Allow the Quilpie Shire to introduce you to a radiant beauty – the exquisite boulder opal.
Australia’s official gemstone for the country is the opal and it supplies 96 per cent of the world’s commercial grade. The boulder opal of Quilpie Shire has a backing of ironstone, which makes it one of the most beautiful and durable of all opals.
Fossick to find your own gem and lasting precious memory of Quilpie Shire – a great family activity.
- Local Fossicking – The Council’s local fossicking area, two kilometres west of Quilpie, provides a real opportunity for all ages to have a go at uncovering this pretty gemstone. Just bring your own equipment and no permit required.
- Fossicking with Permit – The Duck Creek and Sheep Station Creek designated fossicking area is 60km south east of the Toompine township. These fields have been worked since the 1880’s and are open to the public. A fossicking permit is required. Maps and licences can be obtained from Quilpie Mining Registrar, located next door to the Police Station on Buln Buln Street, Quilpie. The registrar is open Monday to Friday and a fee for a permit is required. Phone: 07 4656 1266.
- Opal Shopping – At the opal shops in Quilpie, you can see opals being cut and polished and purchase a very special souvenir or gift to take home. Every opal pattern is as different as a fingerprint. However the value of opal is largely subjective and depends on the cut, polish, body colour, as well as the play and pattern.
The Opal Hunter (Buying and selling opal pieces)
47 Brolga Street, Phone/Fax: (07) 4656 2777
Sunrise Opals (Opals, Jewellery and Souvenirs)
Brolga Street, Phone: (07) 4656 1298 Fax: (07) 4656 4914
- St Finbarr’s Church – The late Des Burton, known as the father of the boulder Opal industry, is largely responsible for putting Australian Opals on the world stage. Des had opened many shops including Quilpie Opals in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall. He donated a number of boulder Opal displays to St Finbarr’s Church, which is always open so you can experience these wonderful opals.
Take the time to visit Quilpie’s local opal shops.