Known for its rare black opal, Lightning Ridge is a small town in Australia that’s home to the Artesian Bore Baths. The location has a vast history filled with natural hot spring water that’s said to be over 200 million years old,
Once the bottom of a superficial inland sea, explorers have discovered numerous fossils hiding in the sandstone ranging from mammals to aquatic plants.
Artesian Bore Baths History
Although the “sea” has long been forgotten, the Great Artesian Basin remains. It’s currently the most extensive and deepest aquifer globally, spreading over 1,700,000 sq km (660,000 sq mi) and underlying 22% of Australia. Unfortunately, much of the water emitting from the Great Artesian Basin bore has declined due to evaporation, breakouts, and seepage.
To save these essential bores, government officials, local landholders, Lightning Ridge Miners Association members, and others have begun capping bores and constructing underground pipes to control overall water flow.
Hot Springs Baths
Today, the Artesian Bore Baths are the epitome of relaxation and your ticket to a carefree attitude. The baths are nestled in a remote area outside Lightning Ridge, surrounded by bushland and wide-open skies. The bore baths are filled with hot spring water from the Great Artesian Basin.
Natural pressure shoots the steamy water to the surface, creating a consistent temperature of 41.5° C (106.7° F). While the temperature alone is soothing, the bore baths also have therapeutic properties. Guests can soak at any time of day, however, a dip in the baths at night reveals a star-studded, picturesque view you won’t want to miss.
The baths are entirely free and conveniently open 24 hours, seven days a week, although the pools are closed for cleaning Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am – 12 pm. When you’re done immersing yourself in the delightful baths, you can shower off in one of the many poolside showers.
If you’re coming from the nearby town of Lightning Ridge, you will start on Morilla Street. Take a right onto Opal Street then a left onto Pandora Street. Continue down Pandora Street for approximately two kilometers, and you will arrive at the Artesian Bore Baths.
Address: Pandora St, Lightning Ridge NSW 2834, Australia
Phone: +61 2 6829 1670
Hours: 24 hours | Closed on Mon/Wed/Fri (10 am – 12 pm) for cleaning