We’ve been out to the opal fields again, catching up with Jenni at the Australian Opal Centre, learning a little more about mining at the Sheepyard, watching the Ugly Man Competition at Grawin and enjoying a few rums with our friends at Glengarry. But the opal fields are 5-6 hours from home and when you’ve been travelling in a rough and rattly farm ute you would kill for a hot spa at the end of the day. Thankfully Lightning Ridge can oblige.
I love outback spas – hot baths fed by Australia’s Great Artesian Basin. Lightning Ridge is typical of western towns in NSW and QLD that pipe this wonderful resource into tanks and baths and put them right where I can soak.
Another of my outback favourites are the mud baths at Eulo in QLD. Imagine being in a bough-lined enclosure, sitting in a stretch bath just big enough for two, soaking in mineral-rich muddy waters, sipping sticky date wine, listening to the fire crackling away in the corner and staring up at the throw of diamonds that is the Milky Way. Aah spa, indeed.
On a property out from Hungerford we went straight to the source. Here the original artesian bores have been capped and piped allowing for control of the waters, and some enterprising person has attached a shower rose to each bore – a hot shower in the middle of a paddock. Unreal.
So much do I enjoy these indulgent treasures, I recently wrote an article about them for Australian Traveller magazine. Grab yourself a copy of the August/September issue and find out what has been voted the world’s best luxury mineral spa.