Things at Coober Pedy Opal Field - 2012

23 January 2013 by Johno

Categories: Opal Fields | Opal Fields Characters | Australian Opal

Whenever you visit the opal fields there is much more to see than just opal mines and shops selling opal. There are all sorts of amazing and innovative machinery. There are all sorts of interesting buildings and there are other "things". This post includes pictures of machines, cars, buildings and "things" that we saw on our trip in 2012.


This is one of the great inventions of the opal fields. This machine sucks up the excavated dirt from the mine and then unceremoniously dumps it in a heap at the edge of the hole. If you are noodling, with the miners permission, on the heap then you get very little warning before a great heap of dirt and dust descends on you. It's not that bad , and who knows you may get hit by a piece of opal they have missed.


These are two views of a noodling machine. It is another great invention used in the opal fields. The machine is parked near an opal mine and the dumped material is put into the grated hopper which sieves out the larger lumps. It then goes into a second hopper where it is broken down to smaller sizes and tthe dust etc removed. It then goes onto a conveyor belt in the white shed section where it passes slowly under ultra violet light. Opal fluoresces under this light and stands out amongst the other stones so it can easily be picked up by the operator. Unfortunately, cigarette butts and other useless pieces also fluoresce and halp confuse the issue. Some lovely opal has been found using this equipment but you do have to pick an opal dump where the miner was "on opal" or you will be wasting your time. This is not easy as there is very little opal to be found on the surface of dumps any more.


These are just two of the many old trucks found around Coober Pedy. It is much the same at most of the fields and should be of interest to old truck lovers.


This is one of the strange things you can see at Coober Pedy. I think I found out what it was but can't remember now. I am sure though that they are not making too many more of them.


This another picture of one of the opal trucks in late afternoon. You can get some beautiful photographs at different times of the day especially as the sun sets.


This is just one of the views of some of the "things" that are to be found at Coober Pedy. I hope they never have a "clean up" here as this is one of the reasons for visiting.


Looking for a good used car? Perhaps this is not the place to look. Most of the vehicles here get a good thrashing but amazingly most seem to keep on going regardless.


Another "thing" at Coober Pedy. Not sure what it is but it looks interesting and there are many more here.


Not everyone lives underground in Coober Pedy. There are some very innovative, above ground structures. This is just one.

Hope you enjoyed the photographs They are just a few of the strange and different things you can see at this amazing town. It is well worth staying a few days and driving aroud the town especially as the sun sets. The sights are different, the colours incredibly vibrant and keep your eyes on the ground also as you can still pick up an opal on the side of the road occasionally.

I wish to acknowledge that all the photographs have been taken by my wife Barbara. She does all the work while I just admire the views.


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