Welcome to Lightning Ridge


Located in remote north-western NSW, the farmers of Lightning Ridge are approaching their fifth blistering year of drought. This is their remarkable story of survival.

Where the black rays shine


Receiving only one year’s worth of rainfall over the past three years, farmers in Lightning Ridge are battling just to get by. With paddocks dry and dams empty, the future for many seems uncertain. A lot of farmers simply don’t have the time, resources or money to fix equipment and vehicles – all of which are critical to running their farms.

For Robert Turnbull, he knows the struggle all too well. Four years of drought on his property has been both a financial and emotional burden. Drawing upon personal hardships of life on land, the poem ‘Where the Black Rays Shine’ is his story.

How we're helping

At The NRMA, we keep people moving – even in some of the most remote, drought-stricken parts of Australia. Partnering with Outback Links, we’ve been able to connect our motoring expertise with communities in need. Since 2014, we’ve completed 4 trips to Lightning Ridge. Our trained NRMA volunteers have generously delivered over $100,000 worth of work across over 40 farms, fixing equipment, tractors, utes, motorbikes and more.

The spirit of community is what makes the NRMA. And we’re proud to help keep Lightning Ridge moving.

Meet the team in Lightning Ridge


NRMA employees love working for a business that cares for the community and that offers the opportunity to develop their skills. Take a behind the scenes look at the welcoming people of Lightning Ridge and our team of volunteers.

Robert Turnbull
Farmer, father and part-time poet

“The sun’s rays have changed the life on the land”

A primary producer, Robert Turnbull lives with his wife and two children in the north western plains of New South Wales. Tireless and resilient, he understands that life on the land involves both good and bad times. Although the slow burn of drought has made for some very dark days, Robert finds comfort in his family ,creative pursuits and devoted love of the land.

George Whisker
NRMA Patrol Team Leader

“The farmers appreciate the help and it gives you a satisfaction feeling”

We are extremely proud of the unique people that make up the NRMA. Since 2014, George Whisker has been using his annual leave to help farmers in need. As an NRMA Patrol Leader, he’s always been one to help others. His efforts in Lightning Ridge have not gone unnoticed, with George recently winning the annual NRMA Community Spirit and CEO Awards – the announcement of which was met with a standing ovation.

Lend a hand

We’re not only here to serve our Members, but also the wider community. You can help this work with a donation, or by volunteering through our mates at Outback Links. With more than 1,200 volunteers, Outback Links has more than 10 years’ experience connecting skilled volunteers with people in remote Australia who could use a helping hand.

If you ever need someone to talk to, please call:

Lifeline 13 11 14
beyondblue 1300 224 636
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978