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Andamooka History

History of Andamooka

Originally known as ‘Arndoo-moka', the name Andamooka is made up of two local Aboriginal (Kuyani) words, which combined; refer to the ‘loaded (or powerful) bone' of Aboriginal traditional lore and retribution. Another story about the origin of the name is a reference to a waterhole pointed out by John McDouall Stuart on 21st June 1858.

In 1872 a pastoral lease was taken out for Andamooka Station, 58 years later in 1930 two boundary riders; Sam Brooks and Roy Shepherd found opal at the site now known as Treloar's Hill. The story goes that they were caught in a thunderstorm and whilst sheltering under a tree a pretty coloured rock caught their eye. The rock was taken back and later identified as being opal. They attempted to keep the find a secret but the word did get out and a rush of miners then headed for Andamooka in the 1930's. 

Whilst the lure of opal did entice the first settlers to Andamooka some others came for more complex reasons. It seems the "free"' and largely ungoverned lifestyle of this outback town held an attraction for many people who were leaving Europe after experiencing the horrors and constrictions of war. An interesting interview by George Negus highlights this for us (read more here) 

Early living conditions during the Depression years were to say the least, difficult but certainly practical, with miners and dealers making use of local materials in the construction of their early semi-dugout homes, typified by the Heritage Listed Cottages in the Historical Reserve.

This mix of reasons helped to create a multi-cultural environment that gives Andamooka a distinctively unique feel even to this day.  While conditions have improved over the years, Andamooka has never lost its unique character or Characters.

 

Famous Opal

One of the largest and most famous opal stones is the Andamooka Opal, also known as the ‘Queen's Opal'. In 1954, The Andamooka Opal was cut and polished by John Altmann of Sydney to a weight of 203 carats. It displays a magnificent array of reds, blues, and greens and was set with diamonds into an 18-karat palladium choker necklace. This one-of-a-kind ensemble was presented to Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her first official state visit to Australia, a gift truly fit for a queen! Today, the Andamooka Opal and its attendant pieces form part of Queen Elizabeth II's personal crown jewels.

Historical Character

Bill McDougall

Before his death, Bill McDougall, owner of Bill's Pub, raised funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).For a small donation visitor's were treated to a glass of Port (‘plonk' as Bill referred to it) and stories of Old. Bill raised in excess of $240,000 for the RFDS, and is remembered with much admiration and respect by locals and those that passed his way over the years and recall visiting Bill and his Ettomogah Pub.

 

 

 

Andamooka Press

Since it's first publication in 1973, the Andamooka Press has come a long way and adopted a brand new look in 2010. Please find links to issues below. We will endeavour to provide links for older issues also so watch this space! Links will open in PDF format.

 

2016 - Volume 6

Issue 1 - January February 2016

Issue 2 - March 2016

Issue 3 - April 2016

Issue 4 - May 2016

Issue 5 - June 2016

Issue 6 - June 2016 Special Edition

Issue 7 - July 2016

 

 

 

2015 - Volume 5

Issue 1 - February 2015

Issue 2 - March 2015

Issue 3 - April 2015

Issue 4 - May 2015

Issue 5 - June 2015

Issue 6 - July 2015

Issue 7 - August 2015

Issue 8 - September 2015

Issue 9 - October 2015

Issue 10 - November 2015

Issue 11 - December 2015

 

2014 - Volume 4

Issue 1- February 2014

Issue 2 -March 2014

Issue 3 - April 2014

Issue 4 - June 2014

Issue 5 - August 2014

Issue 6 - September 2014

Issue 7 - October 2014

Issue 8 - November 2014

Issue 9 - December 2014 

 

2013 - Volume 3

Issue 1 - January 2013

Issue 2 - February 2013

Issue 3 - March 2013

Issue 4 - April 2013

Issue 5 - May 2013

Issue 6 - June 2013

Issue 7 - July 2013

Issue 8 - August 2013

Issue 9 - September 2013

Issue 10 - October 2013

Issue 11 - November 2013

Issue 12 - December 2013

 

2012 - Volume 2

Issue 10 - September 2012  Issue 9 - August 2012  Issue 8 - July 2012  Issue 7 - June 2012

Issue 6 - May 2012  Issue 5 - April 2012  Issue 4 - March 2012  Issue 3 - February 2012

Issue 2 - January 2012  Issue 1 - December 2011

 

2011 - Volume 1

Issue 12 - November 2011  Issue 11 - October 2011  Issue 10 - September 2011

Issue 9 - August 2011 Issue 8 - July 2011  Issue 7 - June 2011  Issue 6 - May 2011

Issue 5 - April 2011  Issue 4 - March 2011  Issue 3  - February 2011

Issue 2 - January 2011  Issue 1 - December 2010

 

2007

February  March  November  December

 

2006

February  April  May  June July  August  October November

 

2005

March  April  May  June  August issue 1  August issue 2  December

 

1987 Volume 9

Edition 6 - August 18 1987 20 Nov 1987