Opalton - The Great Opal Rush

on . Posted in Queensland Opal Mines

Compiled by Ron McKenzie Author of 'Sweat, Tears and Blood Red Opal'.

The following timeline is chronicled from articles in various newspapers and from records at the John Oxley Library.
outpost opalton 
1878, 'The Queenslander' November 9. 'The Darr' October 12.
Approaching Winton from the east you observe some cone-shaped hills called opal mountains which are supposed to cover a mine of wealth (The existence of Opalton was confirmed by 1878 in the Winton District.)
1880. Carl Lumholtz, Norwegian discoverer and ethnographer met two men at Elderslie Station who were looking for opals in the mountains east of the Diamantina river.

Timeline of the Queensland Opal Industry

on . Posted in Queensland Opal Mines

cutter opalton 19021869 Blackall Station overseer finds Boulder Opal on Listowel Downs near Adavale  

1871 Pride of Hills first Opal mining lease near Toompine 

1871 Eromanga fields discovered

1873 Opal miners Berkleman & Lambert launch Barcoo Opal at International Exhibition

1875 Bond takes up leases Aladdin, Scotchman and Cunnavalla mines in the Kyabra hills 

Quilpie – Gateway to the Opal Fields

on . Posted in Queensland Opal Mines

Quilpie Home of Boulder OpalIn 1871 the first Opal lease in Australia was registered south of Quilpie. Very little work was carried out on the 360 acre lease other than the sinking a couple of shallow shafts, and the lease was abandoned after several seasons. Twenty years later, the discovery of Duck Creek further south brought renewed interest in the area, the lease was re-pegged and named Pride of the Hills.

Toompine - The Paroo Fields, as they are known, lie east and south-east of Toompine Pub (77km S of Quilpie); Including the famous Pride of the Hills, Lushingtons, Coparella, Brodies Flat , Brodies Hill, are at the northern end of a run of mines heading south to Yowah.Then come Sheep Station Creek, Emu Creek and Duck Creek. Fiery Cross and Kyeenee are 30kms from Yowah.

Winton – Northern Capital of Qld Opal Fields

on . Posted in Queensland Opal Mines

The Winton Mining Area encompasses a vast region of intermittent opalisation, famous for patches of brilliant black boulder opal pancakes. Also home to ‘Lark Quarry’ - a fossilised dinosaur stampede, which showcases three different species’ footprints. Luckily discovered by an opal prospector and now preserved as a major tourist attraction.

Active Image Opalton –124 km south of Winton, was discovered in 1887 by George Cragg, a 17 year old stockman on Warrambool Downs. Almost a decade passed before the commencement of mining on this field which proved to contain the highest concentration of opal in Queensland.

Yowah & Koroit

on . Posted in Queensland Opal Mines

Yowah NutHome of the Yowah Nut

Yowah township is situated 165 km West of Cunamulla and has a friendly population of around 100 people. A bore was sunk in 1912 for the mining settlement and has never failed since. There is a fossicking area for visitors, caravan park, golf course and numerous retail outlets and Opal cutters willing to help educate newcomers!

The greater Yowah Area also known as Cunamulla Mining Field, encompassing Koroit Opal Field, produces a whole sub-species of Boulder Opal, known generically as Yowah Nuts . The best examples reveal highly-prized solid cores of gem crystal. These small ironstone boulders or 'nuts' are found thickly embedded in the pipeclay band which varies in thickness from 15 centimeters to 60 cms.

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Sue-White opals29 June 2013
Dear Rainbow Serpent,
Thank you for your email and membership.
It is great to know that you are out there promoting Australia's National gemstone & NSW emblem.
Keep up the good work, I love your concept.
Sue White - Orana Glitz & Glamour Extravaganza Inc Assn.

15 march 2013
Hi Peter,
Colourful characters are key,
your Facebook page and the photos look like there are some fantastic people!
We loved the look of Tarzan of Opalton.
Gemma Brady - Boundless productions.tv

Alexander fink.PhysicsPHD opal28 Nov 2012
I would like to welcome your information page on opal,
with detailed information about nearly everything their is to know in a general term.
Alexander Fink PhD - Dept. of Physics La Trobe University

5 August 2010
Hi from another opal lover.
Just wanted to say I love your site, a wealth of information.
I always send people to your page for opal info.
Kind Regards
Sean Tapner - Planet Opal

8 july 2010
Dear Rainbow Serpent,
Will be recommending your website as a primary reference to 15 Macquarie Uni media students who will be doing a PR project for us as part of their assessment soon.
Best wishes
Renata - Opalminded

Opalminded recommend opalsinformation6 June 2010
Dear Rainbow Serpent, 
Greetings from Opal Minded In Sydney.
We are all very impressed with your website – one of the best things that has happened to this Industry for a long time. 
We would love to share it with the visitors to our website. 
Would you mind If we post with us links to your website, 
also on our facebook and twitter. 
Best wishes
Renata, John, Nelly, Fabrice and Summer

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 
Good Morning,
I have just found your wonderful website.
I produce a monthly e-newsletter which is circulated to the Tourism businesses in Coober Pedy and neighbouring stations plus the Info Centres around SA & the NT.
I wondered if I could use some of your Opal info in my October Edition (Opal Month), mainly the parts in your “About Opal” section – names, spiritual info etc.
I would obviously reference it to your website noting the address so others could read your site. 
Sandra Harris
Tourism Officer - Coober Pedy Information Centre

5 April 2010
I am wanting to use your site in an assignment as it is a superb example
of a site to use for a primary teaching unit on gemstones.
Many thanks,