cutting and carving workshop, research laboratory and library, curatorial faciltiies, education and learning centre, cinema, cafe and an incredible underground Gondwanan garden of trees and ferns - descendants of plants from the time of the dinosaurs.
Today, the Centre has an important collection of opalised fossils and is building a magnificent collection of precious opal, cultural artifacts, artworks, photographs, archival and research materials.
The Australian Opal Centre operates a small but exciting exhibition space in Morilla Street, Lightning Ridge....and bigger plans are afoot: an amazing underground facility at the historic Three Mile opal field, designed by esteemed architects Glenn Murcutt and Wendy Lewin.
∙ Early Cretaceous opalised fossils (plants, molluscs, crayfish gastroliths, turtles, plesiosaurs, crocodiles, dinosaurs, birds and mammals) - ancient relics made of opal!
∙ Rough, cut and carved precious opal from Lightning Ridge, the other Australian opal fields and around the world
∙ Historic opal mining machinery and equipment - local ingenuity and invention
∙ Artifacts of opal field life, celebrating more than a century of resilience, resourcefulness, multicultural mateship and humour