Population 528

If Queen Elizabeth II had ever been to Andamooka, perhaps she would have thought differently about the Andamooka Opal given to her as a gift in 1954 on her first visit to Australia. The opal weighed 203 carats and glistened in blues, reds and greens. It was the result of an extensive search for the most beautiful opal in the state, yet Andamooka itself is a misshapen collection of tin sheds, dugouts and fibros in the middle of the desert. With constant water shortages, no local council and an all-consuming drive to find opals, residents have become experts in making do. The town offers old-fashioned outback hospitality to an increasing number of tourists.

Visitor Information

Dukes Bottlehouse Motel (incorporating post office), 275 Opal Creek Blvd; (08) 8672 7007

Nearby national parks

  • Lake Torrens National Park

    The 250-kilometre-long ephemeral Lake Torrens is timeless, wild and starkly photogenic. Protected within Lake Torrens National Park, this is...more

  • Lake Eyre National Park

    Lake Eyre National Park encircles a desolate landscape of saltpans and waterless tracts of red desert. On rare occasions, the generally dry...more

  • Lake Gairdner National Park

    The vast whiteness of Lake Gairdner rests in the foothills on the northern side of the Gawler Ranges. This is one of the largest salt lakes...more

Nearby towns

  • Roxby Downs

    In 1975 Roxby Downs station was a hard-working property on the red sand dunes of central South Australia. That was until a body of copper...more

  • Woomera

    Woomera and its testing range were established in 1947 as a site for launching British experimental rockets during the Cold War era. The...more

  • Leigh Creek

    Located in the Flinders Ranges, Leigh Creek is a modern coalmining town that services a huge open-cut mine to the north. The original...more

In Town

Opal showrooms: showrooms in town include Andamooka Gems and Trains, attached to Dukes Bottlehouse Motel, with opals and a model railway.

Historic miners huts: a handful of old semi-dugouts line the creek bed in the centre of town, complete with old tools and furnishings. Access is by tour, which includes a visit to an underground mine; details from post office.

Cemetery: with miners' nicknames on the headstones.


Fossicking: noodling in unclaimed mullock dumps surrounding town; details from post office.

Lake Torrens: one of the state's largest salt lakes stretches away to the south-east; 4WD recommended for access.

Eco-friendly activities around town

Arid Recovery Reserve 28 km

Initially a public relations exercise for BHP Billiton’s massive Olympic Dam mine, the Arid Recovery Reserve at Roxby Downs is now an excellent example of how industry, government and the community can work... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Pimba rest area 96 km

At Pimba

Adjacent to the roadhouse.

What's on around town

Market and barbecue: local art and craft; Sat long weekends (Easter, June and Oct).

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