Many crystal Opals mined in the Andamooka Opal fields have
stunning colors and are popular for creative Opal carvings due to their large
This field was discovered in 1930 but was not worked fully
until the 1960s where just under 1000 miners worked in the dry desert heat.
Most miners were small manual operations digging down 10
meters or so following veins of opal. There was no large scale mining operations. Today
only a handful of miners work this area
Matrix Opal is also popular and in abundance in the area
which is sandstone cooked in sulphuric acid and sugar.
This opal field is easy to visit for tourists a sit is on
route to Coober Pedy and Ayres Rock. Just turn off at Pimba and in few hours
you can visit this historic town.
In 1970s a lot sea fossils that were opalaized started to appear
and many collectors bought these items and many are now banned from export
Dinosaur bones now cannot be exported along with many other
Famous Andamooka Fossil Dinosaurs
In 1968 a opalaized plesiosaur bone was found by opal miners and was called Addyman
Plesiosaur and was sold to the South Australian museum as a new species. Also a single small opalaized bone of a small coelurosaur
dinosaur was discovered near Andamooka, but
only one bone was discovered and palaeontologists
estimate it was probably only 2-3 meters in length.
The Anadmooka Opal field is famous for producing one of the
world’s best known opal, the Andamooka Opal also known as the ‘Queen’s Opal’.
It was cut, refined, and set into an 18 carat palladium chocker band in 1954.