Andamooka Opal Fields

Planning to go to Andamooka opal field is not very easy, one may need to travel 6 hours from Adelaide because it is 593 km north of Adelaide. In the way to Andamooka opal fields, there are some beautiful spots to enjoy for sight-seeing like Wadlata and the Arid lands gardens in Port Augusta. Opal in this place were discovered a long time ago, way back 1930's by tank sinkers Roy Shepard and Tim Brooks. Population in this place are only 400-500 people but that depends in the season. During 1960's to 1970's, this Andamooka opal fields are only second to Coober Pedy when it comes to the production of light opals. Way back 1962, the miners on this place was its peak number, it was estimated that there were up to 800 miners during the season. Several years later, the population dropped to a hundred because as the time went by, opals in this place are now quite hard to find. Although some growth has taken place in recent times because of the development of the huge Olympic Dam copper/gold/uranium ore deposit nearby Andamooka crystal is still claimed and recognized by many miners and jewellers as the finest among all other opals found. The opals that are mined in the place comes into different forms and structures, there are gem crystal, black or ‘smokey’ crystal, jelly ‘blobs’, matrix, painted ladies and Opalised fossils as well as the dinosaur bones were also digged here. 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..

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