For those of you who've never seen an opal 'in the raw' here are some Yowah nuts - the name given to the distinctive nut-like rocks found in the opal fields around the tiny town of Yowah in south west Queensland, population about 30 in summer and about 450 in winter. Because of the heat there 45-52-degreesC in summer, most miners leave town and return in the cooler months. The Yowah nut is a round red/brown sandstone with rattling contents - an opal if you're lucky. The miners slice them in half - as above. The first mining lease at Yowah was issued in 1883 and it's still being worked. The Yowah Opal Festival is held each year in the third week of July and there are always year-round fossicking areas set aside for tourists.
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