In Lightning Ridge, NSW the Chambers of the Black Hand tour is as unique a tour as its name implies.
It is in what they call a ‘walk in’ opal mine and we descend 80 or so steps to 40 feet below ground. Here, a chap by the name of Ron Canlin has created a sculpture gallery from the sandstone level of the mine. A steep walk downwards takes us below to the clay level where opal mining once took place. Ron a retired Royal Marine and has never trained as an artist, this is a natural talent. Thousands of carvings large and small adorn the walls of the upper level of the mine. I think Ron may have struck gold.