on . Posted in South Australian Opal Mines

– Opal was discovered here in 1930 by tank sinkers Roy Shepard and Tim Brooks. Nearby Andamooka station was named in 1858 by John McDouall Stuart, after an Aboriginal word meaning 'large waterhole' which refers to Lake Torrens 20 km away.

The township of Andamooka is located 593 km north of Adelaide and has a population of 400 to 500 people depending on the season.
The road into Andamooka off the Stuart highway, was sealed in the 1990's, however the streets within the town remain unsealed and unnamed. The first semi dug-out permanent homes of the early miners and opal buyers are preserved and have been placed on the national heritage list.
During the heydays of the 1960’s and early 1970’s Andamooka was second only to Coober Pedy in the production of Light Opal. In 1962 population peaked with an estimated 800 miners working on the surrounding fields which cover an area of just over 50 square kilometers. The main fields are close to the town, Stuart Creek discovered in 1947 is the farthest satelite field. There are 24 named fields such as; Five Mile, Nine Mile, Brookes' Hill, Willis Hill, Boudary Riders, Black Boy, perhaps the most famous find is The Bank of England or German Gully.

Andamooka crystal is still regarded by many as being the finest quality ever found. Opal occurs here in a variety of forms including gem crystal, black or ‘smokey’ crystal, jelly ‘blobs’, matrix, painted ladies and Opalised fossils including dinosaur bones.

The climate is arid, with daytime temperatures in summer (December to Febuary) regularly topping 40 C (104 F) and night temperatures in winter often dropping to zero (32 F) or below. Annual rainfall is extremely low, the average is just 160 mm per year.

Local tours include inspections of working mines, the historical cottages and magnificent Lake Torrens - the longest salt lake in the southern hemisphere.




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

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,