Opals are Australia’s national gemstone and are bursting with specks of colour. In fact, 95% of the world’s opals are produced right here in Australia. Because of this high production rate, opals are the perfect Australian souvenir.
The first discovery of common opals in Australia was made near Angaston (SA) by Johannes Menge in 1849. This discovery attracted miners from the Queensland Boulder Opal and Lightning Ridge fields in the 1880’s and promised riches. As a result, production of precious opal began at White Cliffs in NSW in 1890 and yielded strong results.
If you’re heading to Lightning Ridge, be aware that your hosts at Budget Motels will warmly welcome you after a long drive! It gets hot out here so be sure to book a cheap motel with Budget to stay cool and don’t forget your Akubra!
Did you know: Black opals are the world’s most sought-after opals and are becoming more valuable. They’re currently being mined at Lightning Ridge, NSW. Fortune-hunters have been heading here since the 1800s and today are joined by tourists. Touring the mines and experiencing firsthand the conditions and atmosphere of opal mining is truly memorable. See and hear all about the past and present on the opal fields. This is the best way to get to know the history of the black opal and the outback.
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