While Lightning Ridge is the most famous of the opal fields in this part of NSW there are also the opal fields of Grawin, Sheepyard, Glengarry & Coocoran, which are about an hours drive away. What really is interesting is that Grawin, Sheepyard & Glengarry all have operating licenced premises.
The first stop was Grawin, the site of the largest opal found in world the 'Light In The World' opal in 1928. It also boast the Club In The Scrub a fully operating licenced club (yes, you do have to sign in!) & an 18 hole black sand golf course. The Club In The Scrub would have to be one of the most remote clubs I have drank in. Unfortunately the locals weren't all that welcoming & treated the tourists with disdain. It was a cold breezy day when we were out there & the locals all stood around hogging the open fire, no 'olde-style' country charm out there!
The next stop on my pub crawl itinerary was The Sheepyard Hotel, out of all the drinking holes in the area this was the most modern, however Jude wasn't keen to visit & so we didn't go in ... but next time!
The last stop was the Glengarry Hilton, another quaint drinking establishment, this time I did get to grace the bar & have a cold one Although the weather wasn't the best for partaking in chilled alcoholic refreshments, I made it my duty to do so!
So if your travels take you out to Lightning Ridge, take your camera, your thirst & go & visit these unique fields in the middle of the scrub.
P.S. One of the things that stuck me about these remote fields, even more so than Lightning Ridge are the amount of old trucks that litter the area, there are hundreds of them in all shapes & sizes, a photographers dream!