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Getting to Lightning Ridge is easy from any of the east coast capitals and is a short drive north of Walgett, and while it is not on the Darling River, it is certainly a must-see destination while travelling the Darling River Run.

Drive to Lightning Ridge from Sydney

Driving Sydney to Lightning Ridge provides many options but probably the three best would be either via the Southern Highlands and eastern Riverina then north through the Central Ranges, across the Blue Mountains then north through the Central Ranges, or via the Hunter Valley and New England.

Each has their own unique appeal and take in some of the best experiences of NSW before getting to the iconic Outback NSW.


Hunter Valley - Kamilaroi Highway

Incorporating the fabulous wine region of the Hunter Valley, this route to Lightning Ridge should be high on the list is best ways to get to Outback NSW from Sydney.

Heading north to the NSW Central Coast and Newcastle, or via the Hills District and Wisemans Ferry, the route continue though the famous wine growing region of the Hunter Valley before joining the Kamilaroi Highway through the beautiful New England area and on up to Narrabri, and Walgett.

From Walgett it is a short drive north the 'Ridge'.

Blue Mountains

Direct routes are not always the most scenic but in the case of driving Sydney to Lightning Ridge, via the Blue Mountains and the Central Slopes is a great route to Outback NSW.
Going via the world famous Blues Mountains is highly recommended for those who have not experienced the grandeur of places like the Three Sisters and Wentworth Falls; it is worth an overnight stop to experience this spectacular region of NSW.

The journey then continues through the NSW western slopes and via Parkes and 'The Dish' before heading north to Dubbo (Plains Zoo) and onto Walgett and Lightning Ridge.

Southern Highlands

While the route via the Blue Mountains provides a stopover at the world famous attraction, for some, the trip up the mountains can at times be slow. While going via the Southern Highlands is not an obvious choice, it is one that takes in this magnificent region with its boutique towns, cafe's and antique markets.

This route incorporates the Hume Highway out of Sydney to Yass then is a wonderful trip north through the Central Slopes (including Parkes, Forbes and Dubbo) then onto Outback NSW.

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