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Visitor Information

Andamooka is located 600km north of Adelaide, in the far-north region of South Australia. The Stuart Highway and Pimba Road are sealed roads suitable for all forms of motor transport. Sealed road continues into the heart of Andamooka. Andamooka can also be accessed by plane into Olympic Dam. The proposed relocation of the Borefield Road would place Andamooka only 16km away from the turn off.

The layout of Andamooka is unique and unlike any other town in Australia. There are only a few street lights and only 4 of the 100 or so roads (20kms in total) are sealed.

The Andamooka Town Management Committee (ATMC) now officially represents the town in partnership with the Andamooka Progress and Opal Miners Association (APOMA) and the Outback Communities Authority.

Two boundary riders from Andamooka station originally discovered opal in the region in the 1930's. Once word was out, people traveled from all over the world to find their fortunes. The remains of the early miners still exist today with the Historical Cottages in the main street, which are open for tourists all year round with free entry. The semi-dugouts are unique to Andamooka and unlike underground homes found in other parts of Australia due to a high clay content in the soil, making it unsafe for large areas to be excavated.

They are also good examples of early permanent accommodation for miners working the Andamooka fields. Architecturally the residences are significant because they epitomise early mining life in form, layout and construction techniques. The Historical Cottages are listed on the National Heritage Register.

Twenty-four separate fields comprise the Andamooka Opal Fields, giving the area the appearance of a lunar landscape. Public noodling is welcome in certain areas; please do not enter a ‘pegged' claim. Underground tours are also available by pre-booking. Please enquire at Dukes Bottlehouse/Post Office. If you are staying a while why not stake your own claim?

Opal is Australia's national gem stone. One of the largest and most famous opal stones is the Andamooka Opal, also known as the Queen's Opal. It was cut and polished in 1954 and was set into an 18 Carat palladium choker necklace. It was presented to Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her first official state visit to Australia. Today, the necklace and matching earrings form part of Queen Elizabeth II's personal crown jewels.

Opal is readily available in Andamooka, usually sold by the miner or cutter themselves, eliminating the middle man and keeping costs down. There are numerous places within the town to purchase opal, both privately and commercially. Be sure to visit Duke's Bottle House to see some beautiful specimens.

Lake Torrens is approximately 15 km from town and a 4WD is recommended. Lake Torrens is a salt lake which is often soft and boggy, it is advised not to drive on the lake. It is approximately 30m above sea level. There is a water hole on the way to the lake called Chimney Hole which was Andamooka's original water supply. While out and about, tourists have the opportunity to view a range of native wildlife from sleepy lizards, soaring eagles and big red kangaroos and after a day of exploring the region, be captivated by a beautiful sunset. Snakes are native to this area, please take extra care during the summer months.

White Dam is a small settlement outside of Andamooka with a population of approximately 10 people. Since opal was first discovered here in 1965, this field has produced some of the area's finest opal. Be sure to visit Bill's Ettamogah pub. During his life, Bill McDougall raised over $240,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) by collecting donations from visitors in return for a glass of port (‘plonk' as Bill referred to it). Bill is remembered with much admiration and respect by locals and those that passed his way over the years and recall visiting his Ettamogah Pub.

The New and Old Cemeteries are fascinating places to visit with unusual headstones, many containing opal.  The Old Cemetery is located behind the Andamooka Primary School where the first person in Andamooka was buried in the 1930's. The New Cemetery was constructed in 1995 and is located on the road to Lake Torrens. Click here to view gallery.

The new playground/BMX track facility was officially opened by Minister Russell Wortley in 2012. The area features a playground, BMX track, basketball hoop, double gas barbecues with sink, picnic tables, solar lighting and toilet facilities. This facility is open to tourists free of charge. Donations can be left in the donation column at the barbecue.

Currently the Andamooka Progress and Opal Miners Association provide a camp ground near the entrance of town with a fee of $3.00 per person, per night, leave the money in the donation column at the barbecue. There is a free dump point for caravans & campers & a coin-operated water-dispenser (50 cents for 10 litres of potable water). Accommodation is also available at Duke's Bottlehouse Motel at the Post Office. Future developments will see the APOMA camp ground with powered sites & a shower block (underconstruction). There are public toilets open 24/7 in the centre of town and disabled-access toilets at the playground.

Fuel and general goods are available from the Andamooka Friendly Grocer. The Tuckabox Restaurant provides meals and drinks. The Andamooka Clinic/Hospital is open most days and can be contacted anytime in case of emergency.

The Andamooka Progress and Opal Miners Association and Andamooka Town Management Committee have worked hard to provide tourists with a rewarding experience. Please respect our town and place litter into bins provided, thank you.

If you have any tourism related enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us via this link. 

 

 

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