Drive to Lightning Ridge from Adelaide
While a long distance from Lightning Ridge (a relative term in Australia), Adelaide is both a popular destination for Australian travellers and offers the RV tourer a great journey through both the Riverland of South Australia and the Murray-Darling Basin of NSW.
There are several options from Adelaide to Outback NSW, via the Barrier Highway to Broken Hill or follow the Murray River up to its Confluence with the Darling River at Wentworth or to Mildura, the gastronomic capital of the outback.
The Barrier Highway / Darling River
The quickest/most direct route into Outback NSW is via Broken Hill which is an easy drive along the Barrier Highway. But to add a bit of spice to this leg of the trip, there are a few great stopovers, and they involve the wineries of the Barossa and Clare Valleys – two of Australia's premier wine regions.
From Broken Hill, it is simply a matter of joining up with the Darling River Run; either via the spectacular Menindee Lakes and up the Darling to Wilcannia, or direct to Wilcannia via the Barrier Highway. Once on the Darling River Run, it is a wonderful drive upstream to Tilpa, Louth, Bourke and Brewarrina. From Brewarrina, the 'Run' follows the Barwon to Walgett then heads north to Lighting Ridge via the Castlereagh Highway.
The Murray River / Darling River
The choice of many driving from Adelaide to Lightning Ridge is via the Murray and Darling rivers. This route travels along the mighty Murray River via Morgan, the point at which the Murray changes direction and flows in an east-west direction, and re-joins it at Waikerie and Renmark before crossing it again near Curlwaa.
From Mildura or Wentworth this tour joins the Darling River Run; one of Australia's great driving Adventures, through outback NSW.
From Wentworth (or Mildura) there are three choices; straight up the Silver City Highway, up the Darling River via Pooncarie and Menindee Lakes, or via the awe-inspiring Lake Mungo in Mungo National Park. (The Darling River Run and Lake Mungo require driving on unsealed roads). The last two options also take in the wonderful Menindee Lakes and Kinchega National Park.
The Murray River / Hay Plains
The two routes along the Darling River Run involve some sections of unsealed road which may not be the choice of some and there is a third route for driving from Adelaide to Lightning Ridge and is no less exciting for the visitor.
This route still follows the Murray through the Riverland and Murraylands of SA/NSW, but instead of following the Darling, the route continues east to the Hay Plains and Griffith before heading north to Forbes, Parkes (The Dish) , Dubbo (Plains Zoo) and then North to Walgett and onto Lightning Ridge.