Quilpie, Yowah, Winton, Opalton, Koroit, Jundah & The Toompine Opal Fields....
The Boulder Opal Mining
Fields produce quite a different type of opal
to that found at Lightning Ridge & Cooberpedy etc..
Here is some information to familarise you with the different boulder opal mining areas that produce our Australian boulder opal like the Yowah Nut, Koroit matrix, Gem Crystal & Seam Opal.
Quilpie is often referred to as the home of the "Boulder Opal". Situated on the banks of the Bullo River in Western Queensland it was declared a town on 29th April, 1917 - the year the railway from Charleville to Quilpie was completed.
Quilpie is located 980 klms west of Brisbane and 208 klm west
The economy of the area is based on the grazing and mining industries.
The area has one of the largest deposits of boulder opal in the world, and also has extensive deposits of gas and oil.
Yowah - known as
"The Friendly Opal Field".
This boulder opal mining town is situated 165 klms west of Cunnamulla and is the home of the Yowah Opal Nut and Ironstone Matrix Opal, found only in this part of Queensland.
Yowah also is host to the annual Yowah Opal Festival showcasing the many jewellery artists and their varied opal designs in the Yowah Designer Jewellery Competition.
Winton was originally known
as the Pelican Water Hole and was first settled in 1875. This was where Banjo Paterson wrote Waltzing
Matilda whilst at Dagworth Station outside Winton.
It is also known as the 'home' of Australian bush poetry and hosts one of the country's prestigious literary awards; the annual Bronze Swagman Award.
Winton is known for the formation of Quantas (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service), Australia's
national airline formed in Winton in November, 1920 and
also the history of the Great Shearers' Strike
in the 1890s, where 500 shearers camped just south of Winton and the
town was placed under marshal law. This was the beginning of the
foundation of the Australian Labor Party.
Winton is famous for its water supply which thrusts its way to the
earth's surface from three artesian bores, all around 1,200 metres
deepemerging at a temperature of 83 degrees celsius. This water is
sourced from the Great Artesian Basin providing water for most of Australia's outback.
Winton is in the centre of "Matilda Country" - the land that gave birth to Australia's National Gem Stone - the Boulder Opal.
Winton is in the centre of "Matilda Country" - the land that gave birth
to Australia's National Gem Stone - the Boulder Opal.
You can discover dinosaur history at Lark Quarry, where 93 million year-old fossils record a dinosaur stampede and where thewhere the worlds only worlds only fossilised dinosaur footprint is.
Dinosaurs have been actively excavated near Winton since 2001 by the Queensland Museum Geosciences and Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. This joint effort was sparked in 1999 by the discovery of one of Australia's largest dinosaurs,labelled "Elliot" - a gigantic sauropod from the Cretaceious period of 95 million years ago.
Dinosaur bones (including fossils of their food) have been found in rocks in the Winton Formation, a geological layer 102-98 million years old. Several other types of dinosaurs have been found, including plant-eating ankylosaurs and ornithopods, plus the serrated teeth of carnivorous theropod dinosaurs.
Opalton is one of the oldest boulder opal mining fields in Queensland and
the Opalton Field is was one of the largest and most extensively worked opal deposits in Queensland. It is a good example of typical opal country in
western Queensland. It is located about 124 km south-southwest of Winton.
Boulder opal mining on this field is mostly limited to small-scale hand mining although there are some larger mining operations in the surrounding area.
The Opalton Designated Fossicking Land was established in 1995 under the Fossicking Act 1994 to provide for tourist and recreational fossicking.
The Opalton area attracts large numbers of visitors and is popular with tourists as a place to"speck" or"noodle" for fragments of opal or ironstone matrix from the surface or from the spoil dumps of old workings.
Opal - world famous as one of the most
beautiful opals found in
Being very stable it is found in the hardest ironstone in the form of nuts, boulders,matrix and seam opal.
A handful of opal miners still operate here during the mining season, some operating underground and others doing open-cut using excavators and bulldozers.
The Koroit opal field is approximately 80 km west-north-west of
Cunnamulla and has been mined since 1897.
(Photos courtesy of KoroitOpals.com)
The "Galaxy", one of
Queensland's greatest boulder opals, was discovered on the Jundah field in 1989.
The Black Mine was in actual fact Australia's first discovery of a Black Opal deposit - somewhat 10 years before Lightning Ridge made it's mark - opal in Jundah was found in mostly nodules and "pipes"; cylindrical pipes found at the juncture of sandstone and clay deposits. Some were very small, some up to 2 metres in length, but most of them were only 10 centimetres in diameter.
The larger pipes that were found were usually more filled with 90% potch with very little colour and were nicknamed "brick pipes".
Eulo, Toompine, Duck Creek, Eromanga.....
Eulo is the
central town to Yowah, Koroit and the Duck Creek Opal fields and is about 70 klm west of Cunnamulla.
It is famous for it's Eulo Queen Opal Centre, a first stop on your visit to the Boulder opal mining fields and towns.
Toompine Opal Field is located between Quilpie &
Yowah and encompasses Duck Creek, Sheep Station Creek, Emu
Creek, Coparella, Lushinton opal fields known as The Paroo Fields.
Duck Creek is situated about 85 klm north of Yowah, It is renowned for it's high quality and brilliance of it's Gem Crystal opal.
Have You Ever Visited The Opal Outback Areas Of Lightning Ridge,Cooberpedy, or The Queensland Boulder areas .....?
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