Grawin Opal Fields / by Ethan Astall

70km west of Lightning Ridge youl run into a place called Grawin! What started as a small mining community in the 1920’s soon grew in size. Post war saw new technology to bring to the mining game, giving away the pick and shovel and making way for an easier and mechanical approach to discovering opal.

The ORANGE DOOR TOUR runs you around the fields and past three pubs, we stopped in at each and had a few bevs the sheep yard in even had fresh scones with jam and cream!! FROTH!!!! God knows how but some lord had gotten a train carriage out there to live in dubbing it “Central Station” can confirm dustier and less traffic than Sydney. The Hilton sadly didn’t supply any scones or a full amount of balls in the pool table BUT it did how ever have a 6 week old cattle dog named Jumbo!

It was getting late and as the sun goes down for these way out west opal miners, the elbow surely goes up. We headed to ”club in the scrub”, (somehow on the map) to hopefully have an arvo beer and spin some yarns with some locals. This place is a community hot spot for all the Tin shed camps, mining shafts, and Dj’s such as Doug (featured centre) who can sure spin a yarn or two about his life underground...or the fight he had with a chair the other night, he had us in stitches playing various funniest home videos he had pre downloaded on his DELL laptop which was connected to the TV. As well as Doug we met Allan and Nola (dougs gf) nine news hat guy also featured but didn’t contribute to story telling yet wanted a photo.

After they left Doug returned to invite us around to camp for a few beers with his mates we, frothingly agreed and followed his unregistered camry all the way to the shin dig in the dark. Once there we sunk a few beers and quickly learnt everyones life stories. As the night progressed we figured staying out there might be abit suss so we said our good byes and rang through a parmy at the pub for dinner. All tin shed houses and bogan attire aside everyone out there is so genuine and welcoming but can also talk the leg off a camp chair about how much opal they’ve found yet still continue to live in a camp……go figure.