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Yowah Gemfields Queensland
About Yowah Opal Info
Yowah Nut CrystalYowah is a small outback country town centred on the mining of Opal it consists of a General Store / Post Office where essential items can be purchased along with fuel-no L.P.G is available. The community centre has a Caf and Library, this is well patronised by tourists and locals alike. The town also has a quality Restaurant that provides nice meals at reasonable cost.
Yowah is a friendly town where tourists are made most welcome and are invited to join in local community activities to aid local the Royal Flying Doctor Service and local Fire Services.
Location
Yowah is about 160Klm west of Cunnamulla in western Queensland. Travel west on the Adventure Way Developmental Road; turn left toward Yowah about 88Klm west of Cunnamulla about 18Klm west of Eulo; continue a further 23Klm to Yowah.
Opal Fossicking: Yowah Gemfields
Camping
If you prefer to stay at a Caravan Park then the owners of the Yowah General Store also have a Caravan Park where powered sites and other services are provided.
Free Camp—the Yowah community maintains a Free Camp on the western side of the town; it is a very good camping area of at least two hectares. The Free Camp has both male and female facilities. This is serviced daily and maintained at a high standard. Good drinking water is available.
If you can provide your own electricity all television stations are available and of course you have full mobile telephone coverage. Major food supplies need to be obtained from Cunnamulla.
No camping is allowed on the designated fossicking area.
Where to Fossick / Noodle
View Mud MapThe designated fossicking area is located near the small Township of Yowah. This area still yields some very good crystal and matrix opal. A fossicker's licence is required to work the area. The designated fossicking area has been extensively worked but it is still possible to find virgin ground.
The area known as Yowah is famous for its Precious Opal in Siliceous Ironstone nodules commonly known as Yowah Nuts. The Yowah Nuts are found in layers at depths up to 20 metres in decomposed sandstone. The main layer is located between the sandstone and underlying clays.
Fossicking Method
Identifying an area to dig in is the key to finding Boulder Opal or Yowah Nuts as they are described. In designated fossicking areas, where others have worked is an indicator of productive ground. Attempt to find some virgin ground amongst other diggings or close to the worked area.
Where the layer of friable soil containing the Yowah Nuts and fragments comes close to the surface is best. The friable soil rests on a clay bed. Dig and sieve all soil above the clay layer. Then wash either by sieve in a tub of water or using the Willoughby, make sure that all mud and dirt is removed from the stones. Inspect all pieces of stone (Ironstone matrix) for colour.
Yowah Nuts need to be broken open or for good specimens may need to be cut in two to reveal the "kernel", if any; often the "kernel" is pure crystal opal. Many of the Yowah Nut shells or outer casings contain Veins or Flashings of colour and can be processed into attractive jewellery stones.
The Township of Yowah has many Opal Cutters who are keen to do business at a reasonable price.
Vehicle Access
The journey to Yowah is all on bitumen roads. Suitable for Towing Caravans etc. Conventional vehicles will have no trouble gaining access to Yowah or the designated fossicking field in dry conditions. If it rains the track surface within the fossicking area becomes very slippery very quickly and all vehicles have problems with traction.


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