Western opal fields

Toompine designated fossicking lands

The Toompine Field is located between Quilpie and Yowah. Mining for opal has been carried out extensively in these areas since the 1890s using underground and open-cut methods. At Duck Creek and Sheep Station Creek, mining activity is now limited to small-scale hand mining on mining claims. Some machine mining has previously been undertaken on mining leases and a few leases remain current.


The Duck Creek workings are located adjacent to Tirga Station and are situated on a low flat-lying drainage divide between Duck Creek draining to the north-east and tributaries of Yowah Creek draining to the south. The workings are about 62km by road from Toompine (see map for details).

Sheep Station Creek and Emu Creek workings are just to the south at the head of Sheep Station Creek, a tributary of Yowah Creek.



Camping is allowed for a maximum period of 3 months. Camping permits can be obtained from our regional offices or fossicking licence agents.

There are no facilities and due to the remoteness of the area visitors should carry adequate supplies of food, water and fuel. Top-up bore water may be available from a tap provided by the landholder at the large steel gate 3.5km north of the entrance sign.

Fossicking notes

While much of the opal-bearing ground occurs at depths beyond fossickers, the spoil dumps of the old workings offer the best chance of a find. Specking fragments of opal or ironstone matrix from the ground’s surface is always a possibility.

Special conditions

Commercial mining activities still occur in the area and a number of mining tenures are current. Do not enter these mining tenures without the written permission of the holders.

In this guide:

  1. Yowah fossicking area
  2. Toompine designated fossicking lands
  3. Opalton designated fossicking land

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