The Allure of Opal Country Part 2

The Allure of Opal Country Part 2

While Lightning Ridge is famous for black opals, opal mining has moved to more productive areas nearby.

So nine people from our group, plus one other couple boarded an Outback Opal Tour’s mini bus for a guided tour of the active opals fields at Glengarry and Grawin. Natalie our driver/tour guide entertained us with local stories and her knowledge of opals.

Our first stop, the Sheepyard Inn at Cumborah, for morning tea or coffee with scones, jam and cream.

Ruth found the scones

On display, opal seams in large rocks and boulder opals
John, Maggie, Di and Heidi lining up for the bus

Having been “fed and watered”, we were taken to a large “pile of tailings” (waste rock from opal mines) for “specking” (prospecting). We were provided with a “specking tool” and told that minors do miss opal fragments that we have the opportunity to find.

I found nothing, but one of the group found a good opal fragment
Norm standing on the huge pile of tailings

Having tried our hand at specking, it was time to move on.

Lunch was provided at the World Famous Glengarry Hilton.

On the other side of the dirt track was Sweeney’s Crafts and Souvenirs.

Patrick cosying up to the local sweetheart, Matilda

The community War Memorial was not far away.

It was hot day, so we headed to the next watering hole.

The Grawin Club in the Scrub

I asked one of the blokes at the Grawin Club if he was a full time opal minor. He said he was, and added … “but every now and then my wife tells me to go and get a real job”.

Maggie, Heidi, Patrick & Mike
Interior of the club, with bar to the right
Hi Ruth, need another refreshing ale?
The best looking part of the club, but it’s right next to the dunnies

The 18th “green” at the local golf club

On the way “home” we stopped to admire Stanley the Emu, conceived and designed by John Murray (Lightning Ridge) and Tim Parsons (Coonable). Tim parson constructed the 18 meter tall emu from VW body parts and a couple of satellite dishes.


Back at the holiday park …

Sunset over Lightning Ridge

What a day of sightseeing and entertainment. I would certainly recommend a guided tour with Outback Opal Tours.

Thanks for tuning in and hope you enjoyed this coverage of our visit to the NSW opal fields.

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